Associate Professor of Political Science

Curriculum Vitae

Richard L. Vining, Jr., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Georgia. Dr. Vining joined the faculty at the University of Georgia in 2007 after completing his graduate studies at Emory University.

  •  Ph.D., Emory University 2008, Political Science
  • M.A., Emory University 2005, Political Science
  • B.A., Southeast Missouri State 2001, Political Science
More About

Dr. Vining’s research focuses on judicial selection, judicial departures, judicial decision-making, and the interaction of courts with exogenous institutions. He frequently participates in professional conferences and provides expert commentary to the press and legal groups regarding judicial selection and tenure.

Dr. Vining has published articles in a number of peer-reviewed outlets including the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, Social Science Quarterly, Political Communication, Judicature, and Justice System Journal.  He has also published book chapters in edited volumes about both the Chief Justice of the United States and media coverage of the Supreme Court.  Vining’s current research focuses on federal judicial nominations, news content about courts and judges, and the administration of state and federal courts.

Areas of Expertise
  • Judicial selection
  • Judicial departures
  • Courts and the media
  • Courts and public opinion
  • Judicial decision-making
Course Instruction
Research Interests
  • Judicial Decision-Making
  • Judicial Appointments and Departures
  • Courts and Interest Groups
  • Separation of Powers
  • American Political Development
Selected Publications
  • “Judicial Reform in the American States: The Chief Justice as Political Advocate.” With Teena Wilhelm, Ethan Boldt, and Bryan Black. State Politics and Policy Quarterly, forthcoming.
  • “A Case Study in Collaborative Research: Development of ‘Confirmation Wars, Legislative Time, and Collateral Damage.” With Anthony J. Madonna and James E. Monogan III. In SAGE Research Methods Cases, 2019.
  • “Succession, Opportunism, and Rebellion on State Supreme Courts: Decisions to Run for Chief Justice.” With Teena Wilhelm and Emily Wanless. Justice System Journal, 2019.
  • “The Chief Justice as Effective Administrative Leader: The Impact of Policy Scope and Interbranch Relations.” With Teena Wilhelm and David A. Hughes. Social Science Quarterly, 2019.
  • “Examining State of the Judiciary Addresses: A Research Note.” With Teena Wilhelm, Ethan Boldt, and Allison Trochesset. Justice System Journal, 2019.
  • “The Politics of the U.S. Federal Judiciary’s Requests for Institutional Reform.” With David A. Hughes and Teena Wilhelm. Social Science Quarterly, 2017.
  • “Confirmation Wars, Legislative Time, and Collateral Damage: Assessing the Impact of Supreme Court Nominations on Presidential Success in the U.S. Senate” With James E. Monogan III and Anthony J. Madonna. Political Research Quarterly, 2016.
  • “The Chief Justice as Administrative Leader: Explaining Agenda Size.” With Teena Wilhelm. In ‘The Chief Justice: Appointment and Influence, eds. David J. Danelski and Artemus Ward.  University of Michigan Press, 2016.
  • “A Market-Based Model of State Supreme Court News: Lessons from Capital Cases.” With Teena Wilhelm and Jack Collens. State Politics & Policy Quarterly, 2015.
  • “Deliberation Rules and Opinion Assignment Procedures in State Supreme Courts: A Replication.” With David Hughes and Teena Wilhelm. Justice System Journal, 2015.
  • “Explaining Intermedia Coverage of Supreme Court Decisions.” With Phil Marcin.  In Covering the United States Supreme Court in the Digitial Age, ed. Richard Davis. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
  • “Where One Sits Affects Where Others Stand: Bias, the Bar, and District Court Nominations.” With Amy Steigerwalt and Susan Navarro Smelcer. Judicature, 2014.
  • “Measurements of Salience in State Courts.” With Teena Wilhelm. Law & Courts, 2014.
  • “An Economic Theory of Supreme Court News.” With Phil Marcin. Political Communication, 2014.
  • “Minority Representation, the Electoral Connection, and the Confirmation Vote of Sonia Sotomayor.” With Amy Steigerwalt and Tara W. Stricko.  Justice System Journal, 2013.
  • “The Chief Justice as Advocate-in-Chief: Examining the Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary.” With Teena Wilhelm. Judicature, 2012.
  • “Bias and the Bar: Evaluating the ABA Ratings of Federal Judicial Nominees.” With Susan Navarro Smelcer and Amy Steigerwalt. Political Research Quarterly, 2012.
  • “Grassroots Mobilization in the Digital Age: Interest Group Response to Supreme Court Nominees.” Political Research Quarterly, 2011.
  • “Judicial Selection and Pre-Confirmation Politics.” With Martha Ginn. Law & Courts, 2011.
  • “The Causes and Consequences of Gubernatorial Endorsements: Evidence from State Supreme Court Elections.” With Teena Wilhelm. American Politics Research, 2011.
  • “Measuring Case Salience in State Courts of Last Resort.” With Teena Wilhelm. Political Research Quarterly, 2011.
  • “Patterns of Newspaper Reporting on State Supreme Courts.” With Teena Wilhelm, Sara E. Hiers, and Phil Marcin. Justice System Journal, 2010.
  • “Explaining High-Profile Coverage of State Supreme Court Decisions.” With Teena Wilhelm. Social Science Quarterly, 2010.
  • “Judicial Departures and the Introduction of Qualified Retirement, 1892-1953.” Justice System Journal, 2009.
  • “Politics, Pragmatism, and Departures from the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 1954-2004.” Social Science Quarterly, 2009.
  • “The Supreme Court in American Democracy: Unraveling the Linkages between Public Opinion and Judicial Decision-making.” With Micheal W. Giles and Bethany Blackstone. Journal of Politics, 2008.
  • “Judicial Tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1790-1868: Frustration, Resignation, and Expiration on the Bench.” With Christopher Zorn and Susan Navarro Smelcer. Studies in American Political Development, 2006.
  • “From Moderators to Leaders: Floor Participation by U.S. House Speakers 1789-1841.” With Randall W. Strahan and Matthew L. Gunning. Social Science History, 2006.