Faculty Stories

Gardner moves up in academic impact ranking


Scholars of election law are increasingly looking to one University at Buffalo School of Law professor as an influence on their work.

SUNY Distinguished Professor and interim Dean James A. Gardner, a specialist in election law, has again been listed among the most highly cited legal scholars working in this area. The ranking, reported by the influential Election Law Blog, shows that other scholars cited Gardner’s work 354 times in articles published from 2010 to 2014.

Gardner was ranked eighth in the nation on this list, up two places from a similar survey conducted last year. Also on the list were scholars working at the law schools of Yale, New York University, Stanford and Columbia.

The survey, conducted by Professor Richard L. Hasen of the University of California-Irvine, examined the Westlaw “Journals and Law Reviews” database. It covered work by scholars at all 200 ABA-accredited law schools in the United States.

Gardner received his B.A. from Yale University in 1980 and his J.D. 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. Before joining the SUNY Buffalo Law faculty in 2001, he taught at Western New England University, William and Mary, and the University of Connecticut.  Since then, he has been a visiting professor at 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.            

His 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’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).

He has served as the Law School’s interim dean since December 2014.