The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Paul Collins, legal studies and political science, comments about hearings being held by the U.S. Senate on enacting a code of ethical conduct for the U.S. Supreme Court to operate under. Chief Justice John Roberts has communicated to the senator leading the headings via letters, providing a nonbinding “Statement on Ethics Principles and Practices,” but Collins says, “Absent a code of conduct there’s no way to enforce the disclosure of any of this information because the justices are basically enforcing it themselves.” (KatuKOKH, WPEC [West Palm Beach, Fla.], KMPH [Fresno, Calif.], KBFX [Bakersfield, Calif.], 5/3/23)  (EL PAÍS [Spain], 5/6/23; non-paywalled English translation viewable at The Limited Times).


Jesse Rhodes, political science, is scheduled to participate in the American Bar Association’s Law Day 2023 event in Northampton on May 4. The topic for the event is “Voting Rights Are Human Rights,”  and features Smith College Professor Carrie Baker, University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Jesse Rhodes and a performance by students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School’s mock trial team. (Greenfield Recorder)

There has been more coverage of Jamie Rowen and Tami S. Rowen’s article on the Supreme Court and Mifepristone access. Jamie Rowen, legal studies and political science, and her sister, Tami Rowen, an obstetrician and gynecologist in San Francisco, answer questions about what the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest ruling on the abortion pill mifepristone means immediately and for medical care going forward. The original article can be found here. (Yahoo NewsNew Haven RegisterSFGateHouston ChroniclePennLiveTrue MedianPhil's Stock WorldThe Herald-PressDetroit Legal News)

Sindiso MnisiWeeks, legal studies, has published a piece for I-CONnect, the blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, following her attendance of the Peopling Constitutional Law symposium. The post discusses possibilities for decolonizing constitutional law. (I-CONnect)

Lauren McCarthy and Doug Rice, along with co-author Aleks Lokhmutov from the organization OVD-Info have published a new article on Russia's wartime repression. 
(Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, Volume 31, Number 2, Spring 2023, Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University)

Kira Tait (PhD '21) has accepted a job at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the Politics Department.  She'll be starting in Fall 2023 after a year of teaching at University of San Diego.  You can email your congratulations to Kira at

Sindiso MnisiWeeks, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science, has won a Chancellor’s Leadership Fellowship for 2023-24.  The CLF program seeks to cultivate future campus leaders by offering a half-time, one-year temporary appointment to an administrative area on campus and providing mentoring from the leader of the host unit. In addition, fellows are expected to launch a significant program during their fellowship year. 

Paul Collins, professor of legal studies and political science, appeared on “Talking Politics” to discuss a proposal by a group of elected officials, including Massachusetts Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, to make changes affecting the U.S. Supreme Court, including increasing its size. Collins says increasing the size of the Court creates a “tit for tat” strategy in which there’s a push for more justices each time control of Congress or the Court changes. He says the best solution would be to institute staggered 18-year terms. (GBH, 4/28/23)

There is continued coverage of a recent UMass Poll that asked respondents if inmates serving sentences for felonies should be given the right to vote. (Boston Herald, 4/28/23; The Eagle-Tribune [North Andover], 4/30/23; News Office release )  (WBUR Boston, 4/28/23; Florida Politics, 4/27/23; News Office releases)


Fellows with the UMass Poll, Adam Eichen, Political Science PhD Candidate, and Maddi Hertz, lecturer for DACSS, wrote a letter to the editor in the Boston Globe refuting a recent Jeff Jacoby op-ed on felon disenfranchisement.  In the letter, Adam and Maddi cited Jacoby's failure to cite recent and relevant UMass Poll data that shows that close to a majority of the state (49%) support the provision of voting rights to those who are currently incarcerated. (Boston Globe, 4/24/23)