Bias in Judicial Appointments
Inequality in the Legal System
Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings
Paul M. Collins investigates the factors that shape the selection and decision-making process of U.S. Supreme Court justices and interest group litigation.
A publicly engaged scholar, his research and commentary have appeared in a host of popular media outlets, including CNN, the National Law Journal, National Public Radio, New York Times, New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, USA Today, Voice of America, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has also authored articles in SCOTUSblog, Slate, The Conversation, The New York Daily News, and the Washington Post.
Binghamton University (SUNY): Ph.D., Political Science
Binghamton University (SUNY): M.A., Political Science
University of Scranton.: B.S., Political Science
Select Media Coverage (8)
“Witnesses lie, recordings don’t”: Ex-prosecutor pinpoints major problem for Trump in new indictment
Paul Collins, a legal studies and political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told Salon that the new charges are "shocking" and add "further fuel" to the obstruction of justice charges. "If the government can prove this aspect of the case, it will be exceptionally difficult for the former president to mount a defense," Collins said.
Military interests parachute into Supreme Court cases on LGBTQ rights, elections
USA Today print
Paul Collins, a professor of legal studies and political science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, speculated that the influence of such briefs likely depends, in part, on whether they're offering a fresh perspective about how a seemingly unrelated issue might have national security implications.
Could Supreme Court Justices Be Impeached if They Lied Under Oath?
Lying under oath may seem like an obvious reason to bring impeachment charges against a Supreme Court justice but Paul Collins, a legal studies and political science professor at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, tells Newsweek that the grounds for impeachment were more of a political matter.
Confirmation Hearings, Once Focused on Law, Are Now Mired in Politics
The New York Times print
Paul M. Collins Jr., a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said Judge Jackson was no more responsive to questions on her legal views than earlier nominees had been. “Judge Jackson took very few solid positions on anything remotely controversial,” he said, adding that Justice Barrett, who was confirmed in 2020, may have served as her model.
Clarence Thomas Has Big Shoes to Fill to Become Supreme Court's Leading Conservative
Paul Collins, a legal studies and political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told Newsweek there were similarities between the two men. "We can certainly draw comparisons between Justices Scalia and Thomas. Both justices claimed to be strong advocates of the doctrine of originalism – the idea that judges should interpret the words in the Constitution according to how they would have been understood at the time they were written," Collins said.
How Will Trump's Three Supreme Court Picks Affect New Challenge to Roe v. Wade?
Paul Collins said Trump's appointees "seem comfortable with overruling precedents they feel were wrongly decided" and this could include Roe. However, he believes the Court could limit itself when it comes to a ruling. "Look for Chief Justice Roberts to push the Court's conservative members to rule narrowly on the case to avoid controversy," Collins told Newsweek."
Amy Klobuchar is Joe Biden’s best VP pick
The Boston Globe print
Paul Collins is quoted about possible future Supreme Court nominees if Joe Biden is elected president.
Massachusetts Citizens Commission Report
WGBY: Connecting Point tv
A 2018 ballot question tasked the Massachusetts Citizens Commission with devising a plan to overturn the 2010 Citizens United ruling. nth, the Citizens Commision For context and analysis, Carrie Saldo spoke with UMass Amherst Professor of Political Science Paul Collins, Jr.
Select Publications (6)
Supreme Bias Gender and Race in U.S. Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings (Book)Stanford University Press
Christina L. Boyd, Paul M. Collins, Jr., and Lori A. Ringhand
Paul M. Collins, Jr., and co-authors present for the first time a comprehensive analysis of the dynamics of race and gender at the Supreme Court confirmation hearings held before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Drawing on their deep knowledge of the confirmation hearings, as well as rich new qualitative and quantitative evidence, the authors highlight how the women and people of color who have sat before the Committee have faced a significantly different confirmation process than their white male colleagues.
Trump’s latest personal attacks on judges could further weaken people’s declining trust in American rule of lawThe Conversation
Paul M. Collins, Jr. and Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha
When former President Donald Trump was arraigned in a Manhattan criminal court on April 4, 2023, Judge Juan Merchan warned him to “refrain” from making social media posts that could incite violence or “jeopardize the rule of law.”
Stephen Breyer is set to retire – should his replacement on the Supreme Court have a term limit?The Conversation
Paul M. Collins and Artemus Ward
Collins and Ward write: "Our extensive research on the Supreme Court shows life tenure, while well-intended, has had unforeseen consequences. It skews how the confirmation process and judicial decision-making work, and causes justices who want to retire to behave like political operatives."
Trump attacked the Supreme Court again. Here are 4 things to know.The Washington Post
Paul M. Collins Jr. and Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha
Once again, President Trump has picked a fight with the Supreme Court.
The President and the Supreme Court: Going Public on Judicial Decisions from Washington to Trump (BOOK)Cambridge University Press
Paul M. Collins and Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha
When presidents take positions on pending Supreme Court cases or criticize the Court's decisions, they are susceptible to being attacked for acting as bullies and violating the norm of judicial independence. Why then do presidents target Supreme Court decisions in their public appeals?
Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings and Constitutional Change (Book)Cambridge University Press
Paul M. Collins and Lori H. Ringhand
This book presents a contrarian view to the idea that the confirmation of Supreme Court nominees by the Senate Judiciary Committee is merely empty ritual and political grandstanding.