Stephen Whelan '68 Senior Thesis Prize

The Stephen Whelan '68 Senior Thesis Prize for Excellence in Constitutional Law and Political Thought is an endowed University prize awarded by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. It is awarded to a senior whose thesis in the area of constitutional law or political thought is judged to be of superlative quality.  The amount of the prize is $1,500. Nominations are accepted from senior thesis advisors or departmental representatives from all disciplines.

Materials will be treated confidentially and the winner will be announced on Class Day. The prize will be noted on the recipient's transcript and announced at Commencement. The James Madison Program reserves the right not to award the prize where no senior meets the criteria stipulated for the award. To nominate a candidate, senior thesis advisors and departmental representatives should submit a copy of the thesis and copies of the readers' reports no later than Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

Nominations should be sent electronically to:

Matthew J. Franck, Associate Director 
James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions 
Princeton University 

Recipients of the Stephen Whelan '68 Senior Thesis Prize for Excellence in Constitutional Law and Political Thought
Akhil Rajasekar, "Zero Cheers for Incorporation" and
Nicolas Wilson, "A Neo-Scholastic Perspective on New Natural Law Theory and Its Conception of the Common Good"
Thomas Koenig, "Forming a More Perfect Union: Past Successes, Present Failures, and Future Opportunities" and
Ben Press, “‘The Most Grieving Grievance That Ever Was’: Billeting and the Democratization of England's Governance Crisis, 1625-1628"


Drew Brazer, “The Antifederalist Irony: How the Bill of Rights Opened the Door to the Nationalization of Policy-Making via the Federal Judiciary” and
Theodore J. “Theo” Tamayo, “Fixing a Star in Our Constitutional Constellation: The Influence of Lower Federal Courts on the Application of the First Amendment During the Second Red Scare, 1945-1957"


Elly Brown, "Politics in the Cave: Worldliness and Plurality in Plato, Augustine, and Arendt" and
Mikhael Smits, "The Stranger is You: A Biblical Framework for a Common Way Forward in the American Migrant Membership Debate" 


Owen Smitherman, "Executor and Aide: Appellate Mischief and the Dual Responsibility Model" and                                                                                                                                                                                       
Alexander J. Costin, "The Lochner Era in the Lower Courts"

Christine C. Smith, "A God By Any Other Name: Synthesizing Nondiscrimination and Substantive Liberty Interpretations of the Free Exercise Clause" and
Joshua R. Zuckerman, “The Most Important Director of National Conduct - Security, Interest, and Identity in The Federalist"


Matthew Saunders, "An Unconstitutional Constitutional Check: How the Constitutional Signing Statement Has Empowered an Imperial Presidency" and
Isabelle A. Laurenzi, "Covenant Reformed: Milton on Preserving the Goods of Marriage and Government"


Rosaria Munda, "A Tale of Two Utilitarians: Hard Times for Bentham and John Stuart Mill's Solution" and
Christopher C. Goodnow, "The Politics of Kantian Autonomy: An Argument for Proportional Representation"


Colby Pines, "The Wrongness of Rights: A Critique of Modern Moral Language" 


Brian M. Lipshutz, "'An Outside Force': Woodrow Wilson's Radical Critique of the Constitution, 1885-1908"


Maya LeGall, "Dueling with the Court: Changing Dynamics of Congressional Response to Supreme Court Judicial Review Decisions, 1935-2010"


Jose Joel Alicea, “Originalism in Crisis: The Movement Towards Indeterminate Originalism”


Jordan Bubin, “Liberty v. Liberty: The Conflict of Speech and Property” and 
T. Wyatt Yankus, “The ‘Advice and Consent’ of Whom? The Senate, the Supreme Court, and the Seventeenth Amendment”


Micah David Kaplan, "Rethinking the Legal and Attitudinal Models" and
Amanda S. Riderle, "An Assessment of the Revisionist Position on Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review"


Evan Graboyes, "No Middle Ground: Why Potentiality Cannot Justify the Intermediate Moral Status of Embryos"


Christine L. Malvasi, "On the Incorporation of the Establishment Clause" and

Michael F. Murray, "Rights at the End of Life"


Elisheva Ruth Coleman, "Call It Peace or Call It Treason: The Milligan Case and the Meaning of Loyalty in the Civil War" and
Theodore Brendan Lacey, "The Supreme Court's Fluctuating Reaction to National Prohibition in 4th Amendment Decisions from 1920-1933"


Christopher Cost, "The Last Line of Defense Against Government: A Study of the Origins and History of the Second Amendment and the American Right to Arm"


Patrick Miller, "Principle, Instinct, Self-Interest in American Patriotism"


Mark Davis, "Goodness and Justice: A Critique of Neutrality in Rawlsian Liberalism"


Stephen Hagen Yuhan, "Confronting the Confrontation Clause: The Constitutionality of Hearsay Declarations Against Penal Interests”