Professor Christopher P. Banks

Christopher P. Banks

Contact Information


Dr. Banks teaches graduate courses in American politics, public administration, terrorism and human rights, and law, justice, and society. His undergraduate instruction includes teaching courses on constitutional law, civil rights and liberties, the judicial process, American political theory, and American politics. Before receiving his doctorate, he practiced law in civil and criminal litigation. In addition to practicing law and campaigning for state representative in Connecticut in 1988, he received a gubernatorial appointment to serve as an administrative hearing officer for the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities before earning his doctorate in American government at the University of Virginia.

Select publications

N.D. Access to Justice Denied: Civil Gideon and the Right to Counsel for Indigents (Lanham, MD.: Lexington/Roman & Littlefield)(with Lisa Hager)

2021. The Judicial Process: Law, Courts and Judicial Politics, 2nd ed. (St. Paul, MN: West Academic) (with David M. O'Brien)

2018. Controversies in American Federalism and Public Policy. ed. Christopher P. Banks (London and New York: Routledge)

2017. The American Legal Profession: The Myths & Realities of Practicing Law. (Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage/CQ Press)

  • Second Edition forthcoming, with Routledge (under contract)

2017. The State and Federal Courts: A Complete Guide to History, Powers, and Controversy. ed. Christopher P. Banks (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO) (edited reference book; editorially reviewed).

  • Recipient of Library Journal’s Best Reference Titles of 2017.

2017. “Of White Whales, Obamacare, and the Roberts Court: The Republican Efforts to Harpoon Obama’s Presidential Legacy,” PS: Political Science and Politics 50 (1): 40-43 

2015. The Judicial Process: Law, Courts and Judicial Politics. (Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage/CQ Press) (with David M. O'Brien)

2015. “The Impact of the Threat of Terrorism on U.S District Court Decisions during Wartime,” Terrorism and Political Violence 29(5): 793-829

2015. “An Empirical Analysis of US State Court Citation Practices of International Human Social Rights Treaties," International Journal of Human Rights 19(1): 1-15 with Joel R. Carbonell.

2014. "U.S. District Court Decision-Making in USA Patriot Act Cases after September 11," Justice System Journal, with Steven Tauber. 35(2): 139-161

2013. "International Human Education Rights Commitments in U.S. Courts," International Journal of Human Rights, 17(3): 391-410 (2013), with Joel R. Carbonell

2012. The U.S. Supreme Court and New Federalism: From the Rehnquist to Roberts Court (Lanham: Roman & Littlefield) with John C. Blakeman.

2010-11. "Security & Freedom after September 11: The Institutional Limits & Ethical Costs of Terrorism Prosecutions," Public Integrity: A Journal of the American Society for Public Administration 13 (No. 1, Winter): 5-24

2008. "Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Alito, and New Federalism Jurisprudence," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 38 (No. 3, Summer): 576-600, with John  C. Blakeman.

2008. Courts and Judicial Policymaking (Englewood: Prentice Hall), with David M. O'Brien.

2005. Final Arbiter: The Consequences of Bush v. Gore for Law and Politics, eds. Christopher P. Banks, David B. Cohen, and John C. Green (Albany: State University of New York Press)

2003. "The Constitutional Politics of Interpreting Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment," University of Akron Law Review 36 (No. 3): 427-473

2001. Superintending Democracy: The Courts and the Political Process, eds. Christopher P. Banks and John C. Green (Akron: University of Akron Press)

2000. "The Politics of Court Reform in the U.S. Courts of Appeals," Judicature 84 (No. 1, July/August): 34-43

1999. "Reversals of Precedent and Judicial Policy-Making: How Judicial Conceptions of Stare Decisis in the U.S. Supreme Court Influence Social Change," University of Akron Law Review, 32 (No. 2): 233-258

1999. Judicial Politics in the D.C. Circuit Court (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press)

1997. "The Politics of En Banc Review in the ‘Mini’ Supreme Court," Journal of Law & Politics 13 (No. 2, Spring): 377-414.

1992. "The Supreme Court and Precedent: An Analysis of Natural Courts and Reversal Trends," Judicature 25 (No. 5, February/March): 262-268.


Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1995, J.D., University of Dayton, 1984, B.A., University of Connecticut, 1980


Constitutional Law, Civil Rights and Liberties, Federalism, Law and Courts, Terrorism Criminal Justice and American Government, comparative legal systems

Research Institutes and Initiatives

Global Understanding Research Initiative