I am a tenure-track professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, specializing in regulation and public law. I am also an Associate Editor at Research & Politics.
I earned my Ph.D. in political science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Prior to graduate school, I graduated from law school at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. My research has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, the Rutgers University Law Review, the Missouri Law Review, American Politics Research, the Journal of Legal Studies, the Albany Law Review, the Journal of Law & Courts, the University of Hawai‘i Law Review, State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Politics & Gender, the Journal of Historical Political Economy, and Law & Policy. My research published in Political Research Quarterly was recognized by the Western Political Science Association as the Best Article Published in PRQ during 2020, and a more recent article on the implementation of Supreme Court holdings related to gay rights was recognized by the American Political Science Association's Sexuality & Politics section with the Cynthia Weber Award for the Best Paper in the section from the 2022 APSA meeting.
My work examines the operation of public authority in U.S. lawmaking institutions. My research and teaching interests include political and legal institutions, administrative law and regulatory processes, criminal law and procedure, and LGBTQ+ rights in the American state. Broadly speaking, my published and ongoing research considers adjudicative, regulatory, and legislative institutions in American government, as well as the scope and nature of those institutions' capacity to structure both organizational practices and individual conduct.
I am particularly interested in policy-making at the complex intersection of business and politics. My published and ongoing research examines the doctrinal complexities of the law governing economic conflicts of interest in the U.S. executive branch, as well as the implementation of such policies. My work also considers how economic interests affect the policy process, such as research in Legislative Studies Quarterly in which I find that Members of Congress make policy choices on legislation related to financial regulation in a manner associated with the allocation of their personal assets. Likewise, my research in the Journal of Legal Studies suggests that Justices of the Supreme Court side with business litigants in core economic litigation when the Justices have greater amounts of personal wealth invested in securities from firms operating in the same sector as those business litigants.
By considering critically the form and function of lawmaking institutions, my research and teaching have significant implications for understanding how law and policy may be the product of economically conflicted public officials or industry influence. Likewise, my scholarship on the regulation of consensual sexual behavior helps contextualize the operative scope of certain fundamental constitutional rights. My research currently in development analyzes how the vertical and horizontal distribution of legal authority across American public institutions constrains the achievement of LGBTQ equality before the law by decentralizing the task(s) of policy implementation; and the effect of expressions of social or political advocacy by large corporations on public opinion toward contentious social or political issues.