Cultural Cognition Project Lab:
With members of the Cultural Cognition Project, I am researching how cultural worldviews impact perceptions of legally consequential facts; and how cultural worldviews impact decisionmakers applying legal standards designed to guarantee neutrality. We are also researching debiasing methods: techniques to make decisionmakers more open to objectively crediting or considering evidence and interpretations of the law that are threatening to their cultural predispositions.
'They Saw a Protest': Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech Conduct Distinction: Investigating how subjects' perception and application of neutral constitutional principles - in evaluating a protest as dangerous conduct or protected expression - varied depending upon the congeniality of the subjects' worldviews with the protestors' message.
Self-Affirmations and Debiasing: Studying whether and in what scenarios affirming personal values reduces biased processing - ideologically motivated reluctance to objectively consider or value threatening evidence or behavior. Also investigating the impact of self perceived objectivity on biased processing.
Judicial Opinion Humility: Examining how elements in the tone and tenor of judicial opinons (such as humility - acknowledging the difficulty of a decision and openly considering counter arguments) impact perceived legitimacy of opinions and depolarize subjects who are inclined to disagree with the outcome.
Cultural Cognition and Statutory Interpretation: Investigating the interaction between cultural worldviews and interpretation of statutes, including 'plain meaning' and the use of canons of construction or interpretive methods.
Other law-related activities and research interests:
Student Director, Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic
Research: Civil Rights, Equal Protection, Administrative law, Federal Courts, and Procedure
Magna Carta and Sovereign Immunity: Strained Bedfellows in Magna Carta and the Rule of Law (Daniel B. Magraw & F. William Brownell, eds.) (forthcoming July 2014) (with Judge Diane P. Wood)
What Would Congress Want? If We Want to Know, Why Not Ask? 81 U. Cincinnati L. Rev. 1191 (2013)
The “Nixon Sabotage”: The Political Origins of the Equal Protection Challenge to the Voting Rights Act, 33 B.C.J.L. & Soc. Just. 325 (2013)
Imagining a Same Sex Marriage Decision Based on Dignity: Considering Human Experience in Constitutional Law, 37 N.Y.U. Rev. of L. & Soc. Change 251 (2013)
‘They Saw a Protest’: Cognitive Illiberalism and the Speech-Conduct Distinction, 64 Stan. L. Rev. 851 (2012) (with Dan Kahan, David Hoffman, Donald Braman, & Jeffrey Rachlinski)
Concrete Private Interest in Regulatory Enforcement: Tradable Environmental Rights as a Basis
for Standing, 29 Yale J. on Reg. 201 (2012)