Lucas McMillan

Office hours
Spring 2017: Mondays & Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 11:00 am

I am a lecturer in American Politics for the Division of Politics, Philosophy and Public Affairs.  My areas of expertise in research and teaching focus on judicial behavior, selection processes for federal and state judges, civil rights and liberties, and constitutional interpretation on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Current Research

My current research explores the use of originalism on the U.S. Supreme Court.  I do so by empirically measuring the frequency of originalist language in roughly 6,000 majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions written in every constitutional case decided since 1968.  More importantly, I attempt to show that even though legal and political commentators over the last several decades propose that certain justices espousing originalism have had a significant impact on the Supreme Court's constitutional jurisprudence, an empirical analysis of their actual opinion writing may suggest otherwise.  This also contributes to our understanding on the legacy left by several U.S. presidents and their attempts to entrench on the Court a philosophy of constitutional originalism.


Similar to my research, my approach to teaching relies on the regime politics idea that institutions and actors do not operate in a political vacuum, and the best way to understand different behaviors, actions and decision making over time is to take into account the political conditions and context of the broader electoral environment.

Teaching Schedule for 2016-2017

Autumn 2016: (TPOL S 300) Mass Media and U.S. Politics  & (TPOL S 382) State Government  

Winter 2017: (TPOL S 202)  Introduction to American Politics  & (TPOL S 305) Campaigns and Elections

Spring 2017: (TPOL S 202) Introduction to American Politics, (TPOL S 300) Mass Media and U.S. Politics, & (TLAW 486) Fieldwork in Law and Policy