Talk Examines Electoral Law, Constitution

Derek Muller

Derek Muller

Derek Muller, associate professor of law at Pepperdine University, examines the historical and legal perspective of electoral law in a Constitution Day lecture Monday, Sept. 19, at 3:30 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. “From Adams v. Jefferson to Trump v. Clinton: Elections and the Framers’ Constitution,” funded by the John Templeton Foundation through a grant from the Institute for Humane Studies, is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact organizer Jesse Covington, Westmont associate professor of political science, at (805) 565-6784. Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 men on Sept. 17, 1787, recognizing all naturalized or native-born citizens of the U.S.

Muller’s research and writing focus on election law, particularly federalism and the role of states in the administration of elections. His work has appeared in the Arizona Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, the Arizona State Law Journal, the Florida State University Law Review, the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and the peer-reviewed Election Law Journal.

“Electoral law, including constitutional provisions regarding elections, provides the framework for maintaining accountable representative democracy, rendering it an important aspect of a constitutional republic like ours,” Covington says. “Professor Muller will engage this area of law, examining how these little-known provisions in the constitution help in protecting liberty.”

Muller’s most recent article, “‘Natural Born’ Disputes in the 2016 Presidential Election,” is expected to appear later this year in the Fordham Law Review. His paper, “Scrutinizing Federal Electoral Qualifications,” earned the 2016 Pepperdine University School of Law Dean’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship.

His editorials have been widely published, including “Don’t force electors to vote for Trump or Hillary” in the Detroit News, “Awarding presidential delegates by congressional districts is unfair” in the Sacramento Bee, “GOP nomination process 101: Candidates’ remedial edition” for Reuters, and “If no one else can stop Trump, the Electoral College still can. It’s in the Constitution” in the Washington Post.

Muller, a graduate of Hillsdale College, earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Notre Dame Law School. He has taught at Pepperdine since 2011, focusing in the areas of election law, civil procedure, complex litigation, administrative law, and evidence.


  1. Is Muller’s Sept. 19th talk available online in any format?