Ben Johnson

I was born in Texas to great parents. We moved to Atlanta when I was in middle school. I went to Baylor where I met my wife, and since we've been to Boston, MA; Niceville, FL; Atlanta, GA; New Haven, CT; Dallas, TX; and Princeton, NJ before moving to State College, PA where we are raising three great kids and I teach law. At every step along the way, God has been faithful. I'd say the biggest turning point in my life over the last few years happened in 2012 when it finally became clear what I was supposed to do with my life: be the best husband and father I could be. Once I figured that out, everything else fell into place.

My Life

Favorite Quote

"Do not mess with the sports gods for verily they are subtle and quick to anger." Karen Grohman

Friends describe me

Informal yet pretentious 🙂

My hobbies

Hobbies? I'm an assistant professor and father of three. Who has time for hobbies? I do play guitar at church though.

Fantasy dinner guests

Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the late James Vardaman

Best advice I ever received

When you're running a suicide, run the long leg first.

My undergrad alma mater

Baylor University

My worst subject in school


In college I drove

A Jeep Cherokee

If I weren't a professor, I would

probably be at a hedge fund

Favorite books

Lord of the Rings; Hart and Wechsler's Federal Courts and the Federal System; The Last Battle

Favorite movies

The Princess Bride and Hoosiers. However, I am incapable of not watching The Parent Trap (either edition) if it is ever on TV.

Favorite city

Waco TX or Atlanta GA

Favorite coffee

I don't even like the smell of coffee

Nobody knows I

if I told you, then people would know.

My latest accomplishment

I helped recruit a new colleague to campus. He's a believer who works on religious liberty.

Current Research

I work on the Supreme Court. Mainly, I look at how they set their agenda, but I've expanded to study judicial decision-making more broadly. I use a mix of game theory, stats, and traditional legal analysis.