Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Fix

Second Advisor

Dr. Amy Steigerwalt

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephanie D. Kerce


The theory of this thesis is that U.S. Court of Appeals case decisions influence rule changes made by the FDA. My hypotheses are (1) Republican appointed judges will favor businesses more often than Democrat appointed judges, (2) when businesses are favored more than consumers the FDA will reduce regulation, and (3) when regulation is reduced there will be an increase in drug approvals. hypothesis 4 states drug approvals decrease when Democrats hold a majority. Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3 were all tested using a c2 analysis for the years 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2016. A descriptive analysis of FDA policy changes is also complete for hypothesis 2. Hypothesis 4 is tested using a time series analysis. Hypotheses 1 and 3 found support. However, the findings of hypothesis 2 suggest political make-up matters more than case decisions. Table 5 supports hypothesis 4, but table 6 does not.


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