Election Law and Liberal Democracy before the American Supreme

The US Supreme Court is frequently condemned as nullifying democratic legislation on politicized grounds. If accurate, this critique suggests the Court should not be trusted to support dialogue and dissent.
Through a synthetic theoretical analysis of Supreme Court case law on elections, considering campaign finance, racial and partisan districting, and equipopulous voting, this paper challenges this view. It demonstrates that the long arc of the Supreme Court’s intervention into electoral process comprises a prolonged discourse on the appropriate conditions of liberal democracy. While specific decisions may reflect justices’ partisan leanings, the long arc of the jurisprudence reasonably engages with the foundations of liberal self-governance.
Thus, this paper suggests that the US Supreme Court should be trusted to support democratic politics. It has served as a forum itself for dissenting understandings of liberal democracy, and generally shielded opportunities for popular dissent.