Department of Political Science

Steven P. Brown

Steven P. Brown Morris Savage Endowed Chair Professor
7006 Haley Center
(334) 844-6154

Office Hours

  • Monday 2:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday 2:00 - 5:00 pm


Steve Brown received his PhD from the University of Virginia and has taught at Auburn since 1998. He teaches several courses in American Constitutional Law as well as Religion and Politics, Law and Society, and Introduction to American Government. His research interests focus primarily on church and state issues and American legal history. In 2005, his book, Trumping Religion: The New Christian Right, The Free Speech Clause and the Courts received the National Communication Association's Franklyn S. Haiman Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Freedom of Expression. In 2006, he received the National Faculty of the Year Award from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. His article “The Girard Will and Twin Landmarks of Supreme Court History” received the Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2017 Hughes-Gossett Senior Prize, which was presented by Chief Justice John Roberts. He created a traveling exhibit about landmark Supreme Court cases from Alabama entitled “Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces that Changed a Nation.” It is currently touring throughout the state as part of the Alabama statehood bicentennial. The companion book to the exhibit was awarded the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize in Southern History. He also teaches courses in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Auburn, lectures on political and First Amendment issues throughout the state, and serves as an instructor with the Election Center in providing professional education training to elections officials nationwide. 


PhD, University of Virginia

Representative Publications

  • Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed a Nation, University of Alabama Press, 2020.
  • “The Girard Will and Twin Landmarks of Supreme Court History,” Journal of Supreme Court History Vol. 41, Issue 1 (2016).
  • John McKinley and the Antebellum Supreme Court: Circuit Riding in the Old Southwest,  University of Alabama Press, 2012.
  • “An Assault on Justice: John McKinley and the Affair at Jackson,” Journal of Supreme Court History Vol. 36, Issue 2 (2011).
  • "Mirroring Madison: The Historic and Continuing Influence of James Madison on the United States Supreme Court," in James Madison: Philosopher, Founder, and Statesman, ed. William D. Pederson and John R. Vile, Ohio University Press, 2008.
  • "Leaving the Spiritual Sphere: Religious Expression in the Public Workplace," Journal of Church and State Vol 49, No. 4 (2007).
  • "Blood and Precedent: Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah," in Creating Constitutional Change, ed. Gregg Ivers and Kevin McGuire, University of Virginia Press, 2004.
  • "Public Schools and Religious Expression: An Analysis of the Diversity of School Board Policies Regarding Religious Expression" (with Dr. Cynthia Bowling), Journal of Church and State 45 (Spring 2003), 259-281.
  • Trumping Religion: The New Christian Right, the Free Speech Clause, and the Courts, University of Alabama Press, 2002. Paperback edition published 2004.

Last Updated: April 07, 2021