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Thursday, November 15, 2012

POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR EARNS DOCTORAL DEGREE

POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR EARNS DOCTORAL DEGREE

BRADFORD, Pa — Dr. Joshua Meddaugh, visiting assistant professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, has earned his doctoral degree in political science from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York.

Meddaugh’s dissertation focused on the reestablishment of federalism principles during the Rehnquist Court. Meddaugh empirically measured to what degree Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s support of state sovereignty had an impact on the voting practices of the Supreme Court during his tenure as chief justice.

Previously Meddaugh earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Elmira (N.Y.) College and a master’s in political science from UB in American politics. He said it was only after taking Constitutional Law I, a course specifically on federalism, that he became concerned that “the federal government is too large.” Meddaugh said he realized that he wanted to learn more about the suppression of states’ rights under the power of the federal government.

Meddaugh compared the decisions of the Rehnquist Court to the rulings passed down from the Burger Court, another conservative court, and found that the emphasis on reestablishing federalism by the chief justice led to more rulings granting sovereignty to states during this era.

Meddaugh is currently working on another project that explores the difference in federalism between the Rehnquist and Roberts courts and a paper with Elizabeth Tillman, a human relations major from Appleton, N.Y., that explores the nature of political party affiliations and their effects on the Supreme Court Justices’ verdicts. For the spring semester he plans to teach Constitutional Law and Media and Politics courses, two of his favorites. Meddaugh spends his spare time as an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabers, and the New York Yankees.

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