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Shawn J. Donahue

Assistant Professor of Political Science
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences


Voting rights, redistricting, gerrymandering, state and local politics (including New York State and Buffalo-area politics), campaigns, elections, civil liberties, Constitutional law, election law

Portrait of Shawn J. Donahue, University at Buffalo elections, political science and Constitutional law expert.

Shawn J. Donahue is an expert in law and political science.

A primary part of his research focuses on redistricting, representation, partisan and racial gerrymandering, voting rights and campaign finance. He can speak to the media about these issues, including in the context of states and local governments redrawing districts for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, the state legislature and local offices.

Donahue is also an expert in other areas of politics, such as campaign and electoral strategy This includes issues of campaign finance, public opinion, voter turnout, ballot design, and state and local politics, including in Buffalo and New York State.

In addition to his research, Donahue has 10 years of experience as a lawyer, including eight as a prosecutor. He submitted an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in Gill v. Whitford, a 2019 case that dealt with issues of partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin. He also contributed to a report that helped lead to a ruling that the Virginia U.S. House map was a racial gerrymander in 2016.

Additionally, Donahue served as a research assistant in relation to campaign finance cases in Texas and the District of Columbia. He often checks relevant campaign finance disclosure reports, including locally, to see where contributions are coming from.

Donahue has taught courses in Constitutional law, and can comment on issues involving the First Amendment, including freedom of speech, the Establishment Clause and free exercise of religion; the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms; the Fourth Amendment and protections on search and seizure; other criminal procedure rights; and many other provisions of the U.S. Constitution.


Shawn J. Donahue, PhD
Assistant Professor of Political Science
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences