Timothy Johnson

  • Distinguished Teaching Professor of Political Science and Law, Department of Political Science
1414 Social Science


  • Ph.D. in Political Science - Washington University in St. Louis, 1998
  • M.A. in Political Science - Washington University in St. Louis, 1995
  • B.A. in Political Science and Russian Studies - Gustavus Adolphus College, 1993 (magna cum laude)

Professor Timothy R. Johnson received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, in 1998. Prior to joining the University of Minnesota Faculty he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Professor Johnson's research and teaching interests include American Politics, judicial politics, Supreme Court decision-making, Supreme Court oral arguments, executive/judiciary relations, and the evolution of the norm of respecting precedent. He has published articles in the American Political Science Review, American Politics Research, Congress and the Presidency, the Journal of Politics, Law and Society Review, and Political Research Quarterly. He is also the author of Oral Arguments and Decision Making on the U.S. Supreme Court (SUNY Press, 2004) and the coauthor of Religious Institutions and Minor Parties in the United States (Praeger Press 1999, with Chris Gilbert, David A.M. Peterson, and Paul Djupe).

Professor Johnson's work has also been supported by the National Science Foundation. His first grant (IIS-0324992), "ITR SCOTUS: A Resource for Collaborative Research in Speech Technology, Linguistics, Decision Processes, and the Law" (with Jerry Goldman, Brian McWhinney, and Mark Liberman), is an effort to digitize all U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments from 1955-present, with an emphasis on using the audio to analyze how oral arguments affect the Court's decisions. The second grant (SES-0550276), "Collaborative Research: The Establishment of Stare Decisis in the American Legal System" (with James F. Spriggs II and Paul J. Wahlbeck) focuses on the examination of the how the norm of respecting precedent affects the decisions of judges within the American legal system.