Course Description


This course surveys the statutory and constitutional law of the political process--primarily American election law but also some comparative law.  Students will gain a broad foundation in the law, history, and political theory of U.S. democracy, empowering them to navigate the complex doctrinal and policy debates about electoral rules, including the right to vote, the regulation of candidacy, representation, apportionment and gerrymandering, racial discrimination and the Voting Rights Act, ‘nuts-and-bolts’ election administration, and campaign finance (with the particular topics varying from year to year).  Students will also assess and propose election reforms.  Current examples may include the question of legal versus self-regulation of political speech on private online platforms (such as Google, Reddit, and Facebook), the practices and laws of foreign electoral intervention, and the new intersections between election law and national security law (e.g., the 2016 designation of elections as “critical infrastructure).