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Undergraduate Research Spotlight

Fall 2020

State or Trait? Supreme Court Justice Behavior and Implications of Election 2020Andrew Millman UR Spotlight

No question, stakes are high as we head into the upcoming presidential election. Andrew Millman (FCRH '21, Political Science), funded by a FCRH summer grant, offers a fascinating analysis of the supreme court judges' behavior and how things may not be what they seem and why. The conservative bloc of the Supreme Court is fractured in its positions on a range of important issues facing the Court, as demonstrated by recent decision such as Bostock v. Clayton and McGirt v. Oklahoma. Sometimes, the Chief Justice is the swing vote on cases, both other times its Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch or another justice. Under the mentorship of Professor Robert Hume, Andrew's project seeks to understand in what circumstances justices deviate from their expected judicial behavior through a study of their opinion-writing and joining-patterns and to test whether these deviations can be explained through aspects of a justice’s social background that deviate from their colleagues’ backgrounds. It is no longer the case, as when Justice Kennedy was on the court, that one conservative is almost uniformly more moderate than their colleagues, but now it really depends on the issue before the court in each case. With undergraduate research charging back, we can't wait to learn more about the implications of this important work!

The Scope and Impact of Undergraduate Research

Each month, Fordham College at Rose Hill is proud to share highlights from our thriving undergraduate research program. Our students are actively involved in faculty-mentored research across disciplines, participating in a range of activities including utilizing state of the art equipment in our labs, meeting with patients in medical settings, spending time in the community interviewing and surveying members to achieve a greater understanding of historical and contemporary questions, reviewing source data in New York City and even around the world, as well as collecting specimens in the field for our many projects based in environmental settings. Excitingly, our students' contributions have considerable impact in their respective fields and to their professional development.