College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Political Science > Faculty > Joseph F. Mello

Joseph F. Mello

  • Associate Professor and Pre-law Advisor
  • ​​​​PhD, University of Connecticut, Storrs
  • Political Science
  • Faculty
  • Law and courts; constitutional law; American political development
  • 773-325-7384


Joseph Mello has a PhD in political science from the University of Connecticut.  He joined the faculty at DePaul University in 2013 and was awarded tenure in 2019.  Professor Mello specializes in the study of law, political theory, and American politics.  He teaches a number of courses in these areas including: Law in the Political System (PSC 260); Rights-Based Social Movements (PSC 368); Law and Popular Culture (PSC 265); and Equal Protection of the Law (PSC 263).

Professor Mello's research focuses on law and social movements.  He has published research on a variety of topics including: the Supreme Court, gay rights, civil rights, free speech, and conservative political thought.  His first book, The Courts, the Ballot Box, and Gay Rights: How our Governing Institutions Shape the Same-Sex Marriage Debatewas published with the University Press of Kansas in 2016.  It examines how debates about important moral and political issues play out differently in the elite-centered environment of the courtroom versus the more popular arena of the ballot box.  He has also published articles in peer reviewed journals such as Law, Culture, and the Humanities; Law and Social InquiryPolity; Studies in Law, Politics, and Society; and Judicature

Professor Mello is currently working on his second book, Pot for Profit, which is under contract with Stanford University Press (forthcoming 2022).  This book focuses on how corporate interests have shaped the politics of cannabis legalization.  This research was supported in part by a 2019-2020 Wicklander fellowship from the Institute of Business and Professional Ethics at the Driehaus College of Business.