Michael J. Pitts

Professor of Law and Dean's Fellow

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Lawrence W. Inlow Hall, Room 315
530 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3225

Phone: (317) 278-9155
E-Mail: mjpitts@iupui.edu

SSRN | Curriculum Vitae


B.S.J., 1993, Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism
J.D. (magna cum laude), 1999, Georgetown University Law Center


Election law, civil procedure, evidence


Mike Pitts joined the law school faculty in the fall of 2006 after serving for one year as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law where he taught constitutional law, professional responsibility, employment discrimination, and election law. From 2001 to 2005, he practiced as a trial attorney in the Voting Section of the United States Department of Justice. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and served as an associate editor of The Georgetown Law Journal. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable C. Arlen Beam, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Professor Pitts’ scholarly work focuses on the law of democracy, particularly voting rights and election administration. His work has been cited in law reviews, political science journals, briefs, federal and state judicial opinions, and congressional testimony. He has been named a John S. Grimes fellow three times (2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12) and a Dean’s Fellow in recognition of scholarly excellence five times (2007-11). Professor Pitts frequently provides commentary about election law issues to the media and has been quoted by The Associated Press and The New York Times, and has appeared on CNN. He also is a two-time winner of the Red Cane Award for Best New Professor (2008 and 2009), a two-time winner of the Black Cane Award for Best Professor (2010 and 2014), and a recipient of a Trustee’s Teaching Award (2010).


(SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=405097)

Books and Chapters

  • Election Law Litigation (w/ Foley & Douglas) (Aspen 2014)

Law Review and Journal Articles

  • Against Residency Requirements, 2015 U. Chi. Legal Forum __
  • Empirically Measuring the Impact of Photo ID Over Time and Its Impact on Women, 48 Ind. L. Rev. __ (2015)
  • P = E² and Other Thoughts on the Value of Participation, 65 Okla. L. Rev. 101 (2013)
  • Photo ID, Provisional Balloting, and Indiana's 2012 Primary Election, 47 U. Richmond L. Rev. 939 (2013)
  • Opt-Out Voting, 39 Hofstra L. Rev. 897 (2011)
  • Redistricting and Discriminatory Purpose, 59 Am. U. L. Rev. 1575 (2010)
  • Introduction: A Symposium on the Law of Democracy, 44 Ind. L. Rev. 1 (2010)
  • Documenting Disfranchisement: Voter Identification at Indiana's 2008 General Election, 25 J. L. & Pol. 329 (2009) (w/ Matthew Neumann)
  • Poll Workers, Election Administration, and the Problem of Implicit Bias, 15 Mich. J. Race & L. 1 (2009) (w/ Antony Page)
  • What Will the Life of Riley v. Kennedy Mean for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act?, 68 Md. L. Rev. 481 (2009)
  • Empirically Assessing the Impact of Photo Identification at the Polls Through An Examination of Provisional Balloting, 24 J. L. & Pol. 475 (2008)
  • The Voting Rights Act and the Era of Maintenance, 59 Ala. L. Rev. 903 (2008)
  • Defining Partisan Law Enforcement, 18 Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. 324 (2007)
  • Heads or Tails? A Modest Proposal for Deciding Close Elections, 39 Conn. L. Rev. 739 (2006)
  • Let’s Not Call the Whole Thing Off Just Yet: A Response to Samuel Issacharoff’s Suggestion To Scuttle Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, 84 Neb. L. Rev. 605 (2005)
  • Georgia v. Ashcroft: It’s the End of Section 5 As We Know It (And I Feel Fine), 32 Pepp. L. Rev. 265 (2005)
  • Congressional Enforcement of Affirmative Democracy Through Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, 25 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 183 (2005)
  • Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act: A Once and Future Remedy?, 81 Denv. U. L. Rev. 225 (2003)

Essays and Reports

  • One Person, One Vote: Teaching “Sixth-Grade Arithmetic”, 56 St. Louis U. L. J. 759 (2012)
  • Voter Identification (Part of Pew Center on the States Report, Provisional Ballots: An Imperfect Solution) (Aug. 31, 2009)
  • The Amicus Briefs in the Indiana Voter Identification Case: I read . . . so you don’t have to, Commentary for Election Law @ Moritz (Jan. 8, 2008)
  • The Exclusionary Rule, 86 Geo. L.J. 1339 (1998)

Book Reviews

  • Redistricting 101, 10 Election L. J. 483 (2011) (reviewing Charles Bullock III's "Redistricting")
  • Ordinary People, 6 Election L. J. 113 (2007) (reviewing Spencer Overton's "Stealing Democracy")

Other Publications

  • Outdated racial stereotypes can mask subtler forms of bias, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (July 28, 2009) (w/ Antony Page)


  • Discussant, The Jurisprudence of Voting Rights, Midwest Political Science Association
  • Shelby County v. Holder: A Primer and Some Thoughts, University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • Panelist, Ensuring Integrity and Access: Voter ID in 2012 and Beyond, Pew Center on the States, Washington, DC (broadcast on C-SPAN)
  • Moderator, The Voting Rights Act and Redistricting, The George Washington University Law School
  • Photo ID, Provisional Balloting, and Indiana’s 2012 Primary Election, University of Richmond School of Law
  • Casting a Ballot in Indiana: From Registration to Photo Identification, Indianapolis Bar Association
  • Key Developments in Redistricting Under the Voting Rights Act, American Bar Association Teleconference (moderator and participant)
  • Photo ID and Provisional Balloting, National Bar Association Law & Religion Conference, Chicago, IL
  • Highlights of the 2010 Redistricting Cycle, University of Kentucky College of Law
  • Section 5, Redistricting, and Discriminatory Purpose, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Moderator, Citizens United, the 2010 Elections, and the Future of the Supreme Court, American Constitution Society
  • Poll Workers, Election Administration, and the Problem of Implicit Bias, New York University School of Law
  • Poll Workers, Election Administration, and the Problem of Implicit Bias, Faculty Workshop, University of Toledo College of Law
  • Redistricting and Discriminatory Purpose, AALS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Empirically Assessing the Impact of Photo Identification at the Polls Through an Examination of Provisional Balloting, Faculty Workshop, Capital University Law School
  • Presenter and Participant, Washington University School of Law Regional Junior Faculty Workshop
  • Panelist, Identifying the Problems of Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, University of Maryland School of Law
  • Moderator, The Indiana Voter ID Law and the Supreme Court: Crawford v. Marion County Election Board and Indiana Democratic Party v. Rokita, American Constitution Society
  • The Voting Rights Act and the Era of Maintenance, Faculty Workshop, University of Illinois College of Law
  • Crawford v. Marion County Election Board: A Preview and Some Thoughts, National Conference of State Legislatures
  • Defining Partisan Law Enforcement, Southeastern Association of Law Schools
  • Voter Representation, Panelist, Stanford Law School
  • Latinos and Partisanship, Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington
  • The Future of the Voting Rights Act, Emory University School of Law
  • Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act: Let’s Not Call the Whole Thing Off Just Yet, Drake University Law School
  • Why Congress Should Extend Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, University of Nebraska