Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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Ben Johnson

Professor Ben Johnson

Associate Professor of Law
Affiliate Faculty, College of Information Sciences and Technology
Affiliate Faculty, Department of Political Science, College of the Liberal Arts

Curriculum Vitae

(814) 867-2803

Ph.D., Princeton University
J.D., Yale Law School
M.A., Boston University
B.A., Baylor University

Professor Ben Johnson is an associate professor of law at Penn State Law where he teaches Federal Courts, Corporate Law, and Law & Finance. His multimethodological research focuses on how judges make decisions, the consequences of judicial decision-making, and the normative implications of judicial processes. His article, The Origins of Supreme Court Question-Selection, recently appeared in the Columbia Law Review and examines the roots of the Supreme Court’s practice of preselecting questions for review. The follow-up piece showing the empirical consequences of the Court’s practice (entitled The Active Vices) is forthcoming at the Alabama Law Review. His research has also appeared in the North Carolina Law Review, the Connecticut Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, and Political Research Quarterly. In addition, he has ongoing projects using text analysis and novel machine learning tools to study the Court. In addition to his empirical work, he has a series of projects using formal modeling to study economic inequality and the logic of moral and judicial decision-making. 


The Origins of the Supreme Court Question-Selection, 122 Colum. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2022)

The Supreme Court's (Surprising?) Indifference to Public Opinion, 74 Pol Res. Q. (2020) (with Logan Strother)

Judges Breaking the Law: An Empirical Analysis of Financially Interested Judges Deciding Cases, 99 N.C. L. Rev.1 (2020) (with John Newby Parton)

Why Does the Supreme Uphold So Many Laws?, 2018 U. ILL. L. Rev. 1001 (with Keith Whittington)

The Supreme Court's Political Docket: How Ideology and the Chief Justice Control the Court's Agenda and Shape Law, 50 Conn. L. Rev. 581 (2018)

Horses & Carts and Justice & Rules: Getting the Order Right, in Exploring the Political Economy and Social Philosophy of James Buchanan (2018) (Paul Dragos Aligica et al, eds.)