Tabatha Abu El-Haj, a visiting professor at Michigan Law, is a professor of law at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law. She is a leading expert on the First Amendment’s rights of peaceable assembly and association. 

With a background in the sociology of law, her principal interest is in the American political process. Her interdisciplinary research is shaped by the conviction that American democracy must be understood as involving an array of political practices and that citizens’ role in democratic politics does not begin and end on election day—an argument introduced in her 2011 New York University Law Review article, ”Changing the People: Legal Regulation and American Democracy.” She has thus argued that not only elections and political parties, but also public assemblies and civic associations are critical mechanisms for ensuring democratic institutions work for the public.

Her most recent publications include “How the Liberal First Amendment Under-Protects Democracy and Associational Party-Building: A Path to Rebuilding Democracy” (with Didi Kuo). That article develops an argument first articulated in “Networking the Party: First Amendment Rights and the Pursuit of Responsive Party Government,” which appeared in the spring 2018 issue of the Columbia Law Review. She recently appeared on the podcast Politics in Question to discuss this work. Previous publications include ”The Neglected Right of Assembly” in the UCLA Law Review and ”Beyond Campaign Finance Reform” in the Boston College Law Review

Abu El-Haj is a regular contributor to the Election Law Blog. In the summer 2020, Slate and The Atlantic highlighted her scholarship on the right of assembly.