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Quantifying Partisan Gerrymandering: An Evaluation Of The Efficiency Gap Proposal, Benjamin Plener Cover Apr 2018

Quantifying Partisan Gerrymandering: An Evaluation Of The Efficiency Gap Proposal, Benjamin Plener Cover

Articles

Electoral districting presents a risk of partisan gerrymandering: the manipulation of electoral boundaries to favor one political party over another. For three decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has failed to settle on a legal test for partisan gerrymandering, and such claims have uniformly failed. Until recently. Plaintiffs prevailed before a three-judge federal panel in Wisconsin by leveraging a new measure called the "efficiency gap," which quantifies partisan gerrymandering in terms of two parties' relative efficiency at translating votes for their party into seats in government. The case is now before the Court, which may embrace the efficiency gap approach ...


Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2018

Section 2 After Section 5: Voting Rights And The Race To The Bottom, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Five years ago, Shelby County v. Holder released nine states and fifty-five smaller jurisdictions from the preclearance obligation set forth in section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). This obligation mandated that places with a history of discrimination in voting obtain federal approval—known as preclearance—before changing any electoral rule or procedure. Within hours of the Shelby County decision, jurisdictions began moving to reenact measures section 5 had specifically blocked. Others pressed forward with new rules that the VRA would have barred prior to Shelby County.


Amending Codes Of Judicial Conduct To Impose Campaign Contribution And Expenditure Limits On Judicial Campaigns, Hugh D. Spitzer, Philip A. Talmadge Jan 2018

Amending Codes Of Judicial Conduct To Impose Campaign Contribution And Expenditure Limits On Judicial Campaigns, Hugh D. Spitzer, Philip A. Talmadge

Articles

Every judicial campaign year, millions of dollars pour into individual court races around the country. The bulk of that money is donated by lawyers, businesses, and others with financial interests in how judges, especially appellate judges, decide cases. United States Supreme Court rulings on political contributions and spending have hamstrung the ability of states to control larges-cale expenditures in judicial races. This essay reviews empirical research by political scientists who have documented the effect of large campaign donations on how judges decide cases and on the public's perception of court impartiality. It describes how legislatures and courts have addressed ...


(At Least) Thirteen Ways Of Looking At Election Lies, Helen Norton Jan 2018

(At Least) Thirteen Ways Of Looking At Election Lies, Helen Norton

Articles

Lies take many forms. Because lies vary so greatly in their motivations and consequences (among many other qualities), philosophers have long sought to catalog them to help make sense of their diversity and complexity. Legal scholars too have classified lies in various ways to explain why we punish some and protect others. This symposium essay offers yet another taxonomy of lies, focusing specifically on election lies — that is, lies told during or about elections. We can divide and describe election lies in a wide variety of ways: by speaker, by motive, by subject matter, by audience, by means of delivery ...


Electoral Evidence, Peter Nicolas Jan 2017

Electoral Evidence, Peter Nicolas

Articles

Each year, millions of Americans cast votes for specific candidates or on specific ballot measures. Each such vote generates potential "electoral evidence," the admissibility of which may be the subject of dispute in subsequent litigation. The evidence may take various forms, including the marked ballot itself, a voter's testimony regarding her vote, or her written or oral statements regarding her vote.

Electoral evidence is most commonly offered in litigation over the election outcome itself, with the parties seeking to determine how certain individuals voted to resolve a close election. However, its potential relevance is not limited to such proceedings ...


Judging Congressional Elections, Lisa Marshall Manheim Jan 2017

Judging Congressional Elections, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

This Article reveals what passes as federal constitutional law in this area: a chaotic set of ad hoc, state-based interpretations that vary drastically by jurisdiction. Some states, for example, have interpreted Article I, Section 5 to permit courts to adjudicate congressional election contests. Others have concluded the opposite. Through such conflicting interpretations, state courts have contributed to a deep, intractable split on the provision's meaning and reach.

State legislatures have compounded the discord by enacting statutes that codify their interpretations, a move that renders their constitutional determinations practically unreviewable. Meanwhile, both Houses of Congress continue to adjudicate these congressional ...


Financing Corporate Elections, Andrew A. Schwartz Jan 2016

Financing Corporate Elections, Andrew A. Schwartz

Articles

Elections for corporate directorships have become more competitive and expensive in recent years, raising important questions of corporate campaign finance, such as whether an insurgent campaign must disclose the source of its funding and whether a director is permitted to receive third-party compensation during her term in office (known as a "golden leash"). These present novel and unanswered issues of corporate law, but many analogous issues have been resolved in the political sphere using the First Amendment and a well-developed line of Supreme Court case law beginning with Buckley v. Valeo and continuing through Citizens United and other key precedents ...


What The Marriage Equality Cases Tell Us About Voter Id, Ellen D. Katz Nov 2015

What The Marriage Equality Cases Tell Us About Voter Id, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Two years ago, United States u. Windsor tossed out the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"). Thereafter, proponents of marriage equality secured dozens of notable victories in the lower courts, a smattering of setbacks, and last June, the victory they sought in Obergefell v. Hodges. During this same period, opponents of electoral restrictions such as voter identification have seen far less sustained success. Decided the day before Windsor, Shelby County v. Holder scrapped a key provision of the Voting Rights Act ("VRA") while making clear that plaintiffs might still challenge disputed voting regulations under Section 2 of the VRA and the ...


Dark Money In Motion: Mapping Issues Along The Money Trail, Frances R. Hill Jan 2015

Dark Money In Motion: Mapping Issues Along The Money Trail, Frances R. Hill

Articles

No abstract provided.


The Nudging Ballot? A Response To Professor Foley, Lisa Marshall Manheim Oct 2014

The Nudging Ballot? A Response To Professor Foley, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

In a response to Professor Edward Foley's The Speaking Ballot: A New Way to Foster Equality of Campaign Discourse [89 N.Y.U. L. Rev. Online 52 (2014)], Professor Manheim notes that "the speaking ballot may, in fact, affect elections, that influence may be due less to a flourishing of informed and reasoned debate and more to the exploitation of subtle forms of voter manipulation." She raises questions about the decisions faced by election officials on candidate photographs and videos and timing of updated videos. She concludes: "In short, Professor Foley, through his call for the facilitation, rather than ...


Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz Apr 2014

Dismissing Deterrence, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The proposed Voting Rights Amendment Act of 20144 (VRAA)[...]’s new criteria defining when jurisdictions become subject to preclearance are acutely responsive to the concerns articulated in Shelby County[ v. Holder]. The result is a preclearance regime that, if enacted, would operate in fewer places and demand less from those it regulates. This new regime, however, would not only be more targeted and less powerful, but, curiously, more vulnerable to challenge. In fact, the regime would be more vulnerable precisely because it is so responsive to Shelby County. Some background will help us see why.


Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos Jan 2014

Universalism And Civil Rights (With Notes On Voting Rights After Shelby), Samuel R. Bagenstos

Articles

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, voting rights activists proposed a variety of legislative responses. Some proposals sought to move beyond measures that targeted voting discrimination based on race or ethnicity. They instead sought to eliminate certain problematic practices that place too great a burden on voting generally. Responses like these are universalist, because rather than seeking to protect any particular group against discrimination, they formally provide uniform protections to everyone. As Bruce Ackerman shows, voting rights activists confronted a similar set of questions—and at least some of them opted for a universalist approach ...


Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2014

Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

This panel has been asked to consider whether "the Constitution [is] responsible for electoral dysfunction."' My answer is no. The electoral process undeniably falls well short of our aspirations, but it strikes me that we should look to the Supreme Court for an accounting before blaming the Constitution for the deeply unsatisfactory condition in which we find ourselves.


Hollowed-Out Democracy, Kate Andrias Jan 2014

Hollowed-Out Democracy, Kate Andrias

Articles

Professors Joseph Fishkin’s and Heather Gerken’s essay for this symposium, The Two Trends That Matter for Party Politics, along with the larger project of which it is a part, marks a notable turn (or return) in the law-of-democracy field. Unlike much recent scholarship, Fishkin’s and Gerken’s work does not offer a comprehensive theory of corruption or equality, but instead analyzes the relationship between campaign finance law and the actual functioning of political parties in our democracy. In brief, Fishkin and Gerken tell us that our contemporary political parties are at once highly polarized and oddly weak ...


Citizens United And Social Welfare Organizations: The Tangled Relationships Among Guidance, Compliance, And Enforcement, Frances R. Hill Jan 2014

Citizens United And Social Welfare Organizations: The Tangled Relationships Among Guidance, Compliance, And Enforcement, Frances R. Hill

Articles

No abstract provided.


Redistricting Litigation And The Delegation Of Democratic Design, Lisa Marshall Manheim Jan 2013

Redistricting Litigation And The Delegation Of Democratic Design, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

This Article seeks to reveal how the practice of litigating as redistricting, which has evolved into a form of litigation highly susceptible to procedural manipulation, has created a type of redistricting that grants profound power to those who choose to litigate. In so doing, this Article rejects any understanding of the redistricting process that understands the influence of litigants to be somehow negated or neutralized by the involvement of courts. It recognizes, moreover, that many of the defining features of redistricting litigation–which are, in certain respects, analogous to those characterizing other problematic forms of litigation–nevertheless reflect some of ...


Reimagining Democratic Inclusion: Asian Americans And The Voting Rights Act, Ming Hsu Chen, Taeku Lee Jan 2013

Reimagining Democratic Inclusion: Asian Americans And The Voting Rights Act, Ming Hsu Chen, Taeku Lee

Articles

The current legal framework for protecting voting rights in the United States has been dramatically destabilized by Supreme Court decisions re-interpreting the protections against minority vote dilution and requires rethinking to survive modern challenges. At the same time, the nation has itself undergone dramatic changes in the racial composition of its polity and in the complexity and salience of race as a factor in political life. In this paper, we focus on a relatively unexamined constituent of this complex reality of modern racial diversity that illustrates some of the core features that all minority groups face in continuing VRA challenges ...


What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

What Was Wrong With The Record?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Shelby County v. Holder offers three reasons for why the record Congress amassed to support the 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) was legally insufficient to justify the statute's continued regional application: (1) the problems Congress documented in 2006 were not as severe as those that prompted it to craft the regime in 1965; (2) these problems did not lead Congress to alter the statute's pre-existing coverage formula; and (3) these problems did not exclusively involve voter registration and the casting of ballots.


Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

Shelby County V. Holder: Why Section 2 Matters, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Editor’s Note: Professor Ellen D. Katz writes and teaches about election law, civil rights and remedies, and equal protection. She and the Voting Rights Initiative at Michigan Law filed a brief as amicus curiae in Shelby County v. Holder, on which the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments February 27. Here, she examines why Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act bears consideration in the case, which involves a challenge to Section 5 of the act.


A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

A Cure Worse Than The Disease?, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The pending challenge to section 5 of the Voting Rights Act insists the statute is no longer necessary. Should the Supreme Court agree, its ruling is likely to reflect the belief that section 5 is not only obsolete but that its requirements do more harm today than the condition it was crafted to address. In this Essay, Professor Ellen D. Katz examines why the Court might liken section 5 to a destructive treatment and why reliance on that analogy in the pending case threatens to leave the underlying condition unaddressed and Congress without the power to address it.


South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz Jan 2013

South Carolina's 'Evolutionary Process', Ellen D. Katz

Articles

When Congress first enacted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965, public officials in South Carolina led the charge to scrap the new statute. Their brief to the Supreme Court of the United States described the VRA as an “unjustified” and “arbitrary” affront to the “Equality of Statehood” principle, and a “usurp[ation]” of the State’s legislative and executive functions. Not surprisingly, the Warren Court was unpersuaded and opted instead to endorse broad congressional power to craft “inventive” remedies to address systematic racial discrimination and to “shift the advantage of time and inertia from the perpetrators of evil to ...


Secrets, Lies, And Disclosure, Helen Norton Jan 2012

Secrets, Lies, And Disclosure, Helen Norton

Articles

This symposium essay suggests that we can sometimes understand those who resist campaign disclosure or disclaimer requirements as interested in keeping a secret and occasionally even in telling a sort of lie about the source or intensity of support for a particular candidate or cause. Such secrets and lies threaten listeners’ autonomy interests when the speaker seeks to keep such secrets (and sometimes seeks to tell such lies) to enhance her ability to influence her listeners’ decisions. For these reasons, I suggest greater attention to the reasons speakers seek to keep secrets (or occasionally tell such lies) in assessing the ...


On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2012

On Overreaching, Or Why Rick Perry May Save The Voting Rights Act But Destroy Affirmative Action, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

The State of Texas is presently staking out two positions that are not typically pursued by a single litigant. On the one hand, Texas is seeking the invalidation of the Voting Rights Act, and, on the other, the State is now defending the validity of the expansive race-based affirmative action policy it uses at its flagship university. This Essay presses the claim that Texas has increased the chance it will lose in bothTexas v. Holder andFisher v. University of Texas because it has opted to stake out markedly extreme positions in each. I argue that Texas would be more likely ...


Democrats At Doj: Why Partisan Use Of The Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2012

Democrats At Doj: Why Partisan Use Of The Voting Rights Act Might Not Be So Bad After All, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

In notable ways, the ongoing dispute over redistricting in Texas offers a mirror image to one of the major redistricting battles of the last decade, only with Democratic and Republican roles reversed. In both Texas v. United States and Georgia v. Ashcroft, a state attorney general (AG) decided he would not ask the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to approve new redistricting plans enacted in his state. In both cases, the state AGs were well aware that the Voting Rights Act (VRA) required them to obtain federal approval, known as preclearance, before changing any aspect of their state's ...


Teaching Elements Of Election Law Beyond The Disciplinary Borders Of "Election Law", Frances R. Hill Jan 2012

Teaching Elements Of Election Law Beyond The Disciplinary Borders Of "Election Law", Frances R. Hill

Articles

No abstract provided.


Campaign Speech Law With A Twist: When The Government Is The Speaker, Not The Regulator, Helen Norton Jan 2011

Campaign Speech Law With A Twist: When The Government Is The Speaker, Not The Regulator, Helen Norton

Articles

Although government entities frequently engage in issue-related campaign speech on a variety of contested ballot and legislative measures, this fact has been entirely overlooked in contemporary First Amendment debates over campaign speech law specifically and government speech more generally. The Supreme Court's "campaign speech" and "government speech" dockets have focused to date on claims by private parties that the government has restricted or silenced their speech in violation of the First Amendment. In contrast, disputes over what this Article calls "governmental campaign speech" involve Free Speech Clause and other challenges by private parties who seek instead to silence the ...


Plan B For Campaign-Finance Reform: Can The Fcc Help Save American Politics After Citizens United?, Lili Levi Jan 2011

Plan B For Campaign-Finance Reform: Can The Fcc Help Save American Politics After Citizens United?, Lili Levi

Articles

No abstract provided.


Barack Obama, Margarita Lopez Torres, And The Path To Nomination, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

Barack Obama, Margarita Lopez Torres, And The Path To Nomination, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Operating within these regimes, Obama was able to mount a credible--and ultimately successful--challenge to the leadership's choice for the nomination while Lopez Torres could not. This article offers an explanation why. It argues that Obama succeeded where Lopez Torres failed because the nomination process Obama traversed was more penetrable and more contestable than the one Lopez Torres faced.


Withdrawal: The Roberts Court And The Retreat From Election Law, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

Withdrawal: The Roberts Court And The Retreat From Election Law, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Last Term the Supreme Court handed down four decisions that upheld diverse efforts by state governments to regulate the electoral process. The Court turned back challenges to New York’s method for nominating judicial candidates, Washington’s modified blanket primary system, Indiana’s voter identification requirement, and Alabama’s use of gubernatorial appointment to fill county commission vacancies in Mobile County. Unlike other recent election decisions, these were not close cases. All nine Justices supported the New York holding, while supermajorities voted in favor of the result in the others. This consensus, moreover, emerged even as the Court voted to ...


From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2009

From Bush V. Gore To Namudno: A Response To Professor Amar, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

In his Dunwody Lecture, Professor Akhil Amar invites us to revisit the Bush v. Gore controversy and consider what went wrong. This short essay responds to Professor Amar by taking up his invitation and looking at the decision through a seemingly improbable lens, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last June in Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. One (NAMUDNO) v. Holder. Among its many surprises, NAMUDNO helps illuminate the Court’s fundamental error nine years ago. Professor Amar forcefully argues that the mistrust with which the Justices in the Bush v. Gore majority viewed the Florida Supreme Court ...