“The Administration of Democracy”

Announcing the George Mason Law Review’s Second Annual Administrative Law Symposium—and Calling for Papers

Our laws are written by democratically elected legislators, and administered by the appointees of a democratically elected president.

But that democracy is itself governed by law — including, of course, laws established by independent commissions and other administrative actors, such as the Federal Election Commission, state districting commissions, and regulatory ethics officers. These ground rules can significantly affect elections, legislation, and administration .

How does the administrative process affect democratic elections? What should principles of administrative law and political science teach us about the current workings of these commissions and other administrators? And how should their work be reformed or modernized?

To explore these questions, the George Mason Law Review and the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative are focusing their Second Annual Law Review Symposium on “The Administration of Democracy.”

On October 4, 2019 the Law Review and the Gray Center will co-host a day-long conference discussing papers to be published later in a symposium issue of the Law Review. The October 4 conference will feature keynote remarks by two former White House Counsels with significant expertise in election law: Robert Bauer and Donald McGahn.

And so we welcome paper proposals:

Topics could include (but are not limited to) the constitutional, administrative law, political theory or political science issues arising from

  • The 2020 Census, including current litigation and administration
  • State and local administration of elections, including independent redistricting commissions
  • The electoral role of Federal Election Commission and other federal agencies
  • The current structure and functions of the Federal Election Commission
  • The administration of rules on voter access and qualifications
  • The administration of ethics rules for Congress, agencies, and courts
  • The administration of rules for public access to, and participation in, the government’s lawmaking processes.

For these and other issues, we are interested in how administrative law, and the political science of public administration, can help us to better understand these crucial parts of the democratic process.

Scholars interested in contributing papers to the submission, to be discussed in a conference on October 4 then published in a subsequent issue of the George Mason Law Review, are invited to submit paper proposals to Andrew Kloster, at akloste [at] gmu [dot] edu.

Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis; we’ll update this announcement when the slate is filled.