Laura Jenkins

Political Science / Ph.D. Candidate

Laura Jenkins

Contact Information

Curriculum Vitae


I am currently a Ph.D. Candidate and University Fellow at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
My dissertation "Paradise Lost: The Effect of Judicial Review on Congressional Debate" examines constitutional deliberation in Congress and assesses how Congress changed how it debated the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012).  My dissertation finds that Sebelius decreased constitutional deliberation in Congress over the ACA and changed the nature of congressional debate. After Sebelius, members of both parties expressed their acceptance of the Supreme Court’s decision. Conversely, before Sebelius members of Congress had advanced their own interpretations of constitutional clauses. My dissertation argues that the Supreme Court should not exercise judicial review in cases where the other branches of government are already engaging in a robust constitutional dialogue over the constitutional issues involved. Instead, the Supreme Court should let the democratic processes play out regardless of the outcome.

Research Projects

I am currently co-authoring a journal article on conceptions of "the people" that animated arguments for and against press censorship in 16th and 17th century England.