Tag: Equal Protection

On October 4, 2019, the Gray Center co-hosted “The Administration of Democracy⏤The George Mason Law Review’s Second Annual Symposium on Administrative Law.” For the second annual symposium, scholars wrote papers on such fundamental questions as: Is nonpartisan campaign-finance regulation possible? Who should draw electoral maps—and how? How can we best protect voting rights? How should the census be administered? How do we preserve the regulatory process’s democratic legitimacy? And, are members of Congress entitled to see the President’s tax returns? These papers are forthcoming in the George Mason Law Review. In addition, the event featured a Keynote Conversation with two former public servants with deep expertise in both governance and campaigns: Robert Bauer, former White House Counsel to President Obama, and Donald McGahn, former White House Counsel to President Trump.

The second panel focused on the administration of elections. The discussion revolved around three new papers: “Bush v. Gore, Decentralized Election Administration, and the Equal Protection Right to Vote” by Florida State University College of Law Professor Michael Morley, “How Independent is Too Independent?: Redistricting Commissions and the Growth of the Unaccountable Administrative State,” by Jason Torchinsky, Partner at Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky PLLC; and “Independent Institutions and the Design of Fair Districting Maps” by New York University School of Law’s Richard Pildes. The discussion was moderated by the Gray Center’s Deputy Director, Andrew Kloster, and introduced by the Center’s Executive Director, Adam White. The video is available at http://administrativestate.gmu.edu/events/the-administration-of-democracy-the-george-mason-law-reviews-second-annual-symposium-on-administrative-law/.

Distinguishing Between Law and Politics on Affirmative Action

 

In my latest weekly column for Defining Ideas at the Hoover Institution, I look at last week’s Supreme Court ruling in the Michigan affirmative action case, Schuette v. BAMN. My view: that the legal considerations and the policy considerations raise very different issues. As I write:

As a constitutional matter, I think that Justice Kennedy made the right call [to uphold the voter-approved ban on affirmative action]. It is too much to say that the Equal Protection Clause instructs states on how to organize their internal governance structures. The questions of electoral motive really have to be put to one side, lest every electoral decision be subject to scrutiny for some hidden electoral bias. The decisions made at one time have to be reversible at some later time, by whatever means the state chooses to do so, including the referendum.