University of Massachusetts Amherst

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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) 

Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science, says he expects the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Collins predicts the six conservative justices will be against the program and the three liberal justices will in favor. “The Supreme Court is an incredibly ideological and partisan institution in 2023 — perhaps more so than at any other point in American history,” Collins says. (CNBC, 4/22/23)

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 Herald-Press [Indiana], Phil’s StockWorld, 4/24/23; both via The Conversation)

Sindiso Mnisi Weeks, Associate Professor of 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 expands on Mnisi Weeks's fall 2023 Four @ Four presentation and discusses possibilities for decolonizing constitutional law. (I-CONect, 4/23/24)

Andrew March, Professor of Political Science, is quoted in a profile of Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s main opposition party and an ardent critic of President Kaid Saied, who has been ordered to be imprisoned pending trial on charges of incitement against state authorities. March says Ghannouchi drew inspiration from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, as well as from Tunisian thinkers and regional philosophers such as Algerian Malik Bennabi. “Ghannouchi’s ideology cannot be simply limited to the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is to a large extent because of Bennabi, who had a wider understanding of the concept of civilization – one that was not exclusive to Islam but that included other religions and cultures,” he says. (Al Jazeera, 4/20/23)

Signe Predmore has published an article, "Inclusion vs. Co-optation? Navigating recruitment as a Gender Diversity Candidate in Finance," in the journal New Political Economy.  The article draws from her immersive and interview-based dissertation research to examine the everyday politics of co-optation in gender diversity initiatives in the financial sector. (New Political Economy)

Seth Goldman, communication, Tatishe Nteta, political science, and Linda Tropp, psychological and brain sciences, will receive a seed grant for their project, “Understanding Change in How People of Color Respond to Narratives of Rising Diversity” from the UMass Amherst Institute of Diversity Sciences. Read More >

Kelsey Shoub, Public Policy, is the team leader of a 2023 PIT @UMass Faculty Fellows project with Jamie Rowen, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science; Youngmin Yi, sociology; and Cindy Xiong, CICS. Their winning project to address public interest technology challenges is "What Counts Count? How Information about Racial Disparities Informs the Public’s Evaluations of District Attorneys." Read More.

Raymond La Raja, Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the UMass Amherst Poll, is quoted in articles examining the increase in donations Rep. Matt Gaetz received following his blockade of Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s campaign for Speaker of the House, and how the absence of lawmakers due to health issues highlights the challenges facing slim Senate majorities. “If it’s a longer-term thing, they should be obligated to say,” he says. “If it’s short term, they're going in for an operation, you don’t have to say much about that. The public should know about somebody’s health. Fetterman is doing the right thing.” (USA Today,, The National Desk, 4/17/23)