I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas Christian University specializing in American political institutions and public law. I am also a faculty affiliate in the Women & Gender Studies and Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies programs. I earned my Ph.D. in political science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where I also served as an editorial assistant for the Journal of Politics. Prior to graduate school, I graduated from law school at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. My research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Law & Courts, State Politics & Policy Quarterly, Law & Policy, Politics & Gender, and Laws.
Broadly speaking, I study political and legal institutions, administrative politics, and intergovernmental relations, and how institutional design affects the formulation and implementation of public policy. My research and teaching interests include the study of administrative, judicial, and legislative institutions in the federal and state levels of American government, and their relative capacity as sites of policy development. Likewise, my work considers how party and ideology explain ostensibly administrative decision-making in legal, political, and electoral institutions. I am particularly interested in the impact of economic representation in courts and adjudicatory bureaucratic institutions on the development of regulatory policy.
Much of my research examines the role played by public officials' private finances and investment profiles in their policy choices. For instance, I consider whether and by what means bureaucrats and judges make adjudicatory decisions based on the extent to which they are personally exposed to the financial wellbeing of litigant firms. Further, a book project in development focuses on the impact of state and local officials' personal business interests on their preferences regarding controversial social issues. This manuscript, featured in part by the Washington Post's Monkey Cage, adopts a mixed-methods approach to considering whether the preferences of legal and political elites in the U.S. South on the presence of Confederate symbols in public life are driven by those officials' economic backgrounds or financial orientations.
In general, my work considers critically the form and function of lawmaking institutions, and how partisan and ideological concerns endure in or pervade administrative and organizational decision-making by public officials in part as a function of the design and structure of public institutions. This research has significant implications for understanding how elite decision-making enables the persistence of social and economic inequality, as well as the scope and quality of industry influence in American public administration.