Chair of Leadership Studies and Associate Professor of Political Science
Areas of Expertise
My research interests include the Supreme Court, constitutional law and theory, American political and constitutional development, American political thought and culture, and American political institutions. More specifically, most of my work has focused on the role of the Constitution and the Supreme Court in American political development, with published articles on the augmentation of judicial authority during the 1920s, historical trends in the tenure of Supreme Court justices, and the appointment politics of the antebellum Supreme Court. My book, Building the Judiciary: Law, Courts, and the Politics of Institutional Development (Princeton University Press, 2012), examines the causes and consequences of institutional development of the federal judiciary — especially, but not exclusively, the Supreme Court — from the Founding to the present.
PSCI 201 – Power, Politics, and Democracy in America
PSCI 216 – American Constitutionalism I: Structures of Power
PSCI 217 – American Constitutionalism II: Rights and Liberties
PSCI 291T – American Political Events
PSCI 309 – Problems and Progress in American Democracy
PSCI 312T – American Political Thought
PSCI 410 – Senior Seminar in American Politics: Civic Education in America
Building the Judiciary: Law, Courts, and the Politics of Institutional Development (Princeton University Press, 2012).
“Westward Expansion, Preappointment Politics, and the Making of the Southern Slaveholding Supreme Court,” Studies in American Political Development 24:1 (April 2010): 90-120.
“Where Have You Gone, Sherman Minton? The Decline of the Short-Term Supreme Court Justice,” with Christopher F. Karpowitz, Perspectives on Politics 5:3 (September 2007): 425-445.
“The Forging of Judicial Autonomy: Political Entrepreneurship and the Reforms of William Howard Taft,” Journal of Politics 69:1 (February 2007): 73-87.