Edward B. Foley

Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law; Director, Election Law @ Moritz
Contact Information:

(614) 292-4288 Drinko 465

  • B.A., Yale University, History, 1983 (magna cum laude)
  • J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1986

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Areas of Expertise:
  • Constitutional Law
  • Election Law
  • Voting Rights

Edward B. Foley, the Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law, is the Director of Election Law @ Moritz. He also serves as a reporter for the American Law Institute’s Election Law Project.

Professor Foley’s teaching and scholarship cover the full field of election law. His current research focuses on  the resolution of vote-counting disputes, and his recent publications include a three-part series in the Election Law Journal (volume 10) on Minnesota’s 2008 U.S. Senate election: The Lake Wobegone Recount (pp. 129-164), How Fair Can Be Faster (pp. 187-226), and The Tale of Two Teams (pp. 475-482).

On Sept. 14, 2012, Professor Foley delivered the keynote address Virtue over Party: An Example of Electoral Heroism and Why It Matters at a symposium at the University of California, Irvine.

He is also the author of The Founders’ Bush v. Gore: The 1792 Election Dispute and Its Continuing Relevance, 44 Indiana L. Rev. 23 (2010), which he delivered at Ohio State on Oct. 14, 2008, as the University Distinguished Lecture. He is at work on a book about the history of disputed elections in the United States, from the founding era to the present.

Professor Foley designed a simulated dispute of the 2008 presidential election, which involved a special panel of three nationally prominent retired judges to adjudicate the hypothetical case. In his essay, The McCain v. Obama Simulation: A Fair Tribunal for Disputed Presidential Elections, 13 N.Y.U. J. LEG. & PUB. POL. 471-509 (2010), he explains how this experiment (including the opinion that the three-judge panel issued) can aid in resolving future disputed elections. Professor Foley’s prior writings on Bush v. Gore, provisional ballots, the Twelfth Amendment, among other related topics, set the foundation for these current and ongoing projects.

Professor Foley’s commentary on election law can be found at Free & Fair.

Professor Foley has taught at Ohio State since 1991. Before then, he clerked for Chief Judge Patricia M. Wald of the U.S. Court of Appeals and Justice Harry Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court. In 1999, he took a leave from the faculty to serve as the state solicitor in the office of Ohio’s Attorney General. In that capacity, he was responsible for the state’s appellate and constitutional cases.

Professor Foley is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law and Yale College.