The Law of Democratic Disqualification

Professor Ginsburg discusses how almost all constitution, including our own, contain one or several ways to disqualify specific individuals from political office. The U.S. Constitution, indeed, incorporates no less than four overlapping pathways toward disqualification. This power of retail disqualification stands at the heartland of the complex project of democratic rule. In practice, it works both an instrument for preserving democratic rule, and also a knife against it. This Article is the first to analyze systematically the complex positive and normative questions raised by disqualification. It offers both a positive account of the function that disqualification plays in constitutional ordering, and a normative account of the role that it should play.