Professor Theodore Rave's article Politicians as Fiduciaries is thoughtful, well-argued, and sophisticated. It identifies the right endgame and works its way to what we think are some of the most promising proposals out there for addressing the difficult problem of gerrymandering. It also provides the best proof that this debate in election law has run its course. We should first say a word about the article's strengths. The critical insight at the heart of Rave's article is a parallel between corporate law and election law. The parallel is nonobvious. One of us has spent a good deal of time telling skeptics why it makes sense for him to teach both business associations and election law. As Rave recognizes, both corporate and election law are defined by the agency problem between a diffuse group of principals, on the one hand, and the officials they elect to serve their interests, on the other. In corporate law, the principals are shareholders who elect a board of directors to manage their corporate entity. In election law, the principals are citizens who elect public officeholders to run the government. These two superficially dissimilar bodies of law are thus unified by the same basic regulatory dilemma. Both pivot off the challenge of governance, public and private.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Gerken, Heather K., "DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: COURTS, CORPORATE LAW, AND ELECTION LAW" (2013). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 4898.