A native of Iowa, Sally J. Kenney earned a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa, a B.A. and M.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University. From 1989-1995, she held a joint appointment in Political Science, Women's Studies, and Law at the University of Iowa. She served on the faculty at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs from 1995-2009 where she also directed the Center on Women and Public Policy. She joined Tulane University in 2010 as the first Newcomb College Endowed Chair, the executive director of the Newcomb College Institute, and a Professor of Political Science.
Her research interests include gender and judging, judicial selection, feminist social movements, women and electoral politics, the European Court of Justice, exclusionary employment policies, and pregnancy discrimination. Her latest book is Gender and Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter (2013).
She teaches Women Leading Change, the third-year course for Newcomb Scholars, as well as service learning courses on the politics of rape and domestic violence.
She has produced more than 25 teaching case studies on women and public policy and hopes to develop more. She is currently studying women state supreme court justice and advocating for more women on the bench. Her next research project is to work with women in prison, tackling the gender issues arising from mass incarceration, seeking clemency for battered women, and developing service learning courses with incarcerated women.
She is an avid ballroom dancer, birder, and reader.
Areas of Expertise
Women judges; judicial selection; women, law, and public policy; women and electoral politics; feminist organizations and social movements; employment discrimination; the European Court of Justice.
Note: Below articles are reprinted in accordance with the "fair use" provision of Title 17 U.S.C. § 107 for a non-profit educational purpose.
"Measuring Women's Judicial Empowerment as Part of Political Empowerment," in Gender and Politics, Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.
"Toward a Feminist Political Theory of Judging: Neither the Nightmare nor the Noble Dream," in University of Nevada Las Vegas Law Review, Vol. 17 : Iss. 3, Article 3.
"Wise Latinas, Strategic Minnesotans, and the Feminist Standpoint: The Backlash Against Women Judges," in Thomas Jefferson Law Review, Vol. 36, Number 1, Fall 2013.
"Judicial Women," in Women and Elective Office: Past, Present and Future, 3rd edition: 216-234. 2014.
"Choosing Judges: A Bumpy Road to Women's Equality and a Long Way to Go," in Michigan State Law Review, 2012, 1499 (2014).
"Julia C. Addington from Stacyville, Iowa: First Woman Elected to Public Office in the United States? The World?" in Women/Politics, Vol. 21 : Iss. 1, Winter 2010.
"Which Judicial Selection Systems Generate the Most Women Judges? Lessons from the United States,"
"'It Would Be Stupendous for Us Girls' Campaigning for Women Judges Without Waving," in Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945-1985, Routledge, 2010.
"Are We Progressing Toward Equal Representation for Women in the Minnesota Legislature? New Evidence Offers Mixed Results," in Cura Reporter, Fall 2010.
"Mobilizing Emotions to Elect Women: The Symbolic Meaning of Minnesota's First Woman Supreme Court Justice," in Mobilization: An International Journal, 15(2): 133-158. 2010.
"Critical Perspectives on Gender and Judging," in Politics & Gender, 6: 433-495. 2010.
"Femocrats and Judicial Selection: Reconceptualizing Social Movement Insiders," 2009.
"Thinking about gender and judging," in International Journal of the Legal Profession, 15:1, 87-110. 2008.
"Gender on the Agenda: How the Paucity of Women in Judges Became an Issue," in Journal of Politics, 70(3): 717-735. 2008.
"Revolutionary Changes," in Judicature, 89 (4): 232. 2006.
"Getting Comfortable with Women's Expertise," in Minnesota Women in Political Science. Center on Women and Public Policy. 2006.
"Domestic Violence Intervention Program: Unconditional Shelter?" in Nonprofit Management and Leadership 16 (2): 221-243. 2005.
Reading for Change. BookWomen 10 (1): 8-9. 2005.
"Equal Employment Opportunity and Representation: Extending the Frame to Courts," in Social Politics, 11 (1): 86-116. 2004.
"The Constitutional Status of the Family and Medical Leave Act," at After Birth Signature Study Conference Proceedings, October 1, 2004.
"Novel Sleuth," in BookWomen, 9 (2): 20-21. 2004.
"Britain Appoints First Woman Law Lord," in Judicature, 87 (4): 189-190. 2004.
"Family and Medical Leave: When World is Designed to Work Better for Caretakers, Everyone Benefits," in St. Paul Pioneer Press: 13A. August 12, 2004.
"Gender, the Public Policy Enterprise, and Case Teaching," in Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 23 (1) 159-178. 2004.
"Where is Gender in Agenda Setting," in Women & Politics, 25 (1/2): 179-207. 2003.
"United Kingdom's Judicial System Undergoes Major Reform," in Judicature, 2: 2-5. 2003.
"How Judges Work: Thinking about Social Science and Law," in Perspectives on Politics, 1 (2): 369-371. 2003.
"Politics Will Inevitably be a Part of Judicial Selection," a Guest Editorial in St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 14, 2003.
"Breaking the Silence: Gender Mainstreaming and the Composition of the European Court of Justice," in Feminist Legal Studies, 10: 257-270. 2002.
"Counting Women Judges: The Intersection of Law and Politics," in Critical Junctures in Women's Economic Lives: A Collection of Symposium Papers. St. Paul, MN: Center for Economic Progress. 2002.
"Where are the Women in Public Policy Cases?" in Women's Policy Journal of Harvard, John F. Kennedy School of Government, 1: 87-98. 2001.
"Using the Master's Tools to Dismantle the Master's House: Can We Harness the Virtues of Case Teaching?" in Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 20 (2): 346-50. 2001.
"Our Bodies, Our Sleuths," in BookWomen, 5(2): 13-14. 2000-2001.
"Sisters and Sluts," in BookWomen, 4(4): 16-17. 2000.
"Beyond Principals and Agents: Seeing Courts as Organizations by Comparing Référendaires at the European Court of Justice and Law Clerks at the U.S. Supreme Court," in
Comparative Political Studies, 33 (5): 593-625. 2000.
"Puppeteers or Agents? What Lazarus's Closed Chambers Adds to our Understanding of Law Clerks," in Law & Social Inquiry, 25 (1): 185-226. 2000.
"Tenure in a Chilly Climate," in The Profession, Coauthored with Susan Sterett, P/S, March 1999.
"The Members of the European Court of Justice," in Columbia Journal of European Law, 5 (1): 101-133. 1998. Partially reprinted in The Law and Economics of the European Union, by Paul Stephan, Francesco Parisi, and Ben Depoorter, Newark, NJ: Mathew Bender, 2003.
"The European Court of Justice: Integrating Europe through Law," in Judicature, 81 (6): 250-255. 1998.
"New Research on Gendered Political Institutions," in Political Research Quarterly, 49 (2): 445-466. 1996.
"Pregnancy Discrimination in Comparative Perspective: Toward Substantive Equality," in Wisconsin Women's Law Journal, 10: 351-402. 1996.
"Women, Feminism, Gender and the Law: Ruminations of a Feminist Academic," in Women and Politics, 15 (3): 43-67. 1995.
"Who is Protected? What's Wrong with Exclusionary Policies," Co-published simultaneously in Women & Politics, 13 (3/4): 153-173; and in Janna C. Merrick and Robert H. Blank (eds.), The Politics of Pregnancy: Policy Dilemmas in the Maternal-Fetal Relationship, 153-173. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press, Inc. 1993.
"Reproductive Hazards in the Workplace: The Law and Sexual Difference," in International Journal of the Sociology of Law, 14: 393-414. 1986.