John Gruhl Portrait
Undergraduate Chair Political Science

Dr. John Gruhl teaches upper-level courses focused on American courts and law, including Courts, Judges, and Lawyers; Myths and Realities of the Justice System; Constitutional Law; and Civil Liberties. These courses attract Pre-Law students and others who want to understand court procedures and decisions that are in the news. He also teaches courses on American Politics and the Presidency.

He enjoys music, art, and literature – listening to indie rock (and to a few old codgers like Bob Dylan and Neil Young), viewing and collecting contemporary prints and paintings, and reading contemporary novels.  He also enjoys traveling to foreign countries, most recently in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, due to his long-time interest in the Vietnam War.

He is most proud of functioning as a professor while serving as a single parent for twelve years, beginning when his son was just two.  According to Professor Gruhl, this was his most challenging assignment.

Research Areas

  • Judicial Process
  • Constitutional Law
  • Civil Liberties
  • Criminal Justice



  • Co-author of award-winning textbook American Government, 13th edition

Career Highlights

  • Teaching at University of Nebraska-Lincoln since 1976
  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara