Elizabeth Garrett

USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs; Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor of Law, Political Science, Finance and Business Economics, and Public PolicyUSC Gould School of Law

Elizabeth Garrett
Work: (213) 740-2101
699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Download vCard
Download Curriculum Vitae

last updated Thu, Feb 12, 2015

Elizabeth Garrett specializes in the legislative process, direct democracy, the federal budget process, the study of democratic institutions, statutory interpretation and tax policy. She is an expert on state, national and presidential politics.

Elizabeth Garrett was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs on October 28, 2010, having served in that capacity on an interim basis since the previous August. As the university’s second-ranking officer, she oversees the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences as well as the Keck School of Medicine of USC and 16 other professional schools, in addition to the divisions of student affairs, libraries, information technology services, research, student religious life and enrollment services. She also sits on the governing board of the USC hospitals.
Garrett is the Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor in the USC Gould School of Law. In addition to this primary faculty appointment, she has joint appointments in USC Dornsife and the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, as well as a courtesy appointment in the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. In August 2009, she was appointed as one of five commissioners on the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state’s independent political oversight agency. In January 2005, she was appointed to President George W. Bush's nine-member bipartisan Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, which issued its report in November 2005.  She formerly served as Director of the USC-Caltech Center for the Study of Law and Politics and serves on the board of the Initiative and referendum Institute at USC.

Garrett previously served as USC’s vice president for academic planning and budget, a position she had held since June 2006. In that role, she was responsible for ensuring that budgetary planning was fully informed by USC’s strategic plan and by the academic priorities and initiatives that have resulted from it. She also helped set the academic objectives for graduate and undergraduate education, foster interdisciplinary educational and research programs, and cultivate and enhance the academic community at USC.
Garrett graduated from the University of Oklahoma and University of Virginia Law School. She clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court and Judge Williams on the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and served as legal counsel and legislative assistant for tax, budget and welfare reform issues for U.S. Senator David L. Boren. Before joining USC Law in 2003, she was a professor at University of Chicago Law School, where she also served as deputy dean for academic affairs. She has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, the University of Virginia Law School, Central European University in Budapest and the Interdisciplinary Center Law School in Israel.
Garrett is on the council of the American Law Institute, a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Pacific Council for International Policy. She also serves on the editorial board of Election Law Journal.

Garrett is the co-author of the fourth edition of the leading casebook on legislation and statutory interpretation, Cases and Materials on Legislation: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy (West Publishing, 2007). Her recent articles have analyzed courts and political parties, campaign finance reform laws, various congressional procedures, judicial review of regulatory statutes, and the initiative process.

A selection of papers can be downloaded from Elizabeth Garrett's Author Page at the Social Science Research Network Electronic Library.


  • Cases and Materials on Statutory Interpretation, (with William N. Eskridge and Philip P. Frickey), Thomson/West, 2012.
  • Statutory Interpretation Stories (2011) (Foundation Press) (editor with William N. Eskridge, Jr. and Philip P. Frickey).
  • Fiscal Challenges: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Budget and Policy (edited with E. Graddy and H. Jackson) (Cambridge University Press 2008, paperback with revised preface 2009).
  • Cases and Materials on Legislation: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy, (with W. N. Eskridge, Jr. and P.P. Frickey) 4th ed. (2007); 4th ed. Supp. (2012, with W.N. Eskridge, Jr. and  J.J. Brudney); 3d. ed. (2001) (West Group).
  • Legislation and Statutory Interpretation (2000 and rev.ed. 2006) (Foundation's Concepts and Insights Series) with William N. Eskridge, Jr. and Philip P. Frickey.

Contributions to Books

  • “Campaign Finance in the Hybrid Realm of Recall Elections,” Symposium: A More Perfect Union? Democracy in the Age of Ballot Initiatives, 97 Minnesota Law Review 1654 (May 2013).
  • “The Story of TVA v. Hill: Congress Has the Last Word,” in Statutory Interpretation Stories (2011) (W.N. Eskridge, Jr., P.P. Frickey & E. Garrett eds).
  • “Constitutional Issues Raised by the Lobbying Disclosure Act,” in The Lobbying Manual: A Complete Guide to Federal Law Governing Lawyers and Lobbyists 197 (4th ed. 2009) (W.V. Luneburg, T.M. Susman & R.H. Gordon eds., American Bar Association) (with Ronald M. Levin & Theodore Ruger).
  • “Legislation and Statutory Interpretation.” In The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics 360 (K.E. Whittington, R.D. Kelemen & G.A. Caldiera eds., 2008).
  • “Direct Democracy.” In Elgar Handbook on Public Law and Public Choice. (D.A. Farber and A.J. O'Connell eds., forthcoming, 2010).
  • "Transparency in the Budget Process.” In Fiscal Challenges: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Budget Policy. (E. Garrett, E. Graddy and H. Jackson, eds.) (Cambridge University Press 2008) (with Adrian Vermeule).
  • “Legislative Immunities.” In 3 Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States. (D.S. Tanenhaus, ed., 2008).
  • “Conditions for Framework Legislation.” In The Least Examined Branch: The Role of Legislatures in the Constitutional State. (R.W.  Bauman and T. Kahana, eds.) (Cambridge University Press 2006).
  • “Constitutional Issues Raised by the Lobbying Disclosure Act” (with R. Levin and T. Ruger). In The Lobbying Manual: A Complete Guide to Federal Law Governing Lawyers and Lobbyists 197 (4th ed. 2009) and (3d ed. 2005) (W.V. Luneburg, T.M. Susman & R.H. Gordon eds., American Bar Association).
  • “The Future of Campaign Finance Laws in the Courts and Congress.” In The Constitution and Campaign Finance Reform, 2d ed. (F.G. Slabach, ed.) (2006).
  • “Institutional Design of a Thayerian Congress” (with A. Vermeule). In Congress and the Constitution (N. D. and K. Whittingdon, eds.) (2005).
  • “Step One of Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council.” In A Guide to Judicial and Political Review of Federal Agencies (F. Duffy and M. Herz, eds.) (American Bar Association, 2005).
  • “The Story of Clinton v. City of New York: Congress Can Take Care of Itself,” in Administrative Law Stories 47 (P. Strauss ed., 2005).
  • “The Impact of Bush v. Gore on Future Democratic Politics.” In The Future of Democratic Politics: Principles and Practices (G. Pomper and M. Weiner, eds.) (Rutgers University Press, 2003).
  • “Is the Party Over?: Courts and the Political Process.” In The Supreme Court Review (D.J. Hutchinson, G.R. Stone, and D.A. Strauss, eds) (University of Chicago Press, 2003).
  • “Leaving the Decision to Congress.” In The Vote: Bush, Gore and the Supreme Court (C. R. Sunstein and R.A. Epstein, eds.) (University of Chicago Press, 2001).
  • “Money in the Initiative and Referendum Process: Evidence of Its Effects and Prospects for Reform” (with E.R. Gerber). In The Battle Over Citizen Lawmaking (M. Dane Waters, ed.) (Carolina Academic Press, 2001).
  • “Term Limits.” In Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2nd ed. vol. 6 (Levy, Karst, and Winkler, eds.) (Macmillan Reference USA, 2000).


  • "The Dilemma of Direct Democracy," 9 Election Law Journal 305 (2010) (with Craig Burnett and Mathew D. McCubbins).
  • "New Voices in Politics: Justice Marshall’s Jurisprudence on Law and Politics," 52 Howard Law Journal 655 (2009).
  • "When Voters Make Laws: How Direct Democracy is Shaping American Cities," 13 Public Works Mgmt. & Pol’y 39 (2008) (with Mathew D. McCubbins).
  • "Framework Legislation and Federalism." 83 Notre Dame Law Review 1495 (2008).
  • "The Dual Path Initiative Framework." 80 Southern California Law Review 299 (2007) (with Mathew D. McCubbins).
  • "The Fifth Annual Henry Lecture: The Promise and Perils of Hybrid Democracy." 59 Oklahoma Law Review 227 (2006).
  • “Hybrid Democracy.” 73 George Washington University Law Review 1096 (2005).
  • “Crypto-Initiatives in Hybrid Democracy.”  78 Southern California Law Review 985 (2005).
  • “Veiled Political Actors and Campaign Disclosure Laws in Direct Democracy” (with D.A. Smith). 4 Election Law Journal 295 (2005).
  • “Paying for Politics” (with John de Figueiredo). 78 Southern California Law Review 591 (2005).
  • “The Purposes of Framework Legislation.” 14 Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 717 (2005).
  • “Accounting for the Federal Budget and Its Reform.” 41 Harvard Journal on Legislation 187 (2004).
  • “Democracy in the Wake of the California Recall,” 153 U. Pa. L. Rev. 239 (2004) (chosen as "Recommended Reading" in the Green Bag's Reader of Good Legal Writing from 2006).
  • McConnell v. FEC and Disclosure.” 3 Election Law Journal 237 (2004).
  • “Legislating Chevron.” 101 Michigan Law Review 2563 (2003).
  • “Voting with Cues.” 37 University of Richmond Law Review 1011 (2003).
  • “Attention to Context in Statutory Interpretation: Applying the Lessons of Dynamic Statutory Interpretation to Omnibus Legislation.” Issues in Legal Scholarship, Dynamic Statutory Interpretation (2002). http://www.bepress.com/ils/iss3/art1
  • “Institutional Lessons from the 2000 Presidential Election.” 29 Florida State University Law Review 975 (2002).
  • “The William J. Brennan Lecture in Constitutional Law: The Future of Campaign Finance Laws in the Courts and in Congress,” 27 Oklahoma City University Law Review 665 (2002) and in The Constitutional and Campaign Finance Reform 579 (2d., F.G. Blabach ed. 2006).
  • “Political Intermediaries and the Internet Revolution’” (Symposium: Internet Voting and Democracy). 34 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 1055 (2001).
  • “Interest Groups and Public Interested Regulation.” 28 Florida State University Law Review 137 (2000).
  • “Institutional Design of a Thayerian Congress” (with A. Vermeule). 50 Duke Law Journal 1277 (2001).
  • “Issues in Implementing Referendums in Israel: A Comparative Study in Direct Democracy.” 2 Chicago Journal of International Law 159 (2001).
  • “The Congressional Budget Process: Strengthening the Party-in-Government.” 100 Columbia Law Review 702 (2000).
  • “Accountability and Restraint: The Federal Budget Process and the Line Item Veto Act.” 20 Cardozo Law Review 871 (1999).
  • “The Law and Economics of ‘Informed Voter’ Ballot Notations.” 85 Virginia Law Review 1533 (1999).
  • “Legal Scholarship in the Age of Legislation.” 34 Tulsa Law Journal 679 (1999).
  • “Money, Agenda Setting, and Direct Democracy” (Symposium: Money, Politics, and Equality). 77 Texas Law Review 1845 (1999).
  • “Response: A Fiscal Constitution with Supermajority Voting Rules.” 40 William and Mary Law Review 471 (1999).
  • “Harnessing Politics: The Dynamics of Offset Requirements in the Tax Legislative Process.” 65 University of Chicago Law Review 501 (1998).
  • “Rethinking the Structures of Decisionmaking in the Federal Budget Process.” 35 Harvard 387 (1998).
  • “Enhancing the Political Safeguards of Federalism?: The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.” 45 University of Kansas Law Review 1113 (1997).
  • “Perspective on Direct Democracy: Who Directs Direct Democracy?" 4 University of Chicago Law School Roundtable 17 (1997). [Reprinted in 1 Pakistan Law Review (2001)].
  • “Term Limitations and the Myth of the Citizen-Legislator.” 81 Cornell Law Review 623 (1996).
  • “Market Discipline by Depositors: A Summary of the Theoretical and Empirical Arguments” (with J. Macey). 5 Yale Journal on Regulation 215 (1988).
  • “The Modified Payoff of Failed Banks: A Settlement Practice To Inject Market Discipline into the Commercial Banking System.” 73 Virginia Law Review 1349 (1987) (student note).

Book Reviews

  • "Preferences, Laws and Default Rules," 122 Harv. L. Rev. 2104 (2009) (review of Einer Elhauge, Statutory Default Rules).
  • “Who Chooses the Rules?” Review of Just Elections, by Dennis Thompson. 4 Election Law Journal 139 (2005).
  • Legislative Deferrals: Statutory Ambiguity, Judicial Power, and American Democracy, by George I. Lovell. 109 American Historical Review 934 (2004).
  • Money, Politics, and Campaign Finance Reform in the States, by David Schultz. Newsletter of the Research Section on Representation and Electoral Systems, American Political Science Association, October 2003, at 10-11.
  • “Thus Always Two Tyrants?” Review of The Tyranny of the Two Party System, by Lisa J. Disch. 2 Election Law Journal 285 (2003).
  • “Becoming Lawyers: The Role of the Socratic Method in Modern Law Schools.” Review of Becoming Gentlemen: Women, Law School, and Institutional Change, by Lani Guinier. 1 Green Bag 2d 199 (1998).
  • Legislative Term Limits: Public Choice Perspectives, edited by Bernard Grofman. 96 Public Choice 210 (1998).
  • Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961 and Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1961-1991, by Mark Tushnet. 2 Journal of Supreme Court History 140 (1997).
  • Term Limits and Legislative Representation, by John M. Carey. 93 Public Choice 517 (1997).

Other Works

  • "The Political Process," 34 Pepperdine Law Review 554 (2007) (symposium on The Roberts Court’s Rookie Year).
  • "Faith in Reason: Voter Competence and Local Bond Propositions," USC Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy Research Paper 07-01 (Jan. 2007) (with Mathew D. McCubbins), available by clicking here.
  • "Redistricting: Another California Revolution?" Initiative & Referendum Institute (Feb. 2, 2005). http://www.iandrinstitute.org/Apportion.htm
  • Remarks on the President's Tax Reform Panel." Keynote address at the USC Tax Institute (Jan. 23, 2006).
  • “Teaching Law and Politics.” 7 New York University Journal on Legislation and Public Policy 11 (2003-2004).
  • “Budget Magic Tricks.” The World and I Magazine, July 2003, at 54.
  • “Law and Economics: Introductory Remarks to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Conference.” 31 New Mexico Law Review 107 (2001).
  • “Remarks on Anti-Abuse Rules.” 74 Taxes 197 (1996).