My research interests lie mainly within my comprehensive exam fields of Public Law and American Politics. I am particularly interested in work concerning separation of powers between institutions in the American system. Particularly, how political rhetoric shapes the behaviors of actors within different branches of government. The bulk of this work will be in my dissertation. Where I look at how individual motivations and power shape the rhetoric they use in various institutional contexts. For instance, how rhetoric effects coalition-building in the courts during opinion writing. My interest in language and rhetoric also dovetails with my work on readability and its effect on citation rates with Dr. Michael Fix.
Much of my more recent work is in the political behavior literature including my master’s thesis ,which looks at motivated reasoning and public support of the Supreme Court, and my work with the Zoukis Research Collaborative on criminal justice attitudes. This particularly area of my work looks at attitude formation and the effect priming (via an immersive experience) has on criminal justice attitudes on issues like solitary confinement, mandatory minimums, and other tough on crime policies. I would potentially like to extend this work in similar areas alongside my fellow graduate students to look at other areas of criminal justice like the militarization of police, the use of the death penalty, and felon disenfranchisement. Many these projects are currently in development within the Zoukis Research Collaborative.
This is just a cursory summary of some of my current research interests and working projects. Much more detail can be found about these projects and others that I am currently working on here or the links provided above.