Edward B. Foley

Prof. Edward B. Foley

Charles W. Ebersold and Florence Whitcomb Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law; Director, Election Law @ Moritz, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Professor 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 (Oxford University Press, 2016) was named Finalist for the David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History and listed as one of 100 “must-read books about law and social justice”.

He has completed a new book manuscript, Presidential Elections and Majority Rule (to be published by Oxford University Press), which employs historical analysis to offer a feasible reform of state laws that would enable the Electoral College to operate as intended and thereby avoid the election of presidents who lack majority support among the voters in the states responsible for their Electoral College victories.

As Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Project on Election Administration (with his Mortiz colleague Steven Huefner, who served as Associate Reporter), Professor Foley drafted Principles of Law: Non-Precinct Voting and Resolution of Ballot-Counting Disputes, which provides nonpartisan guidance for the resolution of election disputes.

During his fellowship at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Foley wrote Due Process, Fair Play and Excessive Partisanship: A New Principle of Judicial Review of Election Law, 84 U. Chicago Law Review 655-758 (2017), which was cited in briefs in Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone (the Supreme Court gerrymandering cases). His extensive online commentary about gerrymandering includes: Wechsler, History, and Gerrymandering, Scotusblog, and Constitutional Preservation, the Marbury Duty & Congressional Gerrymanders, Election Law Blog.

While Professor Foley has special expertise on recounts and other procedures for fairly and accurately identifying which candidate is the winner in close elections, he has written widely on all aspects of election law, including the need for nonpartisan institutions in election administration. He has also co-authored Election Law and Litigation: The Judicial Regulation of Politics (Wolters Kluwer 2014).

Professor Foley has taught at Ohio State since 1991. Previously, 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.



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