This book created the field of the law of democracy, offering a systematic account of the legal construction of American democracy. This edition represents a significant revision that reflects the embattled state of democracy in the U.S. and abroad. With the addition of Franita Tolson as well as Nathaniel Persily to the prior edition, the book now turns to a changed legal environment following the radical reconfiguration of the Voting Rights Act, the rise of social media and circumvention of the formal channels of campaign finance, and the increased fragmentation of political parties. Strikingly, in the current political environment the right to register and vote passes from being a largely historical inquiry to a source of front-burner legal challenge. This edition further streamlines the coverage of the Voting Rights Act, expands the scope of coverage of campaign finance and political corruption issues, and turns to the new dispute over voter access to the ballot. The section on election litigation and remedies has been expanded to address the expanded range of legal challenges to election results. For the first time, this book isolates the distinct problems of presidential elections, ranging from the conflict over federal and state law in Bush v. Gore, to the distinct challenges to the 2020 presidential elections, to the renewed focus on the Electoral Count Act.

The basic structure of the book continues to follow the historical development of the individual right to vote; current struggles over gerrymandering; the relationship of the state to political parties; the constitutional and policy issues surrounding campaign-finance reform; and the tension between majority rule and fair representation of minorities in democratic bodies.

For more information and additional teaching materials, visit the companion site.


Imprint: Foundation Press
Series: University Casebook Series
Publication Date: 08/03/2022

Samuel Issacharoff, New York University School of Law

Pamela S. Karlan, Stanford Law School

Richard H. Pildes, New York University School of Law

Nathaniel Persily, Stanford Law School

Franita Tolson, University of Southern California Gould School of Law

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The book now turns to a changed legal environment following the radical reconfiguration of the Voting Rights Act, the rise of social media and circumvention of the formal channels of campaign finance, and the increased fragmentation of political parties. This edition further streamlines the coverage of the Voting Rights Act, expands the scope of coverage of campaign finance and political corruption issues, and turns to the new dispute over voter access to the ballot. The section on election litigation and remedies has been expanded to address the expanded range of legal challenges to election results. For the first time, this book isolates the distinct problems of presidential elections, ranging from the conflict over federal and state law in Bush v. Gore, to the distinct challenges to the 2020 presidential elections, to the renewed focus on the Electoral Count Act.

Learn more about this series.