Michael D. Gilbert

  • Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law
  • Director, Center for Public Law and Political Economy

Michael Gilbert teaches courses on election law, legislation, and law and economics. His current research focuses on campaign finance law, corruption and the adjudication of “culture war” disputes. He is working on a book-length project on public law and economics. His research has appeared in multiple law reviews, peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, and he has lectured throughout the United States and around the world, including in Ecuador, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, and Israel. 

Gilbert directs UVA Law’s Center for Public Law and Political Economy.  He is a member of the Democracy Initiative’s Corruption Lab for Ethics, Accountability, and the Rule of Law.  In spring 2020, he was a visiting professor at Universidad Torcuato di Tella in Buenos Aires. Gilbert has won UVA’s All-University Teaching Award and the Student Council Distinguished Teaching Award.     

Prior to joining the faculty, Gilbert clerked for Judge William A. Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He received his J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as articles editor on the California Law Review and received multiple distinctions, including Olin Fellowships in Law and Economics and a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Grant. 

Website on SSRN

Education

  • Ph.D.
    University of California at Berkeley
    2008
  • J.D.
    University of California at Berkeley School of Law
    2005
  • B.S.
    Tulane University
    1999

"Constitutional Law and Economics" (with Robert D. Cooter), in Research Methods in Constitutional Law: A Handbook (Malcolm Langford & David S. Law eds., Edward Elgar, forthcoming 2021).
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"Constitutional Locks" (with Mauricio Guim and Michael Weisbuch).
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“Conflict Avoidance in Constitutional Law” (with Charles Barzun), 107 Va. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021).
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"Active Virtues" (with Mauricio Guim), 98 Wash. U.L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021).
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"Do Good Citizens Need Good Laws? Economics and the Expressive Function" (with Andrew T. Hayashi) Theoretical Inquiries in Law (forthcoming 2020).
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"The Law and Economics of Entrenchment," 54 Ga. L. Rev. 61 (2019).
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"Insincere Evidence" (with Sean Sullivan), 105 Va. L. Rev. 1115 (2019).
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"Waiting to Vote in the 2016 Presidential Election: Evidence From a Multi-County Study" (with coauthors), Political Research Quarterly (2019).
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"Contributions and Corruption: Restoring Aggregate Limits in the States," in Democracy by the People: Reforming Campaign Finance in America 328-343 (Timothy K. Kuhner and Eugene D. Mazo eds., Cambridge University Press, 2018). 
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"Pedagogical Value of Polling-Place Observation by Students" (with coauthors),  51 Political Science and Politics 4 (2018).
ResearchGate

"Transparency and Corruption: A General Analysis" 2018 U. Chi. Legal F. 117 (2018).
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"Optimal Entrenchment of Legal Rules"
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"Entrenchment, Incrementalism, and Constitutional Collapse," 103 Va. L. Rev. 631 (2017).
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"Aggregate Corruption" (with Emily Reeder), 104 Ky. L.J. 651 (2016).
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"The Coordination Fallacy" (with Brian Barnes), 43 Fla. St. U.L. Rev. 399 (2016). 
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"Disclosure and Corruption" (with Benjamin Aiken), 14 Election L.J. 148 (2015).
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"Insincere Rules," 101 Va. L. Rev. 2185 (2015).
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"The Problem of Voter Fraud," 115 Colum. L. Rev. 739 (2015).
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"Judicial Independence and Social Welfare," 112 Mich. L. Rev. 575 (2014).
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"Campaign Finance Disclosure and the Information Tradeoff," 98 Iowa L. Rev. 1847 (2013).
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"Interpreting Initiatives," 97 Minn. L. Rev. 1621 (2013).
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"Disclosure, Credibility, and Speech," 27 J.L. & Pol. 627 (2012).
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"Does Law Matter? Theory and Evidence from Single Subject Adjudication," 40 J. Legal Stud. 333 (2011).
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"Direct Democracy, Courts, and Majority Will," 9 Election L.J. 211 (2010) (reviewing Kenneth P. Miller, Direct Democracy and the Courts).
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"A Theory of Direct Democracy and the Single Subject Rule" (with Robert D. Cooter), 110 Colum. L. Rev. 687 (2010). 
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"Reply to Hasen and Matsusaka" (with Robert D. Cooter), 110 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 59 (2010).
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"Less Can Be More: Conflicting Ballot Proposals and the Highest Vote Rule" (with Joshua M. Levine), 38 J. Legal Stud. 383 (2009).
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"Single Subject Rules and the Legislative Process," 67 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 803 (2006).
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Website on SSRN

 

 

Current Courses

All Courses

Constitutional Law and Economics
Direct Democracy
Judicial Decision-Making
Law and Economics I
Law and Economics II
Legislation
Regulation of the Political Process

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Impeachment, Bribery and Corruption