The Appearance of Election Law

8 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2005


The recent attention to election law implies that questions of reapportionment, voting rights, campaign finance, and the counting of votes belong to the same category of legal questions. In each instance, the evolving Supreme Court jurisprudence emphasizes appearances. The appearance of legislative districts, the appearance of corruption, and the appearance of partisanship are just some of the distinct ways in which the Court has concluded that appearance matter. As with other appearances, what looks to some observers like a gerrymandered district or a corrupting contribution is seen by others as a legitimate apportionment or an innocent expression of political support. This essay encourages greater attention to what is at issue in these cases so that we can learn what "election law" is really all about.

Keywords: Appearance, election law, repportionment, campaign finance, equality

JEL Classification: K30

Suggested Citation

Nagle, John Copeland, The Appearance of Election Law. Notre Dame Journal of Legislation, Vol. 31, 2004, Available at SSRN:

John Copeland Nagle (Contact Author)

Notre Dame Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 780
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0780
United States

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