Congress, Presidency, & the Courts

Name: Ryan Barilleaux
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: barillrj@miamioh.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Miami University (Oxford, OH)
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Paper Title: Presidential Scandals and the Growth of Executive Unilateralism
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Co-author info: Jewerl Maxwell, Gordon College email: Jewerl.Maxwell@gordon.edu
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Scandal makes for some of the biggest news in the presidency, and the candidacies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump suggest that scandals will continue to swirl around the Oval Office into the future. The nation is also passing through significant anniversaries of several key scandals—Watergate (40 years in 2014), Iran/Contra (30 years in 2017), and the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal (20 years in 2018)—which presents an opportunity to consider the consequences of these events for the American presidency. Much attention has been given to matters of political ethics, checks-and-balances, and distinguishing public versus private matters, but too little attention has been paid to how scandals drive presidential unilateralism. Students of the presidency agree that unilateral presidential action is more common today than it was even a half-century ago, but not enough attention has been paid to how presidents employ unilateralism in their efforts to remain in office and to govern, and how these efforts (and efforts by their successors) increase unilateralism in the office. This paper will explore these issues and explore the links between contemporary presidential unilateralism and the scandals of recent history.


Name: Matthew Brogdon
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: matthew.s.brogdon@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: University of Texas at San Antonio
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Judges’ Bill, Discretionary Jurisdiction, and Incorporation of the Bill of Rights
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This paper probes the institutional and historical underpinnings of the Supreme Court’s decision to embark on incorporation, the gradual application of the Bill of Rights to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment. Incorporation is one of the most important transformative developments in American constitutionalism and its ideological and doctrinal roots have accordingly been subjected to searching analysis. But this paper charts a different course by taking up the role of institutional structure as a precondition, and perhaps a determinant, of constitutional jurisprudence. Specifically, it considers the provenance and ramifications of the Supreme Court’s discretionary power to decide which cases it will hear on appeal from state courts, a power not enjoyed by the Court until passage of the Judges’ Bill in 1925, so-called because it was drafted and proposed by the justices themselves under the guiding hand of Chief Justice Taft. The analysis focuses particularly on the linkage between passage of the Judges’ Bill and the Court’s decision later the same year in Gitlow v. New York to undertake selective incorporation.


Name: Derefe Chevannes
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: derefe.chevannes@uconn.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: "Situating" the Court: Assessing American JurisprudenceThrough Race & Gender
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The jurisprudential principle of “equal justice under law” is so emblazoned into the structure of American constitutional law that it lines the concrete slabs of the architecture of the Court itself. Indeed, it is not so much the perfect attainment, in all its glory, why the principle still grips the gavel of justice; no doubt, the historical annals bear witness to countless incidents wherein American law, yea—American justice—crumbled before those very words. Be it Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) or Korematsu v. United States (1944), Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) or Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), justice failed to be what it is: just. And so, American constitutional law is at another critical juncture. It must decide how expansive the laws of justice are to be and in so doing, coming to terms with those relegated to the legal margins. Against this backdrop, this paper seeks to limn the constitutional debates concerning the distinctions, apparent in law, between racial and sexual animus and the extent of their legal protections. Moreover, this paper attempts to problematize the very concept of “similarly-situated” as being unresponsive to the plights of the legally disenfranchised and offering instead, an alternative towards the paradigmatic principle of equitable justice. It is my position that the distinctions between race and gender, in their current lopsided legal articulation, should be dissolved away and be fitted, instead, on the same constitutional footing of equal justice under law. Such a footing must be responsive to intersectional concerns encircling race and sex. In a word, the paper attempts to re-situate the epistemic holdings of American juridicality by examining patterns of justice, an analysis that is predicated on an intersectional turn.


Name: Jesse Clark
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: jtclark@MIT.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Beyond the Circle: Measuring District Compactness Using Graph Theory
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Co-author info: Matthew P. Dube, University of Maine at Augusta matthew.dube@maine.edu
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For decades, legislative districts have been drawn with two general mandates, contiguity and compactness. While contiguity is easily discernible, a single accepted measure of district compactness has not been found. Due to the various effects that gerrymandering and noncompact districts have on the aggregation of voter preferences, questions surrounding district compactness have direct implications of representation in democratic theory. Empirical political science has attempted on numerous occasions to formulate a single method by which to measure district compactness. These include various geometric measures such as circularity, convex hulls, and path connectedness, as well as methods that attempt to encompass voter dispersion. The real-world implementation of these compactness measures has been fraught with issues, however. Most apparent among these are natural and state boundaries, which greatly interfere with the implementation of geometric compactness measures. Examples of noncompactness induced by natural boundaries can be seen in the of the coast of Maine and the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, while noncompactness induced by state boundaries can be seen in West Virginia and Louisiana. Further implementation issues may be found in methods that rely on voter dispersion. This is due to the boundaries that are used to collect apportionment data, namely census tracts and blocks. U.S. Census Bureau delineations (tracts, and blocks where applicable) are the spatial granularity by which legislative districts are drawn, and have rigid boundaries. These boundaries not only proscribe the full use of most voter dispersion metrics of compactness, but also lead districts to be naturally conducive to irregular geometry. In this paper, we seek to overcome these geometric issues by using a different discipline of mathematics—graph theory—to formulate a new metric of district compactness. This method utilizes graph partitioning to determine every possible viable legislative district using census delineations, thus finding the redistricting scheme with the smallest average number of census delineations that share a border with a given legislative district. In doing so we formulate a new metric of compactness that is more reflective of the redistricting process, and overcomes traditional issues surrounding natural and state boundaries, disconnects, and population distribution.


Name: Charles Comiskey
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: cmc2@psu.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Penn State University Fayette
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Ford, Carter, and the Politics of Economic Rectitude: My, How Times Have Changed
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This paper examines the interplay among the economic leadership styles of Presidents Ford and Carter, and the external political realities and economic dysfunctions they confronted, and compares their experiences to those of the most recent presidents. It attempts to identify how policy making in the realm of economic policy has changed in the last four decades.


Name: Ross Dardani
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: ross.dardani@uconn.edu
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: University of Connecticut
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Guam as a Ship: Using Critical Race Theory’s Interest-Convergence to Examine the Legal Histories of Citizenship Legislation for Guam
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The initial rulings of the Insular Cases, which establish the constitutional legitimation of U.S. imperialism, were decided 115 years ago, and while the racist values, premises and reasoning that pervade the entire group of opinions that make up this set of rulings have been universally denounced by scholars, judges and lawyers, they remain the seminal decisions influencing U.S. territorial doctrine. The residents of the insular areas, which were initially Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, would be under U.S. control after the Spanish-American War in 1898 but were deemed to be of an inferior race and culture, ineligible for full inclusion in the U.S. polity and unfit to govern themselves with an Anglo-Saxon republican form of government without proper tutelage or indefinite oversight. These cases continue to remain “good” law, preserving Congress’ plenary authority over the current U.S. insular areas - Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands - which are still considered to be “foreign in a domestic sense,” as unincorporated territories. In this paper, I examine archival research of the legal histories (i.e. bills, Congressional hearings and reports, U.S. GAO publications) of citizenship legislation for Guam. Using Derrick Bell’s theory of interest-convergence and Mary Dudziak’s model of the approach found in Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy, I argue that any potential changes in the type of citizenship that applies or is available for Guamanians were drafted or enacted to advance the political, social, economic and/or militarily interests of the United States, and not for a genuine concern and/or sympathy for the well-being and desires of the inhabitants of the territory. I thus hope to provide a counter-narrative to progressive thinking about how citizenship has developed and functions in the United States.


Name: David Dewberry
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: ddewberry@rider.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Rider University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Conceptualizing the American Political Scandal
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Political scandals demonstrate the worst and, paradoxically, the best of democratic ideals. One on hand, there is the accused politician, who has allegedly gone astray, and transgressed the line between what is deemed appropriate and inappropriate. On the other hand, it is a vigorous press corps, protected by the First Amendment that publicizes the alleged transgression. Then, there is an investigation by the government and, if warranted, a trial. Ultimately, the accused is either redeemed or removed from office by force of law or via resignation. The expunging of the accused demonstrates how the democratic system is fallible but able to redeem itself. In essence, the system that creates the conditions for scandals is the very same system that rectifies scandals. This is a broad characterization of political scandals, and the purpose of this paper is to bring a holistic and in depth understanding and explanation of political scandals by identifying the major concepts of what makes a political scandal in American politics through a rhetorical lens.


Name: Brian DiSarro
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: brian.disarro@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: California State University, Sacramento
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Minority Rights at the Supreme Court: Why Do LGBT Rights Claims Fare Better?
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This study examines Supreme Court decisions related to minority rights and the variety of constitutional doctrines that the Court uses to decide those cases. At the heart of this study is the puzzle of why LGBT rights seem to fare better at the Court than racial and ethnic minority rights. Since 1996, LGBT rights advocates have enjoyed a string of victories in the Romer, Lawrence, Windsor, and Obergefell cases. These decisions limited the ability of voters to curtail discrimination protections, struck down sodomy laws, eliminated DOMA, and established a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, the Court has also handed down a series of decisions which struck down school desegregation plans, upheld Voter ID laws, limited the reach of the Voting Rights Act, and cast doubt on the future of affirmative action. In some instances, the same doctrines that commanded a majority on the Court to advance LGBT rights were relegated to dissents when dealing with other groups. This study examines that disconnect and the reasons behind it.


Name: Alexandra Fee
Section: American Political Thought
Professional Email: alfee91@gmail.com
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Institution: Boston College
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: An Appeal to the Common Good: Pope Francis's Speech to Congress
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This paper analyzes Pope Francis’s view of politics, particularly politics in the United States. Beginning with his speech before a special joint session of Congress on September 24, 2015, this paper explores many of the themes the Pope introduces in this speech, and compares those themes to those in other works he has published since being elected Pontiff in 2013. Then, this paper applies what he has said about contemporary American politics with the analysis of other scholars of American politics. Ultimately, I find that the Pope is aware of problems in the United States, but hopes to present a positive alternative to address what he identifies as the contemporary world’s ills.


Name: Philip Grant
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: amdgrant@earthlink.net
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Pace University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: The Democratic Party and Congressional Committee Chairmen, 2007-2014
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The purpose of this paper will be to provide a scholarly account of the influence wielded by Democratic committee chairmen between 2007 and 2014. The Democratic Party controlled the Senate for the eight years following 2006 and dominated the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2010. The Democrats and their respective committee chairmanships were Barbara Mikulski of Maryland (Appropriations, 2010-2014), Joseph F. Biden of Delaware (Foreign Relations, 2007-2008), Robert Menendez of New Jersey (Foreign Relations, 2013-2014), Charles E. Schumer of New York (Rules and Administration, 2007-2014), Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut (Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, 2007-2010), Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts (Health, Education, Labor,and Pensions, 2007-2009), John F. Kerry (Foreign Relations. 2009-2012), and Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont (Judiciary, 2007-2014) and Representatives Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania (House Administration, 2007-2010), Louise M. Slaughter of New York (Rules, 2007-2010), and Barney Frank of Massachusetts (Financial Affairs, 2007-2010).


Name: Sara Grove
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: sagrov@ship.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Shippensburg University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Giving Away the Farm? Competing Interests and the 2014 Farm Bill
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Subsidies for agriculture extend as far back the Virginia Colony in the 1620s. Since the 1930s, Congress has considered subsidies for agriculture every five years when it debates the “Farm Bill.” With bipartisan support, Congress passed the Agriculture Act of 2014 after a long delay and significant compromise. This paper examines the evolution of this iteration of the “Farm Bill” by looking at the initial proposal and evaluating its evolution to the nearly 1000-page document that will govern U.S. food policy for the next five years. In this evaluation, the research considers the competing interests that affected the passage of the 2014 legislation through an analysis of the interactions of members of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee and the House Agriculture Committee with stakeholders, including insurance companies, farmers, and advocates for food security programs. In addition to reviewing testimony, the paper will look at campaign contributions to key members of Congress who played critical roles in the passage of the compromise bill and assess their impact.  


Name: Evan Haglund
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: evan.t.haglund@uscga.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: US Coast Guard Academy
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Strategically Empty? Vacancies and Nomination Delay in Presidential Appointments
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As of January 1, 2016, there were 8 presidentially appointed, Senate confirmed (PAS) inspector general positions vacant, with one such position going unfilled for more than 6 years. Some estimates suggest that such PAS positions do not have confirmed appointees for almost 25% of an administration. Scholars and journalists track how the current president’s pace of nominations and confirmations compares to predecessors and debate about who is to blame for the slow pace of appointments and lingering vacancies. Given political, journalistic, and scholarly attention to vacancies and the potentially long-lasting damage done to governing capacity, why do some Senate-confirmed positions remain unfilled for years and even across administrations and multiple terms of the same administration? While recent work on presidential appointments has focused on how presidents use appointees to control the bureaucracy and the detrimental effects of extended vacancies in appointed positions on agency performance, we know little about whether presidents might purposefully leave some positions such as inspectors general vacant for extended periods. By studying three relatively understudied groups of presidentially appointed, Senate confirmed appointees--inspectors general, ambassadors, and United States Attorneys--I evaluate whether presidents leave positions strategically vacant when the search costs to find nominees are high, when there is uncertainty about positions' potential policy or political benefits, or when presidents are unwilling to settle for the uncertain performance of less qualified appointees.


Name: Adam Hoffman
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: AHHOFFMAN@SALISBURY.EDU
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: SALISBURY UNIVERSITY
Scheduling Preference: Friday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Exploring the Revolving Door - The financial rewards of serving in Congress
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It has been fairly well established as to the growing number of congressional members who pass through the “revolving door,” to take lucrative positions as lobbyists once they leave Congress. Do some representatives see their time served in Congress as an investment opportunity for future employment opportunities, made available to them by former campaign donors, interest groups and lobby firms? This project examines the factors that lead members of Congress to enter the world of corporate lobbying once they leave office. Looking at such variables pro-business voting record, campaign contributions, as well as other district-level and personal factors, I seek to discover whether there is a relationship between members’ congressional and electoral behavior and their financial upward mobility through the “revolving door.” As former members of Congress pass through the revolving door, securing employment in the firms that once lobbied them, questions arise as to whether their policy decisions are influenced by what they perceive as future employment prospects.


Name: Jennifer Jacobson
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: star1641@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
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Paper Title: New Kid on the Block: Examining the Freshman Effect on the United States Courts of Appeals
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Over the years many studies have shown there are differences in the behavior of judges based on their length of of tenure on the bench, and hence, have concluded there is a so-called freshman effect when it comes to the decisions judges make. In particular, studies have shown that freshmen judges at all levels of the federal judiciary differ in their behavior when it comes to workload and the variability of the decisions they make. This study attempts to further the existing literature on the existence of a freshman effect by examining whether or not freshmen judges on the United States Courts of Appeals are more or less likely to be responsive to changing Supreme Court precedent than their more senior colleagues. Using data that examines circuit court decisions in the area of the Establishment Clause from 1971-1995, preliminary results show there are few differences in how freshmen judges and their more senior colleagues treat changing Supreme Court precedent.


Name: Natalie Johnson
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: natkapur@gmail.com
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Francis Marion University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Gendered Focus: Supreme Court Decision Making in the 21st Century
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How much does gender make a different in court decisions? We know from literature on electoral politics that gender makes a difference in both decision-making and the types of policies politicians forward, but to what extent does this behavior extend to the judges who are supposed to be neutral arbiters of the law? To answer that question, this paper examines family law decisions from 1981 until 2015 to discover what, if any, the impact of gender is on the decision-making of the female judges. Questions to be answered include: do female judges decide cases in favor of women compared to their male colleagues? If a woman authors the majority opinion does this increase the likelihood of concurring opinions?


Name: John Kilwein
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: jkilwein@wvu.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: West Virginia University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Morning
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Paper Title: Evaluating Presidential Policy Tools: The Case of Native American Policy, Eisenhower to Obama
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Co-author info: Michael E. Thunberg, West Virginia University, ABD, michael.e.thunberg@gmail.com
Co-presenter info: Michael E. Thunberg, West Virginia University, ABD, michael.e.thunberg@gmail.com
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The exercise of presidential power comes in many forms including proclamations (Rottinghaus & Maier 2007), memoranda (Lowande 2014), executive orders (Cooper 2014), signing statements (Ostrander & Sievert 2012), and the mobilization of the public (Kernell 2006). Presidents often utilize a combination of these tools to accomplish their goals, but a significant gap exists in our understanding of how these powers are synthesized to produce a president’s policy outcomes. Utilizing data from the American Presidency Project, this study examines a combination of proclamations, memoranda, executive orders, signing statements, and public statements from President Eisenhower through Obama to better understand their use in shaping presidential Native American policy. We choose Native American policy as the empirical focus of our analysis because while presidents play an important role in shaping this policy area, and anecdotal evidence suggests that there is significant variation among presidents in this area, the political science literature has largely ignored both the president’s ability to shape the interaction between the federal government and Native Americans, and how those policies vary by administration. The paper proceeds in three major parts. First, we provide an overview of these particular tools available to the president to shape policy. Next, we collect and analyze the content of the tools used by each president to trace evolving presidential Native American policy since President Eisenhower. Finally, we turn to taking the first steps in developing a general framework to study how presidents utilize these particular tools of the presidency to accomplish their policy goals. Bibliography Canes-Wrone, Brandice. 2010. Who leads whom?: presidents, policy, and the public. University of Chicago Press. Edwards III, George C. 2009. The strategic president: Persuasion and opportunity in presidential leadership. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Eshbaugh-Soha, Matthew, and Jeffrey Peake. 2001. Breaking through the noise: Presidential leadership, public opinion, and the news media. Stanford University Press. Eshbaugh‐Soha, Matthew. 2010. "How Policy Conditions the Impact of Presidential Speeches on Legislative Success*." Social Science Quarterly 91(2): 415-435. Kernell, Samuel. 2006. Going Public. Washington D.C.: CQ Press Olds, Christopher. 2013. "Assessing presidential agenda-setting capacity: dynamic comparisons of presidential, mass media, and public attention to economic issues." Congress & the Presidency. 40(3): Gelman, Jeremy, Gilad Wilkenfeld, and E. Scott Adler. 2015. "The Opportunistic President: How US Presidents Determine Their Legislative Programs." Legislative Studies Quarterly 40(3): 363-390. Rottinghaus, Brandon and Jason Maier. 2007. “The Power of Decree: Presidential Use of Executive Proclamations, 1977-2005.” Political Research Quarterly. 60(2): 338-43. Rottinghaus, Brandon, and Adam L. Warber. 2015. "Unilateral Orders as Constituency Outreach: Executive Orders, Proclamations, and the Public Presidency." Presidential Studies Quarterly 45(2): 289-309. Ahlquist, John S., and Margaret Levi. "Leadership: What it means, what it does, and what we want to know about it." Annual Review of Political Science 14 (2011): 1-24. Rottinghaus, Brandon. The provisional pulpit: modern presidential leadership of public opinion. Texas A&M University Press, 2010. Ostrander, Ian, and Joel Sievert. "The Logic of Presidential Signing Statements." Political Research Quarterly (2012): 1065912911434357. Rottinghaus, Brandon. "Strategic leaders: Determining successful presidential opinion leadership tactics through public appeals." Political Communication 26.3 (2009): 296-316.


Name: Michael Korzi
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: mkorzi@towson.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Towson University
Scheduling Preference: Friday Afternoon
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: “One Who So Lightly Regards Constitutional Principles”: William Howard Taft and the Rooseveltian Threat of 1912
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This paper looks at Theodore Roosevelt’s run for the presidency in 1912, but from the perspective of sitting president, and electoral opponent, William Howard Taft. When scholars turn to the election of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt—and Woodrow Wilson, to a lesser extent—consumes most of their attention. Partly this is deserved, given the excitement of TR’s third-party run and Taft’s dreadful distant-third-place finish. And, yet, Taft’s strong opposition to Roosevelt is instructive, as it brings his theory of the presidency—and TR’s threat to this vision of leadership—into sharp relief. Taft’s resistance to Roosevelt’s run for a third term in 1912 is highlighted in three major sections. The first section focuses on Taft’s decision to oppose TR for the Republican nomination in 1912 and, in particular, addresses his speechmaking during the primaries in the spring of 1912. It was unprecedented for a sitting president to campaign for renomination, but for Taft, Roosevelt’s threat was so grave that breaking with precedent was necessary. The second section examines Taft’s limited, but important, involvement in the general election of 1912, especially through his letter accepting renomination. The third section examines the arguments made by Taft surrogates in the general election. While Taft largely remained on the sidelines, key supporters and allies took Taft’s case against Roosevelt to the public. A final concluding section articulates the main components of Taft’s theory of presidential leadership, illustrating the key contrasts with TR’s view. While the modern presidency would come to be embodied by TR’s vision and not Taft’s, Taft’s theory aids in highlighting the drawbacks and problems which accompany the Roosevelt theory.


Name: Jason Mycoff
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: mycoff@udel.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: University of Delaware
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Diversity in Senate Committees
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We know very little about diversity in the US Senate. In this paper I explore diversity in Senate committee membership. I first examine diversity through the lens of Scott Page’s theory of diversity (2007). Page’s theory is that diversity, defined as a group of individuals with a broad set of problem solving skills and approaches to problem solving, creates better groups, firms, schools and societies. I apply Page’s theory to Senate committees to test whether more diverse Senate committees are better. Better is a subjective term, but Senators, who proudly call the Senate the greatest deliberative body on Earth, provide a way to observe which legislation the membership treats most seriously—through its deliberation. I hypothesize that legislation considered by more diverse committees will receive more deliberation on the Senate floor because more diverse committees have the tools necessary to more often tackle more serious problems and develop solutions that better satisfy the Senate floor. I examine data on all bills originating in the Senate, reported by Senate committees and passed on the Senate floor from the 103rd through the 112th Congresses. Applying Page’s (2007) theory to the US Senate I come to two important conclusions. First, there is more diversity across Senate committees when considering both demographic characteristics and professional experience, rather than demographics alone. While committees like the Committee on the Judiciary largely featured a membership lineup almost entirely consisting of white men who shared very similar religions and professional experiences other committees like the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs exhibited a much more diverse roster with men, women, racial minorities, and varying professional experiences during the period under study. Second, I find that more diverse committees are more likely than more homogenous committees to produce legislation that will receive more deliberation on the Senate floor including lengthier debate and more amendments. Using multilevel models that account for Congress and committee effects, and controlling for various indicators like ideology, party identification and trivial bill content, diversity in Senate committees has a statistically significant effect on whether a bill will receive lengthy consideration on the floor or be passed the same day it emerges from committee, whether a bill will face a floor amendment, how long a bill will remain on the calendar and how long the Senate takes to pass a bill. I conclude that diversity plays an important and previously unstudied part in a committee’s ability to produce legislation that receives more deliberate consideration on the floor.


Name: Eunseong Oh
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: remnantalice@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Minorities within Minorities and Judicialization: Defectors’ Group and Individual Rights in Divided Korea and Germany
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The Constitution of South Korea recognizes North Koreans defectors as South Korean citizens. These defectors now number approximately 30,000 persons and constitute a distinct political minority within South Korean society, receiving special protections and benefits from the state. Yet in recent years, official policy towards these defectors has changed from one of welcoming them to one of discouraging defections. A gradual transformation in demographic, socioeconomic, and gender composition has taken place within the community, and more importantly, they have retained the inequalities and internal conflicts they carried with them from the North. In this paper, I place this émigré community’s politics within the context of “minorities within minorities” studies in order to examine the internal discrimination against members by a majority within the minority community, and also internal conflicts mostly ignored in favor of an argument for multiculturalism. In doing so, the case of North Korean defectors will be compared to citizenship laws in the two Germanys during the Cold War. The relevant constitutional and political environment from 1949 to 1990 there was similar to that of South and North Korea today – in particular, West Germany’s policy of recognizing East Germans defectors as West German citizens. By examining the interaction between “the politics of enmity” in liberal-democratic societies and the reliance on constitutional courts to resolve the citizenship status of defectors, I will demonstrate how political minorities are demarcated in these divided “nations” and explain what new or compounding issues the judicialization of politics introduces to the contemporary dynamics of this particular minority within a minority.


Name: Lisa Parshall
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: lparshal@daemen.edu
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Daemen College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
Participation Type: Panelist
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Paper Title: Presidential Nominating Reform Post-2016: The Ship Goes Down with the Captain
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Modern presidential nominations have come to follow a relatively standards script in which an increasingly front-loaded nominating calendar narrows the field and produces a presumptive nominee well before the voters in most states have had the chance to go to the polls. The 2016 cycle has deviated from this script in unanticipated ways. On the Democratic side, the coronation of the early and dominant front-runner turned into an unexpectedly protracted contest between Clinton and Sanders in which late-voting states like California and New Jersey played a relevant role. The Democratic contest once again raised questions about the role of the super-delegates and the legitimacy of party insiders determining the nomination. On the Republican side, the overcrowded field and post-2012 calendar and delegate allocation changes combined to make the usually idle speculation of a brokered convention seemingly plausible for a time. In the end, however, the winnowing process worked as usual to force trailing candidates out of the race allowing a front-runner to secure a majority of the delegates well before the final nominating contests had taken place. While closer to the expected script in the mechanics of securing a presumptive nominee, the GOP nomination did, however, deviate in one spectacular regard: the standard bearer selected by the nominating process has badly fractured the Republican Party. As an anti-establishment, insurgent candidate, Trump secured his path to the nomination with the plurality support of a surge of Republican voters who do not normally participate in the primary process and against the preferences of the party elite who now face the difficult prospect of embracing or rejecting their Party’s nominee. The 2016 Republican nomination thus renders the contemporary debate over “Who Decides” nominations a normative as well as an empirical question. Even as the Democratic race challenged the undemocratic role of the super-delegates, the Republican contest suggests the need for an elite check on the party-in-the-electorate. As in previous cycles, it is anticipated that both Parties will revise their nominating processes in light of the most recent cycle and the outcome of the General Election. This paper will review the 2016 nominations in light of adjustments to the 2012 rules and with a particular emphasis on GOP nominating reforms moving forward. How might the nomination of a standard bearer feared to bring down the Party shake up the nominating process and the tendency of the Parties to engage in only marginal nominating reform?


Name: Mishella Romo
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: mromor4@gmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Montclair State University
Scheduling Preference: Saturday Morning
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Governability, Judicial Power, and Legitimacy in Hybrid Regimes: The Case of Venezuela
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Since the third wave of democracy in Latin America, core concepts regarding democratization and institutions such as legitimacy have been examined in a dual context, particularly focusing on the executive and legislative branches. The political impact of courts in Latin America has come second to research developments in presidentialism, and legislative gridlock. With the resilience of populist and hybrid regimes and their strategic influence over the high court, understanding the role and legitimacy of such institution in the region is crucial. This paper argues that although the court is not independent and is therefore institutionally impoverished in such governments, it is nonetheless a central and legitimate actor in governability. To evidence this claim, this paper will examine the two rulings of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia in Venezuela which barred elected leaders from legislating after the 2015 legislative elections, and the constitutional approval of a decree in 2016 in which the president's power was significantly expanded when claiming that Venezuela was in a "state of exception." These cases will show how the court is a conditionally empowered actor that serves as an instrument of process which: enjoys compliance in a polarized society, significantly shapes the political order, and ultimately legitimates the hybrid regime's policies. The purpose of this research is to underscore that the possibility of the court's defection from the paradoxical executive influence over it is unlikely given the lack of attention in scholarship on how judicial power and legitimacy in hybrid regimes can be studied in order to discern strategic avenues for the building institutional independence.


Name: Joshua Sandman
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: jsandman@newhaven.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: University of New Haven
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Paper Title: Delegitimization or Contending With a Personalized and Politically Contentious Presidential Office: Which Way has the Presidency Gone?
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At the just passed NEPSA Conference a panel audience member commented that the contemporary presidency has been delegitimized as a political and ideological tactic and that we should look elsewhere for national leadership. I explore this comment. I suggest that the presidency has actually not been delegitimized. Rather, we are in an era of more contentious political and ideological conflict and a "personalized presidency" where political skills and personality attributes determine presidential effectiveness in the political arena. I study the modern presidency (FDR to Obama) and identify four categories of presidential leadership based on a "one of us" presidential persona and applied political skills. I indicate which presidents are placed in which different categories and the reasons for their placement. I show that personality and skill factors can mitigate a politically challenged presidency.


Name: Alton Slane
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: slane@muhlenberg.edu
Professional Status: Full Professor
Institution: Muhlenberg College
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Satellite-Based Monitoring (SBM) of Recidivist Sex Offenders and Fourth Amendment Issues
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Does Satellite- Based Monitoring of recidivist sex offenders constitute a violation of a person's privacy in terms of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution? The United States Supreme Court in Grady v. North Carolina ( 2015) addressed this question and concluded that a search did occur but remanded the case to the North Carolina court system to determine whether such a search is reasonable based on the totality of the circumstances. What are the possible justifications that can be used to support such a monitoring program? And will they be in alignment with the demands of the Fourth Amendment?


Name: Anthony Spanakos
Section: Comparative Politics
Professional Email: spanakos@gmail.com
Professional Status: Associate Professor
Institution: Montclair State University
Scheduling Preference: Thursday Afternoon
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Paper Title: Constitutional and Democratic Politics Revisited: Understanding Political Change in Brazil and Venezuela
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Panel Description: I would like to be included in the same panel as my students, Mishella Romo and Eunseong Oh, who have or are submitting separate papers examining judicial politics.Thanks so muchTony
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The 1988 Constitution of Brazil and the 1998 Constitution of Venezuela are very different, were drafted in very different circumstances, by different political actors with very different concerns and goals. Since the promulgation of the constitutions, important political actors in both countries have participated in what other political actors have called coups and impeachments. The tendency is for scholars to think of the former as being extra-constitutional and the latter as thoroughly constitutional. But to do so is to think of constitutional politics as being bound by the written constitution. If the constitution is seen as the product of constituting politics, the line between coup and impeachment is less clear, particularly if one understands politics to be re-constituted at periodic intervals or through regular quotidian struggles. This paper argues that understanding ‘interruptions’ in presidential administrations needs be understood through the lens of different ways of understanding constitutionality. This will be demonstrated by comparing the impeachment of Fernando Henrique Collor de Mello 1992, impeachment process and/or coup against Dilma Rousseff in 2016 (both in Brazil) and the impeachment of Carlos Andrés Pérez in 1993, the coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002, and the oppositional politics in Venezuela from 2014-2016 (all in Venezuela).


Name: Eric Svensen
Section: Congress, Presidency, & the Courts
Professional Email: eps007@shsu.edu
Professional Status: Assistant Professor
Institution: Sam Houston State University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
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Paper Title: Remapping American Political Ideology
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In recent years, scholars have relied heavily on roll call votes to create measures of party ideology. While these approaches have provided important insight into our understanding of elite-level behavior, can we be certain that the scores widely used in the profession actually measure ideology? Because all roll calls are used to create these measures, interpreting these results as an accurate measure of ideology is questionable. Furthermore, because the scores we use occur within our parochial political system, it is even questionable if our definitions of conservative and liberal are even accurate. To correct for this, I argue two points. First, whatever data one relies on to assess ideology, one needs to compare this data against true ideological positions. In this study, we use the extreme ideological positions of Marx (Authoritarian role of the state in economic and social life) and Herbert Spencer/Fredrick Bastiat (Minimal or nonexistent role of the state n economic and social life) as our anchors. Second, rather than rely on all roll call votes, I exclusively use economic and social roll call votes to create a two-dimensional updating of congressional ideology. Early results suggest that both parties are not necessarily as ideologically extreme as scholars and the public contend.


Name: Yile Zhang
Section: Parties, Interest Groups, Social Movements, & Electoral Behavior
Professional Email: childeyi@hotmail.com
Professional Status: Graduate Student
Institution: Department of Politics, New York University
Scheduling Preference: No Preference
Proposal Type: Paper
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Paper Title: Why the CCP Cares about Amending the Constitution?
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This paper looks into reasons why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cares about amending the Constitution. This paper first reviews several mechanisms that have impact on changes of parties in the liberal democratic system. They change their platforms and amend constitutions under the pressure of election motivation, party competition and/ or the urge from their constituents. However, for the dominant party in the single-party system, pressures mentioned above do not make sense. To explore the reason why the CCP has adopted four versions of Constitution (1954, 1975, 1978, 1982) as well as four times of Amendment (1988, 1993, 1999, 2004) in less than 70 years, which could be considered very frequently, this paper analyzes historical, social and political backgrounds of these amendments. In contrast to the conventional opinion treating Constitutions in non-democratic countries as a window-dressing thing, this paper finds out that the CCP has essentially three purposes in amending the Constitution: first, passing on parties’ platform to all party members; second, sending positive signals to the global community to win the political (other than economic) recognition of the world; third, adopting the party itself to the political transformations to claim the legitimacy of its rule.