I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at Marquette University. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at Boston College in 2011 and my J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2004. Before my academic career, I worked in a litigation law firm and later served as the legal counsel for the Labor and Workforce Development Committee in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
My research and teaching interests focus on the interplay between politics and law. My current research projects explore the politics of litigation, including how lawsuits are used to pursue policy change. In my book, Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America (University Press of Kansas, March 2015), I examine how modern-day state litigators have brought legal actions against large corporations and the federal government as a way to influence national policy. My work on the politics of state attorneys general has also appeared in Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Law & Social Inquiry, and Polity.
In addition to exploring the causes and political consequences of state-initiated litigation, I am also interested in broader issues of government enforcement, comparative courts and constitutionalism, and the politics of the American legal profession. I previously published a law review article examining the South African Constitutional Court’s enforcement of socio-economic rights, and I am currently working on a co-authored project examining the global spread of constitutional courts. My newest research project focuses on the rise of government enforcement and its implications for due process rights. I am also beginning research exploring the contributions of the organized bar to American political development and the construction of the modern American state.