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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 PoliticsPolitical Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, the Rutgers University Law Review, the Missouri Law ReviewAmerican 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 & PolicyMy research published in Political Research Quarterly was recognized by the Western Political Science Association as the Best Article Published in PRQ during 2020.

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, constitutional law, 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. In addition to traditional modes of legal analysis, my research employs tools of empirical analysis from the social sciences to investigate critical issues facing the American state.


I am particularly interested in the legal regulation of sexual behavior and economic conflicts of interest. For instance, my research recently published in the Missouri Law Review considers the persistence of laws criminalizing consensual nonprocreative intercourse despite the Supreme Court holding invalidating such a statute in Lawrence v. Texas. Additionally, my research in the Albany Law Review provides a comprehensive overview of how financial conflicts of interest are regulated in the federal executive branch, argues that penumbral financial conflicts of interest go unregulated by the current regime governing public ethics, and uses multiple statistical methods to examine empirically the extent to which penumbral financial conflicts may bear on decision-making by public officials in the administrative state.


Likewise, my work analyzes the impact of fragmented lawmaking authority on the implementation of public policy. In research published in the Rutgers University Law Review, I offer the first comprehensive empirical examination of how administrative agencies have exercised delegated regulatory authority pursuant to significant federal legislation since the enactment of the Administrative Procedure Act. By considering critically the form and function of lawmaking institutions, my research and teaching have significant implications for understanding how law and policy can promote or frustrate the achievement of social, economic, sexual, racial, and environmental justice. Further, my scholarship on economic conflicts of interest helps contextualize the extent and quality of industry influence in the policy state. Last, 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.

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