Current Working Papers
Creating Opportunities: Leadership Diversity in Term-Limited State Legislatures
In the early 1990s advocates of legislative term limits promised that there would be increases in diversity. Since their implementation, however, scholars have found that these promises did not come to fruition. Despite these unfulfilled promises, the leadership positions can no longer be occupied by individuals for 20~+ years. While the initial effects of term limits stunted efforts to create more diverse legislatures, those same limits have created opportunities. This study uncovers whether term limits have led to greater diversity among legislative leadership. Newly collected leadership data from term-limited state legislatures reveals that by removing long-standing incumbents women and persons of color were able to gain leadership positions that they likely would not have otherwise. This research suggests that limitations on service may benefit minority legislators beyond what was previously understood.
Learning from Podium-Gate: How to Use State Freedom of Information Laws