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2020 U.S. Presidential Election — Issues, Outcome and Implications

Topic:2020 U.S. Presidential Election — Issues, Outcome and Implications

Date&Time:Thursday, November 19, 8:30 p.m.;Friday, November 20, 8:30 p.m.

Moderator:Dean Philip McConnaughay

Location:STL Building Room 201


Thursday, November 19, 8:30 p.m.


James A. Gardner

Distinguished Professor at State University of New York; Bridget and Thomas Black Professor of Law;Research Professor of Political Science, State University of New York at Buffalo

Professor James A. Gardner is a leading expert in U.S. constitutional and election law.  His articles have appeared in Columbia Law ReviewMichigan Law ReviewTexas Law ReviewInternational Journal of Constitutional LawAmerican Journal of Comparative Law, and many other publications.  His books include Election Law in the American Political System (Aspen), What Are Campaigns For? The Role of Persuasion in Electoral Law and Politics (Oxford University Press) and Legal Argument: The Structure and Language of Effective Advocacy (Carolina Academic Press).  

In 2012, Professor Gardner held the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the Theory and Practice of Constitutionalism and Federalism at McGill University in Montreal.  In 2015, he was the Federalism Scholar in Residence at the European Academy’s Institute for Comparative Federalism.  In 2018, he was Visiting Professor at the University of Barcelona.

Professor Gardner received his BA from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of Chicago. Between 1984 and 1988, he practiced law with the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

Topics include:

What is the actual role of the popular vote in the U.S. presidential election?  What is the Electoral College and how does it work?  May a candidate lose the popular vote and still win the presidency?  Is it true that a founding principle of the United States was a fear of democracy and a desire to limit popular participation?  Is it possible for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the outcome of the election?

Friday, November 20, 8:30 p.m.


Ellen Campbell, Assistant Director, Voter Protection, State of Wisconsin

STL Associate Dean Duncan Alford

STL Professor Mark Feldman

STL Professor Thomas Man

Topics include:

Why do the rules of voting in a national election vary from state to state?  What was the mail-in absentee ballot controversy all about?  What is voter suppression?  How did Chinese-Americans vote?  What are the foreign policy implications of Biden’s apparent election?  What is Trump likely to do between now and Biden’s swearing in on January 20?