I was greatly honored this weekend to receive this award at the annual meeting of the American Law School Association, even if it partly means I have been at this work for a long time.
It’s particularly meaningful to me because of the warmth and respect I felt for John Hart Ely. My connection to John goes back to law school, when he taught me Conflicts of Law. After John wrote Democracy and Distrust in 1980, he did not write again about those issues until the late 1990s. I have always liked to think that the new energy those of us brought who entered the field back then played a role in drawing John back to these issues. In the last years of his life, we were fortunate John participated in conferences on these issues. He was also incisive, eccentric, and unfailingly intellectually honest. It’s a great honor to receive this award rightly named for him.
As always, I’m particularly grateful to my longest-time collaborators, Pam Karlan and Sam Issacharoff, who helped make this work intellectually exciting, challenging, and fun. Part of what we drew me to this work at the outset also was the work of such terrific political scientists as Bruce Cain, Bernie Groffman, and Morgan Kousser, among others, and I want to acknowledge them as well.