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bruce.ackerman at yale.edu
ian.ayres at yale.edu
corey_brettschneider at brown.edu
mary.l.dudziak at emory.edu
joey.fishkin at gmail.com
Heather Gerken heather.gerken at yale.edu
Abbe Gluck abbe.gluck at yale.edu
mgraber at law.umaryland.edu
sgriffin at tulane.edu
jonathan.hafetz at shu.edu
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Michael Stokes Paulsen
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raprimus at umich.edu
K. Sabeel Rahmansabeel.rahman at brooklaw.edu
alice.ristroph at shu.edu
siegel at law.duke.edu
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Compendium of posts on Hobby Lobby and related cases
The Anti-Torture Memos: Balkinization Posts on Torture, Interrogation, Detention, War Powers, and OLC
The Anti-Torture Memos (arranged by topic)
Setting the Agenda for Scholarship on Election Reform
Friday, June 15, 2007
Setting the Agenda for Scholarship on Election Reform
Heather K. Gerken
Part I: The "Just Add Water" Problem
Heather, I sincerely look forward to your upcoming posts.
If I have had any major objection to the reforms (not only in terms of the election system, but also the broader problem of constitutional reform) that have been periodically proposed on this site, it has been that the "here to there" problem is largely ignored. It suffices to say, perhaps, that one would need a constitutional convention, but arguing the necessity of such a convention and developing a strategy to bring it into fruition are two different processes.
For this reason, I'm very happy to read this post, and hope that it does indeed encourage the sort of grounded, tactical proposals (like the Democracy Index) that provide practical approaches to specific problems. They may not culminate in the utopian's preferred model, but at least they begin progress towards those ideals.
Bravo! I think this is going to be extremely valuable.
If there needs to be an academic subdiscipline to study the how-to-get-there-from-here of election administration and/or governance reform, it might be a better fit in political science departments than in law schools. Or is that statement a heresy that will get me banned from Balkinization for life?
Reforming election administration is, to me, different from reforming governance. The partisanship of officials, security/integrity, and vote suppression (both deliberate and careless), are examples of the former. Public financing of campaigns and electoral reform (IRV, Electoral College) are examples of the latter. Perhaps redistricting includes elements of both.
I wonder whether the how-to-get-there differs accordingly. The Citizens' Assembly model (which I support enthusiastically) clearly applies to governance reform. The "democracy index" wedge (which I have reservations about) clearly applies to administration.
I eagerly await the future installments, and thank Prof. Gerken in advance for posting them.
Nice to see you posting here, Heather! Somehow I had missed your previous post. I look forward to an interesting series.
It ain't that hard. Elect me, and I'll fix it. Honest! :]
I had brief consversation with a person in my state's Elections office (don't recall the official name for it), and she was unaware of the fact that the "paper trail" proposal is easily defeated.
At any rate, this should be interesting. But -- hey -- elect me and you can all relax while I fix it as a Roving expert.
I share the enthusiasm for Heather's posts, but, as someone inclined to be less temperate than she is, I'm also tempted to say that "immoderates" also serve a function, ultimately by raising the specter of untoward events should reform not take place. Proposal of the Seventeenth Amendment, for example, was considerably aided by the specter of state's calling for a constitutional convention should Senate mossbacks not realize that the day of legislative selection of senators was past.
The Fair Vote initiate, by which the larger states are trying to derail the electoral college, is also extremely valuable, though I in fact am not a fan of the specific proposal, which simply maintais the first-past-the-post structure of our electoral system. Far better, I think, either the alternative transferrable vote of the French two-stage election. But if more states pass the Fair Vote proposal, I suspect that even Congress may start paying some attention.
I am curious, though, whether Heather regards Fair Vote as within her "here to there" camp.
"Here to There": First step, it seems to me, is raise consciousness that these "self-interested politicians" have extraordinarily high levels of conflicts of interest, enough to easily result in disqualification in other contexts, by virtue of the fact that the vote on the circumstances of THEIR OWN RE-ELECTIONS. Case In point: Due to amendments in the House Administration Committee on May 8, 2007, HR 811 now contains, for the first time, legislative authorization/recognition of trade secret vote counting software and legally mandates nondisclosure agreements for those who view source code that counts the public's votes. In direct effect, the House and Senate would be legislatively ratifying what has previously been only contractual: secret vote counting on electronic machines, and by doing so effectively claiming that we the people want to hide the vote counting FROM OURSELVES, not deeming it in our interests to have any chance of being apprised as to whether the counting was proper or not. This is hardly the position of the public, which in an August 2006 Zogby poll indicated support of 92% for OBSERVABLE vote counting systems over their alternatives.Post a Comment
How to stop Congress from legislating that their own re-elections be counted in secret backrooms of electronics? We can start with pointing a spotlight at the conflict of interest here which to varying degrees is present whenever all incumbents (and by definition no challengers) vote on the means by which they will be challenged in the next election.
Books by Balkinization Bloggers
Jack M. Balkin, What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Most Controversial Decision - Revised Edition (NYU Press, 2023)
Andrew Koppelman, Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed (St. Martin’s Press, 2022)
Gerard N. Magliocca, Washington's Heir: The Life of Justice Bushrod Washington (Oxford University Press, 2022)
Joseph Fishkin and William E. Forbath, The Anti-Oligarchy Constitution: Reconstructing the Economic Foundations of American Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2022)
Mark Tushnet and Bojan Bugaric, Power to the People: Constitutionalism in the Age of Populism (Oxford University Press 2021).
Mark Philip Bradley and Mary L. Dudziak, eds., Making the Forever War: Marilyn B. Young on the Culture and Politics of American Militarism Culture and Politics in the Cold War and Beyond (University of Massachusetts Press, 2021).
Jack M. Balkin, What Obergefell v. Hodges Should Have Said: The Nation's Top Legal Experts Rewrite America's Same-Sex Marriage Decision (Yale University Press, 2020)
Frank Pasquale, New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI (Belknap Press, 2020)
Jack M. Balkin, The Cycles of Constitutional Time (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Mark Tushnet, Taking Back the Constitution: Activist Judges and the Next Age of American Law (Yale University Press 2020).
Andrew Koppelman, Gay Rights vs. Religious Liberty?: The Unnecessary Conflict (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Ezekiel J Emanuel and Abbe R. Gluck, The Trillion Dollar Revolution: How the Affordable Care Act Transformed Politics, Law, and Health Care in America (PublicAffairs, 2020)
Linda C. McClain, Who's the Bigot?: Learning from Conflicts over Marriage and Civil Rights Law (Oxford University Press, 2020)
Sanford Levinson and Jack M. Balkin, Democracy and Dysfunction (University of Chicago Press, 2019)
Sanford Levinson, Written in Stone: Public Monuments in Changing Societies (Duke University Press 2018)
Mark A. Graber, Sanford Levinson, and Mark Tushnet, eds., Constitutional Democracy in Crisis? (Oxford University Press 2018)
Gerard Magliocca, The Heart of the Constitution: How the Bill of Rights became the Bill of Rights (Oxford University Press, 2018)
Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson, Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today (Peachtree Publishers, 2017)
Brian Z. Tamanaha, A Realistic Theory of Law (Cambridge University Press 2017)
Sanford Levinson, Nullification and Secession in Modern Constitutional Thought (University Press of Kansas 2016)
Sanford Levinson, An Argument Open to All: Reading The Federalist in the 21st Century (Yale University Press 2015)
Stephen M. Griffin, Broken Trust: Dysfunctional Government and Constitutional Reform (University Press of Kansas, 2015)
Frank Pasquale, The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information (Harvard University Press, 2015)
Bruce Ackerman, We the People, Volume 3: The Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2014)
Balkinization Symposium on We the People, Volume 3: The Civil Rights Revolution
Joseph Fishkin, Bottlenecks: A New Theory of Equal Opportunity (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Mark A. Graber, A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism (Oxford University Press, 2013)
John Mikhail, Elements of Moral Cognition: Rawls' Linguistic Analogy and the Cognitive Science of Moral and Legal Judgment (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
Gerard N. Magliocca, American Founding Son: John Bingham and the Invention of the Fourteenth Amendment (New York University Press, 2013)
Stephen M. Griffin, Long Wars and the Constitution (Harvard University Press, 2013)
Andrew Koppelman, The Tough Luck Constitution and the Assault on Health Care Reform (Oxford University Press, 2013)
James E. Fleming and Linda C. McClain, Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues (Harvard University Press, 2013)
Balkinization Symposium on Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues
Andrew Koppelman, Defending American Religious Neutrality (Harvard University Press, 2013)
Brian Z. Tamanaha, Failing Law Schools (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
Sanford Levinson, Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance (Oxford University Press, 2012)
Linda C. McClain and Joanna L. Grossman, Gender Equality: Dimensions of Women's Equal Citizenship (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Mary Dudziak, War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2012)
Jack M. Balkin, Living Originalism (Harvard University Press, 2011)
Jason Mazzone, Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law (Stanford University Press, 2011)
Richard W. Garnett and Andrew Koppelman, First Amendment Stories, (Foundation Press 2011)
Jack M. Balkin, Constitutional Redemption: Political Faith in an Unjust World (Harvard University Press, 2011)
Gerard Magliocca, The Tragedy of William Jennings Bryan: Constitutional Law and the Politics of Backlash (Yale University Press, 2011)
Bernard Harcourt, The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order (Harvard University Press, 2010)
Bruce Ackerman, The Decline and Fall of the American Republic (Harvard University Press, 2010)
Balkinization Symposium on The Decline and Fall of the American Republic
Ian Ayres. Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done (Bantam Books, 2010)
Mark Tushnet, Why the Constitution Matters (Yale University Press 2010)
Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff: Lifecycle Investing: A New, Safe, and Audacious Way to Improve the Performance of Your Retirement Portfolio (Basic Books, 2010)
Jack M. Balkin, The Laws of Change: I Ching and the Philosophy of Life (2d Edition, Sybil Creek Press 2009)
Brian Z. Tamanaha, Beyond the Formalist-Realist Divide: The Role of Politics in Judging (Princeton University Press 2009)
Andrew Koppelman and Tobias Barrington Wolff, A Right to Discriminate?: How the Case of Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale Warped the Law of Free Association (Yale University Press 2009)
Jack M. Balkin and Reva B. Siegel, The Constitution in 2020 (Oxford University Press 2009)
Heather K. Gerken, The Democracy Index: Why Our Election System Is Failing and How to Fix It (Princeton University Press 2009)
Mary Dudziak, Exporting American Dreams: Thurgood Marshall's African Journey (Oxford University Press 2008)
David Luban, Legal Ethics and Human Dignity (Cambridge Univ. Press 2007)
Ian Ayres, Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-By-Numbers is the New Way to be Smart (Bantam 2007)
Jack M. Balkin, James Grimmelmann, Eddan Katz, Nimrod Kozlovski, Shlomit Wagman and Tal Zarsky, eds., Cybercrime: Digital Cops in a Networked Environment (N.Y.U. Press 2007)
Jack M. Balkin and Beth Simone Noveck, The State of Play: Law, Games, and Virtual Worlds (N.Y.U. Press 2006)
Andrew Koppelman, Same Sex, Different States: When Same-Sex Marriages Cross State Lines (Yale University Press 2006)
Brian Tamanaha, Law as a Means to an End (Cambridge University Press 2006)
Sanford Levinson, Our Undemocratic Constitution (Oxford University Press 2006)
Mark Graber, Dred Scott and the Problem of Constitutional Evil (Cambridge University Press 2006)
Jack M. Balkin, ed., What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said (N.Y.U. Press 2005)
Sanford Levinson, ed., Torture: A Collection (Oxford University Press 2004)
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