William Haltom

Politics and Government

Bill HaltomBill Haltom pursues research relating to politics and language and to civil litigation. He is the author of numerous works about litigation as it relates to mass media, the fast food industry, gun activism, and the tobacco industry. His article "The Laws of God, the Laws of Man: Power, Authority, and Influence in 'Cool Hand Luke',” in Legal Studies Forum (1998), interpreted politics and politicking from the point of view of popular culture and high culture. Haltom is working with Professor Hans Ostrom on a study of George Orwell’s Politics and the English Language. Haltom co-wrote the book Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis, which won the American Political Science Association C. Herman Pritchett Award for the best book that year on public law. Book chapters and articles, co-written with Michael McCann, include “Litigation, Mass Media, and the Campaign to Criminalize the Firearms Industry” (2014); “Criminalizing Big Tobacco: Legal Mobilization and the Politics of Responsibility for Health Risks in the United States” (2013); “America’s Culture of Litigation,” in New Directions in Judicial Politics (2012); and “Framing Fast Food Litigation: Tort Claims, Mass Media, and the Politics of Responsibility in the United States,” in Fault Lines: Tort Law and Cultural Practice (2009). Haltom teaches U.S. Constitutional Law, American Politics, and Public Law. He has been researching a project tentatively titled “The Other 90,000 Governments,” which explores the plethora of local, country, state, and other special district governments in the United States and their power to raise funds and influence policy.


B.A., M.A., Ph.D., University of Washington, 1974, 1978, 1984

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