Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 78

Full-Text Articles in Law

The "Bounds" Of Moore: Pluralism And State Judicial Review, Leah M. Litman, Katherine Shaw Mar 2024

The "Bounds" Of Moore: Pluralism And State Judicial Review, Leah M. Litman, Katherine Shaw

Articles

In Moore v. Harper, the Supreme Court rejected a maximalist version of the “independent state legislature theory” (ISLT), invoking state judicial practices both before and after the Constitution was ratified. This piece uses Moore’s method to examine another variation on the ISLT, one pushed most recently by Justice Brett Kavanaugh and before him by Chief Justice William Rehnquist. The Rehnquist-Kavanaugh version of the ISLT would empower federal courts to review state officers’ interpretation of state laws regarding federal elections. But the logic of Moore is fatal to that potential version of the ISLT. The Rehnquist-Kavanaugh version of the ISLT contemplates …


Keep Charitable Oversight In The Irs, Philip Hackney Jan 2024

Keep Charitable Oversight In The Irs, Philip Hackney

Articles

Critics are increasingly calling for Congress to remove charity regulation from the IRS. The critics are wrong. Congress should maintain charity regulation in the IRS. What is at stake is balancing power between the state, charity as civil society, and the economic order. In a well-balanced democracy, civil society maintains its independence from the state and the economic order. Removing charitable jurisdiction from the IRS would blind the IRS to dollars placed in the charitable sector increasing tax and political shelters and wealthy dominance of charities as civil society. A new agency without understanding of, or jurisdiction over, tax cannot …


Democracy's Bureaucracy: The Complicated Case Of Voter Registration Lists, Michael Morse Dec 2023

Democracy's Bureaucracy: The Complicated Case Of Voter Registration Lists, Michael Morse

Articles

This Article calls attention to the development and derailment of a novel cross-governmental bureaucracy for voter registration. It focuses specifically on voter registration lists as the vulnerable backbone of election administration. In short, the constitutional allocation of election authority has left a mobile electorate scattered across fifty different state registration lists. The result is more than a tenth of the electorate likely registered in their former jurisdiction and more than a third not registered at all. The solution, in the vocabulary of election officials, has become “list maintenance”—or, identifying when voters, previously registered at one address, subsequently move or die, …


Electoral Sandbagging, Lisa Marshall Manheim Nov 2023

Electoral Sandbagging, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

An insidious tactic threatens elections across the United States. Some refer to it as a “bait and switch.” Others recognize a form of “election sabotage.” While the labels vary, the pattern is the same. First, an election official or other figure of authority consents to an error at an early stage of the election process. The actor then waits to see how the election unfolds. If the election results are favorable, the error slides into irrelevance. If not, that same actor refers back to the earlier error, now with indignity, and insists that it requires a late-stage disruption of the …


The New Laboratories Of Democracy, Gerald S. Dickinson Jan 2023

The New Laboratories Of Democracy, Gerald S. Dickinson

Articles

Nearly a century ago, Justice Louis D. Brandeis’s dissent in New State Ice Co. v. Liebman coined one of the most profound statements in American law: “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Justice Brandeis reminded us of our strong tradition of federalism, where the states, exercising their sovereign power, may choose to experiment with new legislation within their separate jurisdictions without the concern that such …


Textualism, Judicial Supremacy, And The Independent State Legislature Theory, Leah M. Litman, Katherine A. Shaw Nov 2022

Textualism, Judicial Supremacy, And The Independent State Legislature Theory, Leah M. Litman, Katherine A. Shaw

Articles

This piece offers an extended critique of one aspect of the so-called "independent state legislature" theory. That theory, in brief, holds that the federal Constitution gives state legislatures, and withholds from any other state entity, the power to regulate federal elections. Proponents ground their theory in two provisions of the federal Constitution: Article I's Elections Clause, which provides that "[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof," and Article H's Presidential Electors Clause, which provides that "[e]ach State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature …


"A Mystifying And Distorting Factor": The Electoral College And American Democracy, Katherine A. Shaw Apr 2022

"A Mystifying And Distorting Factor": The Electoral College And American Democracy, Katherine A. Shaw

Articles

A Review of Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College. By Jesse Wegman.


Textualism, Judicial Supremacy, And The Independent State Legislature Theory, Leah Litman, Katherine Shaw Jan 2022

Textualism, Judicial Supremacy, And The Independent State Legislature Theory, Leah Litman, Katherine Shaw

Articles

This piece offers an extended critique of one aspect of the so-called “independent state legislature” theory. That theory, in brief, holds that the federal Constitution gives state legislatures, and withholds from any other state entity, the power to regulate federal elections. Proponents ground their theory in two provisions of the federal Constitution: Article I’s Elections Clause, which provides that “[t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof,” and Article II’s Presidential Electors Clause, which provides that “[e]ach State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature …


Election Law And Election Subversion, Lisa Marshall Manheim Jan 2022

Election Law And Election Subversion, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

Scholars of American election law used to take the rule of law as a given. The legal system, while highly imperfect, appeared sturdy, steady, and functional. Recent election cycles—culminating in dramatic attempts at election subversion—have revealed this assumption beginning to break down. Without the rule of law as a dependable constant, the study of election law quickly expands. Legal experts now are simultaneously occupied with: first, the substance of election laws; second, the design of election institutions; and third, the threat of participants unlawfully undermining elections from within. This Essay identifies and contextualizes the rule-of-law pivot that is reflected in …


Mary Lou Graves, Nolen Breedlove, And The Nineteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2022

Mary Lou Graves, Nolen Breedlove, And The Nineteenth Amendment, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

This close examination of two cases is part of a larger ongoing project to provide a distinct account of the Nineteenth Amendment. In 1921, the Alabama Supreme Court held the Nineteenth Amendment required that any poll tax be imposed equally on men and women. Sixteen years later, the Supreme Court disagreed. Juxtaposing these two cases, and telling their story in rich context, captures my larger claim that—contrary to the general understanding in the scholarly literature—the Nineteenth Amendment was deliberately crafted as a highly circumscribed measure that would eliminate only the exclusively male franchise while serving steadfastly to preserve and promote …


Presidential Control Of Elections, Lisa Marshall Manheim Jan 2021

Presidential Control Of Elections, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

An election that is “disputed” lacks two qualities after Election Day: a clear winner and a concession. These elections instead depend on legal processes — recounts, court proceedings, and more — for resolution. As a result, when a sitting President, running for reelection, becomes immersed in a disputed presidential election, he potentially enjoys an advantage over his opponent. He can attempt to exploit the powers of the presidency to push these legal proceedings in his favor. As a practical matter, this advantage can be formidable. A sitting president can resort to his extraordinary bully pulpit, for example, to influence public …


Two-Party Structural Countermandering, Benjamin Plener Cover Jan 2021

Two-Party Structural Countermandering, Benjamin Plener Cover

Articles

The popular narrative surrounding gerrymandering frames it as a performative phenomenon—achieved through the intentional manipulations of malevolent partisan actors. Efforts to curb partisan gerrymandering —which I call countermandering—have been performative, in turn, focusing on constraining these bad actors through judicial review or mapmaker neutrality. Yet performative countermandering has had limited success. Judicial and institutional constraints are only sometimes available and are often cumbersome and costly. More important, their utility is inherently limited, because gerrymandering is not only performative. It is also structural—an inevitable product of the American electoral schema itself. This paper makes the case for structural countermandering. It explains …


Geographic Gerrymandering, Benjamin Plener Cover Jan 2021

Geographic Gerrymandering, Benjamin Plener Cover

Articles

The leading measures of gerrymandering reflect a party-centric theory of representation based on the statewide relationship between seats and votes. But electoral districting, a traditional practice that still predominates, reflects a geographic theory of representation focused on the district-based relationship between a representative and her constituents. We propose a new approach to gerrymandering that takes electoral districting on its own terms and defines fairness geographically without reference to the seats-votes relationship. Scholars, courts, and mapmakers recognize the representational interests advanced by geographic criteria, such as preservation of local political boundaries. We ask whether an electoral map fairly distributes these benefits. …


Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney Jan 2021

Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney

Articles

The IRS ended a long-time practice of requiring most nonprofits to disclose substantial donor names and addresses on the nonprofit annual tax return. It is largely seen as a battle over campaign finance rather than tax enforcement. Two of the nonprofits involved, social welfare organizations and business leagues, are referred to as “dark money” organizations because they allow individuals to influence elections while maintaining donor anonymity. Many in the campaign finance community are concerned that this change means wealthy donors can avoid campaign finance laws and have no reason to fear being discovered. In this Article, I focus on whether …


Unwaivable: Public Enforcement Claims And Mandatory Arbitration, Myriam E. Gilles, Gary Friedman Nov 2020

Unwaivable: Public Enforcement Claims And Mandatory Arbitration, Myriam E. Gilles, Gary Friedman

Articles

This essay, written for a conference on the “pathways and hurdles” that lie ahead in consumer litigation, is the first to examine the implications of California’s recent jurisprudence holding public enforcement claims unwaivable in standard-form contracts of adhesion, and the inevitable clash with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisional law interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act. With its rich history of rebuffing efforts to deprive citizens of public rights through private contract, California provides an ideal laboratory for exploring this escalating conflict.


The Support-Or-Advocacy Clauses, Richard Primus, Cameron O. Kistler Oct 2020

The Support-Or-Advocacy Clauses, Richard Primus, Cameron O. Kistler

Articles

Two little known clauses of a Reconstruction-era civil rights statute are potentially powerful weapons for litigators seeking to protect the integrity of federal elections. For the clauses to achieve their potential, however, the courts will need to settle correctly a contested question of statutory interpretation: do the clauses create substantive rights, or do they merely create remedies for substantive rights specified elsewhere? The correct answer is that the clauses create substantive rights.


Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman Jul 2020

Thin And Thick Conceptions Of The Nineteenth Amendment Right To Vote And Congress's Power To Enforce It, Richard L. Hasen, Leah M. Litman

Articles

This Article, prepared for a Georgetown Law Journal symposium on the Nineteenth Amendment’s one-hundred-year anniversary, explores and defends a “thick” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment right to vote and Congress’s power to enforce it. A “thin” conception of the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that the Amendment merely prohibits states from enacting laws that prohibit women from voting once the state decides to hold an election. And a “thin” conception of Congress’s power to enforce the Nineteenth Amendment maintains that Congress may only supply remedies for official acts that violate the Amendment’s substantive guarantees. This Article argues the Nineteenth Amendment does more. …


Presidential Control Over Disputed Elections, Lisa Marshall Manheim Jan 2020

Presidential Control Over Disputed Elections, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

An election that is “disputed” lacks two qualities after Election Day: a clear winner and a concession. These elections instead depend on legal processes — recounts, court proceedings, and more — for resolution. As a result, when a sitting President, running for reelection, becomes immersed in a disputed presidential election, he potentially enjoys an advantage over his opponent. He can attempt to exploit the powers of the presidency to push these legal proceedings in his favor. As a practical matter, this advantage can be formidable. A sitting president can resort to his extraordinary bully pulpit, for example, to influence public …


Cracks In The Foundation, Lisa Marshall Manheim Jan 2020

Cracks In The Foundation, Lisa Marshall Manheim

Articles

This essay is part of a symposium on Richard L. Hasen’s book, Election Meltdown: Dirty Tricks, Distrust, and the Threat to American Democracy (2020). It discusses how intentional voter suppression runs contrary to a universalist conception of voting and exacerbates the other major threats facing American elections.


Applying The First Amendment To The Internal Revenue Code: Minnesota Voters Alliance And The Tax Law’S Regulation Of Nonprofit Organizations’ Political Speech, Edward A. Zelinsky Jan 2019

Applying The First Amendment To The Internal Revenue Code: Minnesota Voters Alliance And The Tax Law’S Regulation Of Nonprofit Organizations’ Political Speech, Edward A. Zelinsky

Articles

On its face, Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky is about which T-shirts, hats and buttons voters can wear at the polls. However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s First Amendment analysis in Minnesota Voters Alliance extends beyond apparel at polling places. That decision impacts the ongoing debate about the Johnson Amendment, the now controversial provision of the Internal Revenue Code which forbids Section 501(c)(3) organizations from intervening in political campaigns. Minnesota Voters Alliance also affects the proper construction of Section 501(c)(3)’s ban on lobbying by tax-exempt entities as well as other provisions of the tax law taxing and precluding campaign intervention by …


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 and …


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 (or …


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 election …


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. It …


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 …


J. Skelly Wright's Democratic First Amendment, Johanna Kalb Jan 2015

J. Skelly Wright's Democratic First Amendment, Johanna Kalb

Articles

No abstract provided.


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 the limitation, of …


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.