Ryan Owens

Position title: Edwards Professor | American Politics

Email: rjowens@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-2279

214 North Hall


Affiliated with Law School


Ph.D. in Political Science, Washington University-St. Louis, 2008

M.A. in Political Science, Washington University-St. Louis, 2005

J.D. in Law, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001

B.A. in Political Science and History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998

Research Interests:

Constitution, Courts, Law, Legal Reform, Political Institutions, Psychology


Ryan Owens is a Professor of Political Science and Affiliate Faculty in the Law School. He also is an Honorary Fellow in the Institute for Legal Studies. Owens studies law and courts and American political institutions. His work analyzes the United States Supreme Court, the United States Courts of Appeals, legal institutions, and judicial behavior. Professor Owens’s work has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, the Georgetown Law Journal, the William & Mary Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, Law & Society Review, and the Journal of Law and Courts.

Owens received grants from the National Science Foundation, the Harvard Provost, the University of Wisconsin Graduate School, the Center for Empirical Research in the Law, and the George H.W. Bush Library Foundation. He also received the first undergraduate mentoring award given by the Office of the Provost.

Between 2008 and 2011, Owens was Assistant Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he taught undergraduates and graduate students and seminars in the law school. From 2003-2008, Owens earned his Ph.D. at Washington University in Saint Louis. Prior to graduate school, Owens practiced law.

Professor Owens grew up in Kronenwetter, Wisconsin. He is co-owner of the Green Bay Packers, along with roughly 360,760 others.

Select Media:

-Capital City Sunday. July 13, 2018. Discussion of Brett Kavanaugh.

-Weekly Standard. July 6, 2018. “Study: Americans Tend to Prefer an Originalist for SCOTUS.”
-Weekly Standard. June 27, 2018. “Now It Really Is the Roberts Court.”

-Fox 47. June 27, 2018. “How does the Supreme Court ruling on collective bargaining affect Wisconsin?”

-The National Review. June 4, 2018. “The Wisconsin Supreme Court Can Restore the Separation of Powers and Lead the Nation Forward.”

-Washington Examiner. July 14, 2017. “What is the Blue Slip, and Should it be Reformed?”

-Wisconsin State Journal. March 12, 2017. “The Supreme Court Case Few People Are Talking About–But Should Be.”

-Washington Examiner. February 20, 2017. “It’s time to fix the Supreme Court nomination process — here’s how

-Washington Examiner. January 31, 2017. “Gorsuch delivers what Trump promised: A conservative judge who can pull the Supreme Court back to the Right.”

-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. January 30, 2017. “Owens: Trump Should Beware When Picking Supreme Court Nominee.”

-Washington Times. January 29, 2017. “A Conservative Jurist for the Supreme Court.”


PS 601: The Supreme Court’s 2022 Term Spring 2023

PS 401: Marshall Court and Constitution Spring 2023

PS 419 Administration Law Fall 2019-2020

PS 401 The Founding Fathers Fall 2019-2020

PS 414 The Supreme Court as a Political Institution Summer 2019

PS 601 The Supreme Court’s 2018 Spring 2018-2019

PS 414 The Supreme Court as a Political Institution Summer 2018

PS 904 Seminar-American Politics Fall 2018-2019

PS 601 Proseminar: Supreme Court’s 2017 Term Spring 2017-2018

PS 601 Supreme Court’s 2016 Term Spring 2016-2017

PS 414 The Supreme Court as a Political Institution Fall 2016-2017

PS 400 Social Science and Law Fall 2016-2017

PS 601 The Supreme Court’s 2015 Term Spring 2015-2016

PS 904 The Supreme Court Fall 2015-2016

PS 414 Supreme Court as a Political Institution Fall 2015-2016



Amicus Curiae Brief to the U.S Supreme Court in Utah Republican Party v. Spencer J. Cox, et. al.


Law and Court Best Journal Article Award for “Courting the President: How Circuit Court Judfes Alter Their Behavior for Promotion to the Supreme Court”


Vilas Associate Award by the UW Graduate School

Undergraduate Student Mentoring Award in the Division of Social Studies, Office of the Provost


Neal Tate Award, awarded for the outstanding judicial politics paper presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, for “Minimizing Doctrinal Drift: The Role of Clarity in Protecting Supreme Court Opinions.”


Pi Sigma Alpha Award for the best paper presented at the 2011 Southern Political Science Association annual meeting

Hear from Professor Owens on these episodes of the 1050 Bascom Podcast!