Edward B. Foley

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

(614) 292-4288 Drinko 317


Curriculum Vitae Bibliography

  • 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

Foley (known as “Ned”) directs Election Law @ Moritz  at Ohio State’s law school, where he also holds the Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law.

His book Ballot Battles: The History of Disputed Elections in the United States, published by Oxford University Press, was awarded Finalist for the 2016 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History and listed as one of 100 “must-read books about law and social justice”.  He is currently working on a new book on the Electoral College, which shows how current practice deviates from original understanding of how the system was supposed to work, and also recommends reforms that states can adopt to restore the system to its original design.

Professor Foley also serves as the Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Project on Election Administration, which is developing nonpartisan rules for the resolution of disputed elections.  In 2016, Ned was a Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law.

While Professor Foley has special expertise on recounts and other procedures for fairly and accurately identifying the winner of close elections, he has written widely on all aspects of election law, including  gerrymandering and redistricting reform, campaign finance, and the need for nonpartisan institutions in election administration.  His two most recent law review articles were cited by Appellants in their opening and reply briefs on the merits to the U.S. Supreme Court in Gill v. Whitford:

The Gerrymander and the Constitution: Two Avenues of Analysis and the Quest for a Durable Precedent, 59 William & Mary L. Rev. 1729-1786 (2018)

Due Process, Fair Play and Excessive Partisanship: A New Principle of Judicial Review of Election Law, 84 U. Chi. L. Rev. 655-758 (2017)

Ned’s extensive online commentary about gerrymandering includes: Wechsler, History, and Gerrymandering, Scotusblog, and Shelby County, Structural Originalism, and Congressional Gerrymanders, Election Law Blog.  He has also co-authored a casebook Election Law and Litigation: The Judicial Regulation of Politics (Aspen 2014).

Among his many law journal articles, recent ones include:

 Third-Party and Independent Presidential Candidates: The Need for a Runoff Mechanism, 85 Fordham L. Rev. 993-1020 (2016)

 Voters as Fiduciaries, 2015 U. Chi. L. Forum (2015)

The Speaking Ballot, 89 N.Y.U. L. Rev. Online 52 (2014)

Virtue over Party: Samuel Randall’s Electoral Heroism and Its Continuing Importance, 3 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 475 (2013)

A Big Blue Shift: Measuring an Asymmetrically Increasing Margin of Litigation, 28 J. L. & Pol. 501 (2013)

The Posterity Project: Developing a Method for Long-Term Political Reform, 66 Oklahoma L. Rev. 1 (2013)

Voting Rules and Constitutional Law, 81 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 1836 (2013)

The Separation of Electoral Powers, 74 Montana L. Rev. 139-163 (2013)

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.