Ph.D. Spotlight: The Determinants of Vote Choice in Ballot Measure Elections

What types of informational cues do voters rely on when forming opinions? When does it matter for ballot measures? Is newspaper coverage biased in ballot endorsement elections? What types of bias do newspapers engage in? Does the bias of newspaper coverage in ballot elections affect the outcome of ballot measure elections? With an election just…

These Two Arguments Make Americans Less Opposed to Court Packing

This piece first appeared in TheMonkey Cage. Reprinted with permission. Originally published as “These Two Arguments Make Americans Less Opposed to Court Packing” in The Monkey Cage at The Washington Post on March 27, 2019. Should Democrats try to add more justices to the Supreme Court? Some 2020 presidential candidates are discussing the idea — responding to…

The Failure of the #MeToo Movement

Time Magazine declared the “silence breakers” of the #MeToo movement the Time Person of the Year. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, honored the courage of “hundreds of others, and of many men as well, [who] have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s” in a statement on the Today Show….

How Legislators Use State Constitutions to Block Policy Changes They Oppose

Despite the potential gains and minimized costs, not all state-based policymakers should pursue constitutional amendments as legislative goals. Constitutional amendments require significant time and political capital to ensure success.  Policymakers that do not expect reelection, therefore should avoid this process.  Instead these legislators should use what little political capital they have to quickly enact general legislation in an attempt to codify their own policy preference rather than be subject to the preferences of those that will replace them.