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Michael Meltsner, pioneering civil rights lawyer and Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, delivered the 13th annual Alfange Lecture at UMass Amherst on September 28, 2017. A copy of his lecture, entitled “Degradation Ceremonies: Constitutional and Statutory Limits of the Punishment After Punishment,” may be found here.

Paul Musgrave, political science, is co-author of a column in The Washington Post that talks about how popular culture seen in television shows and movies can affect the perceptions of the public and influence how they view the world and the political system.

Sheldon Goldman, political science, says President Donald J. Trump has been successful in getting many of his choices for federal judges approved by the U.S. Senate, but it will be more difficult to get highly controversial picks confirmed during his second year in office.

A news analysis of President Donald J. Trump’s disparaging comments about why we should stop admitting immigrants from some countries he doesn’t like includes mention of a study co-authored by Brian F. Schaffner and Tatishe M. Nteta, political science, that found that racism was a powerful predictor of whether a person was likely to vote for Trump in the 2016 election.

Jesse H. Rhodes, political science, writes a column in The Washington Post where he argues that Republicans in Congress along with Republican presidential administrations since the 1960s have appeared to support the Voting Rights Act, but have used a variety of methods to undermine its intent and application.

Sheldon Goldman, political science, says the rapid pace of U.S. Senate confirmations of federal judicial nominees is likely to continue despite a few failed nominations. 

A commentary by Paul Musgrave, political science, says President Donald J. Trump’s behavior and frequent outbursts on various issues are not part of a master plan. Instead, he says, the president’s actions “appear angry and impulsive because Trump is angry and impulsive.” 

In a new report co-authored for the Brookings Institute, Ray La Raja, political science says parties should vet candidates before primary ballots are printed.

Professor Musgrave, political science, says new sanctions imposed on North Korea aren't likely to harm sensitive parts of the regime. He is also the co-author of an analysis of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative in Asia and Africa.

Nicholas Xenos, professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, has been awarded a grant of $225,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a Sawyer Seminar entitled “The Universal Basic Income: History and Theory of a Utopian Desire.”

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