Sidebar        Foley publishes new book, earns fellowship

Professor Edward B. Foley, the Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law and Director of Election Law @ Moritz, recently published a new book entitled Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States, available on Amazon here. In the book, he presents a sweeping history of election controversies in the United States, tracing how their evolution generated legal precedents that ultimately transformed how we determine who wins and who loses. Ballot Battles is not only the first full chronicle of contested elections in the US. It also provides a powerful explanation of why the American election system has been-and remains-so ineffective at deciding the tightest races in a way that all sides will agree is fair.

Foley was also awarded a fellowship from the Stanford University Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law for winter 2016. As a fellow, Foley will be working on a project on the ethics of electoral competition.
“One of the questions I am exploring is ‘what is fair play between political candidates and parties,’” Foley said. “We cannot rely on the government to be an adequate umpire when it comes to campaign advertising. In fact, because of the First Amendment, the government cannot be an umpire in these situations.”

In addition to campaign advertising, Foley will also explore moral issues that arise in counting votes, changing voting rules, gerrymandering, ballot manipulation, and violating unenforced campaign finance rules. As part of the fellowship, Foley will give a lecture on his work on the project. He also plans on using the research to write a book on electoral morality.