In this week’s episode of Politics In Question, Tabatha Abu El-Haj joins Lee to discuss political parties and the law. El-Haj is a professor of law in the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University. Her work focuses on the process of politics, democratic accountability, and governmental responsiveness. She is the author of numerous articles on America’s politics and its government including, Changing the People: Legal Regulation and American Democracy (NYU Law Review 2011) and Networking the Party: First Amendment Rights & the Pursuit of Responsive Party Government (Columbia Law Review, 2018).

What are political parties? How do the laws that presently regulate parties influence how we understand them and define them? To which extent can a party’s primary electorate change that understanding? Are closed primaries – in which only party members are allowed to participate – making our politics dysfunctional? Can open primaries solve that problem? And what exactly is a blanket primary? These are some of the questions Tabatha and Lee discuss in this week’s episode.