Foxes, Henhouses, and Commissions

Assessing the Nonpartisan Model in Election Administration, Redistricting, and Campaign Finance

Friday, September 14, 2012, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
University of California, Irvine School of Law

For many years, especially since the 2000 presidential election controversy, scholars have debated whether nonpartisan actors should replace partisan actors or a bipartisan commission in administering elections, conducting redistricting, and policing the campaign finance system. Some states recently have adopted more nonpartisan models, including California's redistricting commission and Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board, although most states have retained partisan or bipartisan control.

This symposium, sponsored by the UC Irvine School of Law, the UC Irvine Law Review, and the UCI Center for the Study of Democracy will offer empirical, legal, normative, theoretical, and historical perspectives on the use of partisanship in the agencies governing election administration, redistricting, and campaign finance laws. How should the success or failure of such institutions be assessed? Are nonpartisan agencies normatively preferable to partisan and bipartisan agencies in achieving the goals of the political system? What explains why jurisdictions adopt or fail to adopt nonpartisan institutions? The symposium will bring together leading scholars in the field of election law and political science to consider such questions in the weeks leading up to the presidential election of 2012.

This event is free and open to the public, but ONLINE REGISTRATION is required.

Featured Speakers

Richard Briffault
Columbia Law School

Bruce Cain
UC Berkeley

Karin Mac Donald
UC Berkeley
Statewide Database

Christopher Elmendorf
UC Davis School of Law

Edward Foley
Ohio State University
Moritz College of Law

Michael Franz
Bowdoin College

Heather Gerken
Yale Law School

Bernard Grofman
UC Irvine

Richard Hasen
UC Irvine School of Law

Samuel Issacharoff
New York University School of Law

Pamela Karlan
Stanford Law School

David Kimball
Univ. of Missouri-St. Louis

Martha Kropf
Univ. of North Carolina, Charlotte

Justin Levitt
Loyola Law School
Los Angeles

Daniel Lowenstein
UCLA School of Law

Peter Miller
UC Irvine

Jeff Milyo
Univ. of Missouri-Columbia

Richard Pildes
New York University School of Law

Douglas Spencer
UC Berkeley
School of Law

Nick Stephanopoulos
University of Chicago Law School

Daniel Tokaji
Ohio State University College of Law

Martin P. Wattenberg
UC Irvine


Symposium Schedule

8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Welcoming Remarks by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Introduction

9:15 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Panel 1: Do Citizen Redistricting Commissions Work?

  • Papers:
    • Bruce Cain & Karin MacDonald
    • Bernard Grofman & Peter Miller
    • Nick Stephanopoulos
  • Discussants:
    • Pamela Karlan
    • Richard Pildes
  • Moderator: Richard Hasen

11:00-11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. Panel 2: Partisanship and Campaign Finance Administration

  • Papers:
    • Michael Franz
    • Jeff Milyo
  • Discussants:
    • Richard Briffault
    • Daniel Lowenstein
  • Moderator: Richard Hasen

1 p.m. Break (collect boxed lunches)

1:15 p.m.-2:15 p.m. Lunchtime Keynote: Virtue over Party: Electoral Heroism & Why It Matters

  • Edward Foley
  • Discussant: Heather Gerken

2:15-2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m. Panel 3: Is Nonpartisan Election Administration Possible? Desirable?

  • Papers:
    • Christopher Elmendorf & Douglas Spencer
    • Martha Kropf & David Kimball
    • Daniel Tokaji
  • Discussants:
    • Samuel Issacharoff
    • Justin Levitt
  • Moderator: Martin Wattenberg

4:15 p.m. Closing Remarks. Reception follows