The law of democracy is a field in which line-drawing is often really important. Sometimes, the lines are literal ones, as with redistricting. Sometimes, the lines are theoretical or doctrinal, as with the much-maligned contribution/expenditure distinction in campaign finance law. So there’s something striking about the fact that the field also blurs many lines that often seem impermeable—between legal scholars and social scientists, between the academy and practice, between doctrine and empiricism, between normative and descriptive. “Always it is by bridges that we live,” the poet Philip Larkin wrote, and those of us who toil in this particular corner of public law cross those bridges every day.


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