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James A. Gardner

Bridget and Thomas Black Professor at the University at Buffalo School of Law


Election law, constitutional law, federalism, state constitutional law

Headshot of James Gardner.

James A. Gardner is a specialist in election law.

He is one of the most highly cited legal scholars working in the election law field, recently ranked among the top 10 most-cited faculty in election law scholarship, according to the influential Election Law Blog. Gardner is also a top national authority on American state constitutional law, as well as the principles of federalism upon which it is built.

Gardner’s research interests include the constitutional structure of politics, the institutionalization through law of principles of democracy, comparative and American federalism, and subnational constitutional law.

Gardner received his BA from Yale University in 1980 and his JD from the University of Chicago in 1984. From 1984 to 1988, he practiced law in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.

He has taught at Western New England University, William and Mary, the University of Connecticut and Florida State University, and in 2012 held the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in the Theory and Practice of Constitutionalism and Federalism at McGill University in Montreal.

Gardner’s most recent books are “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 a new revision of his “Legal Argument: The Structure and Language of Effective Advocacy” (LexisNexis).


James A. Gardner, JD
Bridget and Thomas Black Professor of Law
SUNY Distinguished Professor of Law
University at Buffalo School of Law