More on Foley’s Amicus Court Proposal

I need to give Ned Foley’s “Election Appeals Court” a fairer treatment, my somewhat tongue in cheek earlier posting aside. What Ned is working toward here is some sort of non-partisan appeals body that can help settle electoral disputes and in doing so, help re-establish citizen trust and legitimacy in our elections system.

I urged Ned to pen something on Equal Vote’s Free and Fair list of essays or perhaps contribute a guest column here, and it sounds like we’ll all see something in the public venue in the near future.

This is a serious proposal, and deserves serious consideration. (Maybe live blogging after four hours of presentations is not a good idea after all!)

I’ll reserve judgment until that point, though I should admit thatI tend to be react skeptically to proposals that resolve political disputes by taking them into non-political arenas. That’s why I think the reader’s of Rick Hasen’s listserv have reacted so negatively to Ron Rivest’s suggestion of a random sample “primary” as a “solution” to the Florida and Michigan dilemma (interestingly, the same proposal came up at the “How We Vote” conference and it was slapped down just as immediately by Dan Tokaji).

This is why a small literature has grown up in political science, most notably Ben Ginsberg’s “Politics by Other Means” but a number of other books that discuss how litigation, rather than good legislation, is the way many political disputes are settled in this country.