Law professor named adviser for American Law Institute election project
LAWRENCE — University of Kansas School of Law professor Stephen McAllister has been selected to serve as an adviser for the prestigious American Law Institute’s new Election Law Project.
Kicking off the same year as the nation’s 57th presidential election, Principles of Election Law: Resolution of Election Disputes aims to lay a foundation to resolve post-voting disputes and supply valuable guidance for law reform. McAllister, who is also the solicitor general of Kansas, is one of 44 advisers chosen for the project. He was elected to the institute in 2010, joining a selective membership of judges, lawyers and law professors from across the country.
“With high-profile election disputes in recent years—none more visible or momentous than Bush v. Gore—this area of the law is ripe for serious and sustained attention by an objective group of professors, judges and lawyers who will be trying to provide guidance for the resolution of future disputes,” McAllister said.
Controversial presidential elections have marked the last decade of voting, with “hanging chad” becoming a dubious buzzword in 2000, and potentially unreliable electronic voting procedures drawing fire in 2004. In both elections, recounts were necessary and proved divisive for the country. The new Election Law Project will address the rules and procedures applicable to recounts and the resolutions of disputes over ballot counts, as well as the rules for nonprecinct, or absentee, voting.
Advisers for the Election Law Project are selected for their expertise, and will provide input and guidance to the reporters who draft the Restatement. McAllister said that he will attend meetings once or twice a year, review draft sections and provide written feedback, and otherwise assist the reporters in finalizing a draft that will be presented to the full membership of the institute for eventual adoption.
The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law. Involving only the most qualified legal professionals, ALI publishes restatements of the law, model statutes and principles of the law that have an enormous influence both in the courts and in legal scholarship and education.
After graduating from the KU School of Law in 1988, McAllister clerked for Justices Byron White and Clarence Thomas at the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. He also practiced in the Washington, D.C., office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. McAllister received a Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence in 1999 and the Steeples Award for Service to Kansans in 2008. He currently holds the Robert A. Schroeder Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching.
McAllister was dean of the KU law school from 2000 to 2005. As solicitor general of Kansas, he assists the attorney general’s office with important constitutional litigation, including writing briefs and presenting oral arguments on behalf of the state before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Kansas Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and both federal and state trial courts in Kansas.