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

Law Commons

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

Articles 1 - 30 of 47

Full-Text Articles in Law

Dividing The Body Politic, James A. Gardner Dec 2023

Dividing The Body Politic, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

It has long been assumed in large, modern, democratic states that the successful practice of democratic politics requires some kind of internal division of the polity into subunits. In the United States, the appropriate methods and justifications for doing so have long been deeply and inconclusively contested. One reason for the intractability of these disputes is that American practices of political self-division are rooted in, and have been largely carried forward from, premodern practices that rested originally on overtly illiberal assumptions and justifications that are difficult or impossible to square with contemporary commitments to philosophical liberalism.

The possibility of sorting …


Election Subversion And The Writ Of Mandamus, Derek T. Muller Jan 2023

Election Subversion And The Writ Of Mandamus, Derek T. Muller

Journal Articles

Election subversion threatens democratic self-governance. Recently, we have seen election officials try to manipulate the rules after an election, defy accepted legal procedures for dispute resolution, and try to delay results or hand an election to a losing candidate. Such actions, if successful, would render the right to vote illusory. These threats call for a response. But rather than recommend the development of novel tools to address the problem, this Article argues that a readily available mechanism is at hand for courts to address election subversion: the writ of mandamus. This Article is the first comprehensive piece to situate the …


The President Of The Senate, The Original Public Meaning Of The Twelfth Amendment, And The Electoral Count Reform Act, Derek T. Muller Jan 2023

The President Of The Senate, The Original Public Meaning Of The Twelfth Amendment, And The Electoral Count Reform Act, Derek T. Muller

Journal Articles

When Congress convenes under the Twelfth Amendment and the votes of presidential electors are counted, there are three different responsibilities to consider. First, who presides over the joint session where counting takes place, and what is the role of that presiding officer? Second, who counts the electoral votes? Third, who resolves disputes about those electoral votes?

This Essay answers those questions. First, the presiding officer in the joint session is the President of the Senate, and she acts as any other presiding officer of a legislature. She initiates actions pursuant to precedent, parliamentary procedures, and the wishes of the chamber. …


On Foxes And Hedgehogs, Roger P. Alford Jan 2022

On Foxes And Hedgehogs, Roger P. Alford

Journal Articles

This Article is about John Nagle’s many means to one great end. It will outline the many themes of his scholarship: (i) environmental law, (ii) statutory interpretation, (iii) constitutional law, (iv) nuisance and pollution, (v) election law and campaign finance, (vi) Christianity and the environment, and (vii) national parks. It will offer conclusions on how he used his scholarly interests as a means to pursue his overarching worldview.


The Illiberalization Of American Election Law: A Study In Democratic Deconsolidation, James A. Gardner Nov 2021

The Illiberalization Of American Election Law: A Study In Democratic Deconsolidation, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

For many years, the dominant view among American election law scholars has been that the U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional jurisprudence of democratic practice got off to a promising start during the mid-twentieth century but has since then slowly deteriorated into incoherence. In light of the United States’ recent turn toward populist authoritarianism, that view needs to be substantially revised. With the benefit of hindsight, it now appears that the Supreme Court has functioned, in its management of the constitutional jurisprudence of democracy, as a vector of infection—a kind of super-spreader of populist authoritarianism.

There is, sadly, nothing unusual these days …


Democratic Legitimacy Under Conditions Of Severely Depressed Voter Turnout, James A. Gardner Jun 2020

Democratic Legitimacy Under Conditions Of Severely Depressed Voter Turnout, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Due to the present pandemic, it seems increasingly likely that the 2020 general election in November will be held under conditions of unprecedented downward pressure on voter turnout. The possibility of severely depressed turnout for a highly consequentialpresidential election raises troubling questions of democratic legitimacy. Although voter turnout in the United States has historically been poor, low turnout is not usually thought to threaten the legitimacy of electoral processes when it results from voluntary abstention and is distributed unsystematically. Conversely, electoral legitimacy is often considered at risk when nonvoting is involuntary, especially when obstacles to voting fall systematically on specific …


When Soft Law Meets Hard Politics: Taming The Wild West Of Nonprofit Political Involvement, Lloyd Histoshi Mayer Jan 2019

When Soft Law Meets Hard Politics: Taming The Wild West Of Nonprofit Political Involvement, Lloyd Histoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

Beginning in the 1990s and continuing to today, many of the legal and psychological barriers to nonprofits becoming involved in electoral politics have fallen. At the same time, political divisions have sharpened, causing candidates, political parties, and their supporters to scramble ever more aggressively for any possible edge in winner-take-all political contests. In the face of these developments, many nonprofits have violated the remaining legal rules applicable to their political activity with little fear of negative consequences, especially given vague rules and a paucity of enforcement resources. Such violations include underreporting of political activity in government filings, fly-by-night organizations that …


Introduction: The Effects Of Selection Method On Public Officials, Clayton J. Masterman Nov 2017

Introduction: The Effects Of Selection Method On Public Officials, Clayton J. Masterman

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Toward A Fundamental Right To Evade Law? Protecting The Rule Of Unequal Racial And Economic Power In Shelby County And State Farm, Martha T. Mccluskey Jan 2015

Toward A Fundamental Right To Evade Law? Protecting The Rule Of Unequal Racial And Economic Power In Shelby County And State Farm, Martha T. Mccluskey

Journal Articles

To rationalize its ruling on voting rights, Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder develops a constitutional vision of passivity in the face of institutionalized power to violate the law. This essay compares Shelby County to State Farm Mutual Automobile v. Campbell, a 2003 Supreme Court ruling involving a different subject area, state punitive damage awards. In both, the Court asserts newly articulated judicial power to override other branches, not to protect human rights, but rather to expand institutionalized immunity from those rights. On the surface, the Court’s rejection of state sovereignty in State Farm (protecting multistate corporations from high punitive damages) …


Business Lobbying As An Informational Public Good: Can Tax Deductions For Lobbying Expenses Promote Transparency?, Michael Halberstam, Stuart G. Lazar Mar 2014

Business Lobbying As An Informational Public Good: Can Tax Deductions For Lobbying Expenses Promote Transparency?, Michael Halberstam, Stuart G. Lazar

Journal Articles

The view that “lobbying is essentially an informational activity” has persistently served the suggestion that lobbying provides a public good by educating legislators about policy and the consequences of legislation.

In this article, we link a proposed tax reform with a substantive disclosure requirement to promote the kind of “information subsidy” that serves the public interest, while mitigating – at least to some extent – the distortion that may result from the imbalance of financial resources on the business side and other institutional contraints identified in the literature. We argue that corporate lobbying should be encouraged – by allowing business …


Partitioning And Rights: The Supreme Court’S Accidental Jurisprudence Of Democratic Process, James A. Gardner Jan 2014

Partitioning And Rights: The Supreme Court’S Accidental Jurisprudence Of Democratic Process, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

In democracies that allocate to a court responsibility for interpreting and enforcing the constitutional ground rules of democratic politics, the sheer importance of the task would seem to oblige such courts to guide their rulings by developing an account of the nature and prominent features of the constitutional commitment to democracy. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, has from the beginning refused to develop a general account – a theory – of how the U.S. Constitution establishes and structures democratic politics. The Court’s diffidence left a vacuum at the heart of its constitutional jurisprudence of democratic process, and like most vacuums, …


Politics And The Public’S Right To Know, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2014

Politics And The Public’S Right To Know, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

In the United States it is taken for granted that members of the public should have access to information about their government. This access takes many forms, including the ability to obtain copies of government documents, the ability to attend meetings of government officials, and the related obligations of government officials to document their activities and to reveal certain otherwise private information about themselves. This access also is often limited by countervailing concerns, such as the privacy of individual citizens and national security. Nevertheless, the presumption both at the federal level and in every state is to provide such access. …


The Incompatible Treatment Of Majorities In Election Law And Deliberative Democracy, James A. Gardner Dec 2013

The Incompatible Treatment Of Majorities In Election Law And Deliberative Democracy, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Deliberative democracy offers a distinctive and appealing conception of political life, but is it one that might be called into service to guide actual reform of existing election law? This possibility seems remote because election law and deliberative democracy are built around different priorities and theoretical premises. A foundational area of disagreement lies in the treatment of majorities. Election law is structured, at both the legislative and constitutional levels, so as to privilege majorities and systematically to magnify their power, whereas deliberative democracy aims at privileging minorities (or at least de-privileging majorities). The main purpose of the election law now …


Partisanship, Politics, And The Voting Rights Act: The Curious Case Of U.S. V. Ike Brown, Donald E. Campbell Jan 2013

Partisanship, Politics, And The Voting Rights Act: The Curious Case Of U.S. V. Ike Brown, Donald E. Campbell

Journal Articles

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 has been described as the "crown jewel" of the Civil Rights Movement. The success of the Act to remove official obstacles to voting is undeniable, and the influx of African American voters into the political system changed the nature of politics in the United States at all levels. The political and cultural context has changed so greatly that in 2006, it was politically possible for the President Bush's Justice Department to bring the first claim against an African American for violating the voting rights of white citizens. This article seeks to explain how this …


Election Law As Applied Democratic Theory, James A. Gardner Jan 2012

Election Law As Applied Democratic Theory, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Democracy does not implement itself; a society’s commitment to govern itself democratically can be effectuated only through law. Yet as soon as law appears on the scene significant choices must be made concerning the legal structure of democratic institutions. The heart of the study of election law is thus the examination of the choices that our laws make in seeking to structure a workable system of democratic self-rule. In this essay, written for a symposium on Teaching Election Law, I describe how my Election Law course and materials focus on questions of choice in institutional design by emphasizing election law’s …


Justice For Sale: Contemplations On The "Impartial" Judge In A Citizens United World, Aviva Abramovsky Jan 2012

Justice For Sale: Contemplations On The "Impartial" Judge In A Citizens United World, Aviva Abramovsky

Journal Articles

Although it has long been in vogue to discredit the judiciary, it remains the most trusted of the three branches of government. However, empirical evidence supports the idea that judicial campaign donations affect judicial decision making. The reality of political campaigns under Citizens United has the potential to further undermine the public perception of judges and to enhance the potential for corruption of the judiciary.


Anonymity And Democratic Citizenship, James A. Gardner May 2011

Anonymity And Democratic Citizenship, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Many aspects of modern democratic life are or can be performed anonymously – voting, financial contributions, petition signing, political speech and debate, communication with and lobbying of officials, and so forth. But is it desirable for citizens to perform such tasks anonymously? Anonymity frees people from social pressures associated with observation and identifiability, but does this freedom produce behavior that is democratically beneficial? What, in short, is the effect of anonymity on the behavior of democratic citizens, and how should we evaluate it?

In this paper, I attempt a first pass answer to these questions by turning to both democratic …


Charities And Lobbying: Institutional Rights In The Wake Of Citizens United, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2011

Charities And Lobbying: Institutional Rights In The Wake Of Citizens United, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

One of the many aftershocks of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Citizens United v. FEC is that the decision may raise constitutional questions for the long-standing limits on speech by charities. There has been much scholarly attention both before and after that decision on the limit for election-related speech by charities, but much less attention has been paid to the relating lobbying speech limit. This article seeks to close that gap by exploring that latter limit and its continued viability in the wake of Citizens United. I conclude that while Citizens United by itself does not undermine the limit …


If Not A Commercial Republic? Political Economy In The United States After Citizens United, David A. Westbrook Jan 2011

If Not A Commercial Republic? Political Economy In The United States After Citizens United, David A. Westbrook

Journal Articles

In

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission , a majority of the Supreme Court conceived the United States to be an oligarchy and ruled accordingly. What this decision might come to mean for political economy in the United States is explored through three interrelated responses to the decision. In the first,

Citizens United is a turning point for constitutional law scholarship, and by extension, for what is expected from our legal system. After

Citizens United , legal scholars may abandon the idea that the Court takes legal argument seriously, and that law thereby constrains, as well as expresses, social privilege. …


Legitimate Absenteeism: The Unconstitutionality Of The Caucus Attendance Requirement, Heather R. Abraham Jan 2011

Legitimate Absenteeism: The Unconstitutionality Of The Caucus Attendance Requirement, Heather R. Abraham

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Disclosures About Disclosure, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2010

Disclosures About Disclosure, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

An often overlooked aspect of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC is the sharply contrasting factual accounts regarding disclosure of independent election-related spending. For eight of the Justices, such disclosure is constitutionally defensible because it enables voters to make informed decisions. For Justice Thomas, however, such disclosure is constitutionally suspect because of its potential to result in retaliation and related chilling of First Amendment speech in the form of financial contributions. The continuing importance of these contrasting narratives can be found not only in the pending Supreme Court case of Doe v. Reed, in which the …


The Dignity Of Voters—A Dissent, James A. Gardner Jan 2010

The Dignity Of Voters—A Dissent, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Since the waning days of the Burger Court, the federal judiciary has developed a generally well-deserved reputation for hostility to constitutional claims of individual right. In the field of democratic process, however, the Supreme Court has not only affirmed and expanded the applications of previously recognized rights, but has also regularly recognized new individual rights and deployed them with considerable vigor. The latest manifestation of this trend appears to be the emergence of a new species of vote dilution claim that recognizes a constitutionally grounded right against having one’s vote “cancelled out” by fraud or error in the casting and …


Anti-Regulatory Absolutism In The Campaign Arena: Citizens United And The Implied Slippery Slope, James A. Gardner Jan 2010

Anti-Regulatory Absolutism In The Campaign Arena: Citizens United And The Implied Slippery Slope, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Perhaps the most striking feature of the Supreme Court’s constitutional campaign jurisprudence is its longstanding, profound hostility to virtually any government regulation whatsoever of campaign speech and spending. Such an approach is highly unusual in constitutional law, which typically tolerates at least some level of regulatory intervention even with respect to strongly protected rights. The Court’s behavior in this respect is consistent with – and, I argue, is best understood as – the kind of behavior in which a court engages when it fears a slide down a slippery slope. But what lies at the bottom of the slope? And …


Breaching A Leaking Dam?: Corporate Money And Elections, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2009

Breaching A Leaking Dam?: Corporate Money And Elections, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

With a brief order issued at the end of its last term, the Supreme Court dramatically raised the stakes in Citizens United v. FEC. What many had predicted would be a case decided on narrow, technical grounds has now become a possible vehicle for overturning two key campaign finance precedents. By ordering re-argument and supplemental briefing on the issue of whether it should overrule either or both Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the part of McConnell v. FEC which addresses the facial validity of Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, the Court signaled that …


Politics At The Pulpit: Tax Benefits, Substantial Burdens, And Institutional Free Exercise, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2009

Politics At The Pulpit: Tax Benefits, Substantial Burdens, And Institutional Free Exercise, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

More than fifty years ago, Congress enacted a prohibition against political campaign intervention for all charities, including churches and other houses of worship, as a condition for receiving tax deductible contributions. Yet the IRS has never taken a house of worship to court for alleged violation of the prohibition through political comments from the pulpit, presumably at least in part because of concerns about the constitutionality of doing so. This decision is surprising, because a careful review of Free Exercise Clause case law - both before and after the landmark Employment Division v. Smith decision - reveals that the prohibition …


What Is "Fair" Partisan Representation, And How Can It Be Constitutionalized? The Case For A Return To Fixed Election Districts, James A. Gardner Jan 2007

What Is "Fair" Partisan Representation, And How Can It Be Constitutionalized? The Case For A Return To Fixed Election Districts, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

A recent outpouring of public and academic criticism of gerrymandering raises difficult questions about when and under what circumstances the representation of political parties and their supporters can be considered fair. The difficulty is not, as Justice Kennedy recently suggested, that we lack consensual standards for evaluating the fairness of partisan representation. Such standards exist, but they tend to be subverted by the use of territorial districts. This occurs routinely because party and territory are conflicting and for the most part incommensurable principles upon which to found a system of legislative representation. The real question raised by gerrymandering is therefore …


The Much Maligned 527 And Institutional Choice, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2007

The Much Maligned 527 And Institutional Choice, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

The continuing controversy over 527 organizations has led Congress to impose extensive disclosure requirements on these political organizations and to consider imposing extensive restrictions on their funding as well. The debate about what laws should govern these entities has, however, so far almost completely ignored the fact that such laws raise a complicated institutional choice question.

This Article seeks to resolve that question by developing a new institutional choice framework to guide this and similar choices. The Article first explores the context for making this determination by describing the current laws governing 527s, including both federal election laws administered by …


Foreword: Representation Without Party: Lessons From State Constitutional Attempts To Control Gerrymandering, James A. Gardner Jan 2006

Foreword: Representation Without Party: Lessons From State Constitutional Attempts To Control Gerrymandering, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

Since the founding, all gerrymandering of election districts, at both the state and congressional levels, has been accomplished by state actors operating almost exclusively under state law. State constitutions have often served as a first line of defense against publicly disfavored practices, and the treatment of gerrymandering is no exception. The state constitutional record reveals a gradual introduction, diffusion, and evolution of a wide variety of provisions intended to control gerrymandering, including requirements of contiguity, compactness, respect for local political boundaries, and preservation of communities of interest, among others. Indeed, such provisions have been validated by the U.S. Supreme Court …


A Post-Vieth Strategy For Litigating Partisan Gerrymandering Claims, James A. Gardner Dec 2004

A Post-Vieth Strategy For Litigating Partisan Gerrymandering Claims, James A. Gardner

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


The Appearance Of Election Law, John Nagle Jan 2004

The Appearance Of Election Law, John Nagle

Journal Articles

The recent attention to election law implies that questions of reapportionment, voting rights, campaign finance, and the counting of votes belong to the same category of legal questions. In each instance, the evolving Supreme Court jurisprudence emphasizes appearances. The appearance of legislative districts, the appearance of corruption, and the appearance of partisanship are just some of the distinct ways in which the Court has concluded that appearance matter. As with other appearances, what looks to some observers like a gerrymandered district or a corrupting contribution is seen by others as a legitimate apportionment or an innocent expression of political support. …