Honors Projects


The works of William Shakespeare have been referenced many times throughout history, even by Supreme Court justices. Building off of an observation of a mock trial by James Shapiro, this project puts the utilization of Shakespeare from three Court opinions in relation to its context within the play and the opinion to examine what the reference reveals about the authoring justices' ideology. In doing so, this project concludes that the justices utilize Shakespeare's works in their opinions for various reasons, including to infuse their beliefs into their argument. This implies that Supreme Court justices do not base their opinions on only legal precedent, but their preferences for the outcome as well. This project also offers another way to make inferences about the justices' ideology and offers implications for further research.





First Advisor

Dr. Stephannie Gearhart

First Advisor Department


Second Advisor

Dr. Joshua Boston

Second Advisor Department

Political Science

Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2022