Derek Muller

Professor of Law

Law School

Office
1116 Eck Hall Of Law
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Email
dmuller@nd.edu
Website

Professor of Law

  • Election law
  • Federal courts
  • Voting rights
  • Election administration
  • Legal education
  • Civil procedure

Muller’s Latest News

Muller in the News

AEI

Can Trump Stay on the Ballot? Recapping Trump v. Anderson

Audio

Co-hosts John Fortier and Don Palmer are joined by Rick Hasen (Professor of Law at UCLA Law) and Derek Muller (Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School), to discuss Trump v. Anderson.

Why a Supreme Court easy out in Trump ballot battle could lead to post-election chaos

If Trump wins in November, it’s possible some Democrats would try to reject votes cast for Trump, said Derek Muller, a law professor at Notre Dame who has followed the case closely. 

The Fallout from Former President Donald Trump's Appeal

Video

Law Professor at the University of Notre Dame and nationally recognized scholar in the area of election law, Derek Muller, joins to share more on the fallout from former President Donald Trump's appeal and what it means for the January 6th federal case.

Supreme Court poised to allow Trump to remain on Colorado ballot

Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame law professor who has been closely following the case, said Thursday’s arguments showed both liberals and conservatives on the court are “uncomfortable with the notion that it was going to be the decider here.”

Supreme Court appears skeptical of Trump Colorado ballot ban

Video

Notre Dame Law School professor Derek Muller and Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig join "America Decides" to unpack how the justices seemed to be responding.

Bloomberg Law: Supreme Court Likely to Reject Challenge to Trump's Ballot Eligibility

Audio

Derek Muller, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, and Harold Krent, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, discuss the Supreme Court oral arguments on Colorado's removal of Trump from the ballot.

Trump’s 14th Amendment case reaches Supreme Court: What to expect

“Trump’s briefing so far has really leaned into the argument that the presidency is not an office of the United States, which means that presidency is not covered by Section 3, and therefore, this whole case should disappear,” said Derek Muller, a law professor at Notre Dame who filed a brief in the matter.

The Conversation

Supreme Court skeptical that Colorado − or any state − should decide for whole nation whether Trump is eligible for presidency

The Conversation’s senior politics and democracy editor, Naomi Schalit, spoke with Notre Dame election law scholar Derek Muller after the oral arguments.

 

Analysis: Justices could place Trump back on the ballot in Colorado

Derek Muller, an election law expert at Notre Dame Law School who filed a neutral brief that offered analysis of key legal questions, said after the hearing that the justices are likely to put Donald Trump back on the ballot in Colorado. 

Supreme Court grapples with leaving Donald Trump on presidential ballot in Colorado: 7 takeaways

“The court seemed inclined to let the political process play out,” said Notre Dame Law School Professor Derek Muller, who has been closely following the ballot eligibility issue.

What to watch for at US supreme court oral arguments on keeping Trump off 2024 ballot

“I don’t think [the court] wants to be involved in these disputes,” the University of Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller told the Guardian’s Sam Levine in his excellent preview of the hearing. 

Trump Backers Dodge Jan. 6 in Supreme Court Ballot Case

Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller said on Bloomberg Law’s “Cases and Controversies” podcast that the question of whether Jan. 6 was an “insurrection” for purposes of the Section 3 involves “a lot of deep in the weeds factual questions.”

US Silence on Trump Ballot Battle Signals Caution Over Election

Audio

“That’s at least an understandable minimum threshold to say ‘we’re not going to step in where the outcome of this particular election or candidacy is at stake,’” Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller said on Bloomberg Law’s “Cases and Controversies” podcast.

Roll Call

Supreme Court could toss Trump eligibility dispute to Congress

Several arguments made in the case offer the Supreme Court an opportunity to defer the dispute to a different branch of government, said Derek T. Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who focuses on election law.

Federal Appeals Court Rules Trump is Not Immune for Alleged Crimes

Law Professor at Notre Dame Law School, Derek Muller, joins to share how significant this ruling is.

US supreme court to hear arguments on keeping Trump off 2024 ballot

I think, on a bipartisan basis, there’s an interest on staying as far away from these issues as possible,” said Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, who wrote an amicus brief in the case that wasn’t in support of either party.

ProPublica

“Disenfranchisement and Chaos”: The Supreme Court Hears Pivotal Case on Whether Trump Is Eligible to Run for President

“It’s very strange to name the Senate and House but not the president,” said Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor, characterizing this position. 

High Court ‘Friends’ Urge Caution in Trump Ballot Case

Audio

Notre Dame Law School professor Derek Muller joins “Cases and Controversies” to explain the legal issues at play and the potential impacts of a court ruling that fails to give a definitive answer before the presidential election.

Trump Ballot Clash Thrusts Supreme Court Into 2024 White House Race

“Frankly, I think that’s one of his stronger arguments,” said Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame election-law professor.

Here’s how 2 sentences in the Constitution rose from obscurity to ensnare Donald Trump

“The cases have gone poorly for Trump,” Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who has followed the cases closely, wrote Friday in a blog post.

Did Trump commit insurrection on Jan. 6? The Supreme Court could decide.

“It’s hard to say where the court’s going to go on this,” said University of Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller.

Trump’s critics hope that Antonin Scalia can sway the Supreme Court in 14th Amendment fight

“Invoking Scalia is kind of an attempt to cite some moral authority for one of the court’s great originalists,” said Notre Dame Law School Professor Derek Muller, an expert on the case. “They’re not just citing anyone.”

Iowa bill aims to clear path for Trump by banning 14th Amendment primary ballot challenges

“It would pretty clearly foreclose any challenge to a presidential candidate for being not qualified under the United States Constitution,” Derek Muller, an election law professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, said of the bill.

Iowa secretary of state introduces bill that could limit 14th Amendment ballot challenges against Trump

"It would pretty clearly foreclose any challenge to a presidential candidate for being not qualified under the United States Constitution," Derek Muller, an election law professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, told the Des Moines Register of the proposal. 

Des Moines Register

Iowa Secretary of State's bill would bar 14th Amendment ballot challenge for Donald Trump

"It would pretty clearly foreclose any challenge to a presidential candidate for being not qualified under the United States Constitution," Derek Muller, an election law professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, said of the bill.

Big Law Skews Liberal in Amicus Briefs, New Study Finds

In a paper forthcoming in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, University of Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller takes a new and interesting approach to identifying the ideological leanings of large law firms.

The Conversation

US Supreme Court decision on Trump-Colorado ballot case ‘monumental’ for democracy itself, not just 2024 presidential election

The Conversation’s senior politics and democracy editor, Naomi Schalit, spoke with Notre Dame election law scholar Derek Muller about the Supreme Court’s decision to take the case, which will rest on the court’s interpretation of a post Civil War-era amendment aimed at keeping those who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from serving in political office.

AFP, including Yahoo News, Barron's +50 others

Trump cases thrust US courts into the political fray

Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, noted that courts are "asked to decide tough questions all the time."

AFP, including Yahoo News +65 others

Trump in court for hearing on 'absolute immunity' claim

Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said he believes Trump, the first former US president ever to face criminal charges, faces an "uphill battle" in the immunity case.

The Supreme Court will decide if Donald Trump can be kept off 2024 presidential ballots

Prof. Derek T. Muller of the University of Notre Dame's law school said, "The court quite clearly understands the high stakes of the case and is aware that Colorado is just the first of many challenges this year."

Which States Are Disqualifying Trump From 2024 Presidential Election Ballots?

Notre Dame Law School professor Derek T. Muller said, “Trump only needs to win on one.”

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Overturn His Removal From Colorado Primary Ballot

Trump’s appeal request leaves the Supreme Court with “a variety of options at its disposal” to rule on the case, from narrow, strictly legal questions to broader ones about Trump’s state of mind on Jan. 6, 2021, said Notre Dame Law School professor Derek Muller.

Trump Ballot Challenges Advance, Varying Widely in Strategy and Sophistication

Derek Muller, an election law expert and professor at Notre Dame’s law school, said Mr. Castro risked creating unfavorable precedent with his failed lawsuits.

In the Supreme Court's hands: How will the justices rule on Trump's ballot appeal?

"The court will feel pressed to move quickly as voters soon begin casting their votes around the country," said Notre Dame Law School Professor Derek Muller, who has been closely following the ballot issue for months.

Trump’s Ballot Fight Plunges the Supreme Court Into the 2024 Election

“If you are not eligible to serve in the office, Congress might not count the votes for you,” said Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame law professor who specializes in election law.

The Legality of the Ballot Bans Against Trump

Video

Regarding the legal questions at the center of the ballot bans, Election Law Professor at the University of Notre Dame, Derek Muller, joins to explain a bit about this appeal process and how soon we might see a decision rendered.

Supreme Court faces pressure to decide if Trump is on the 2024 ballot

“In Bush v. Gore they ruled in three days,” said University of Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller, citing the decision that determined George W. Bush won the 2000 presidential election. 

Will Trump’s disqualification case be Bush v. Gore for 2024?

Notre Dame law Professor Derek Muller has suggested that the court will “coalesce around a consensus unanimous opinion.” 

Trump’s legal woes thrust Supreme Court into 2024 chaos

“It seems strange to allow the process to continue to play out, so I do think it’s going to force the court’s hand,” said Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame whom the judges cited in the Colorado ruling.

Axios

Supreme Court won't weigh in now on Trump's immunity claims in 2020 election case

This is an effort to keep that trial date as much as reasonably possible with existing legal mechanisms," Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame law school professor, told Axios after Smith's request.

Maine secretary of state who opted to keep Trump off primary ballot is facing threat of impeachment

There will be major pressure on the Supreme Court to offer clarity very soon,” said Derek Muller, a Notre Dame Law School professor and election law scholar.

How the Supreme Court May Rule on Trump’s Presidential Run

“This is a fraught political issue,” said Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Colorado Ruling Knocks Trump Off Ballot: What It Means, What Happens Next

“This is a major and extraordinary holding from a state supreme court,” Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, wrote on the Election Law Blog.

Playbook: The 14th Amendment has its moment

“In Bush v. Gore they ruled in three days,” University of Notre Dame law professor DEREK MULLER told the Washington Post. 

Axios

Supreme Court showdown with Trump

"There's no winning," Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller told Axios.

Will Supreme Court Save Donald Trump? Legal Experts Give Predictions

"It's an extraordinary decision that puts Trump's election campaign in major legal jeopardy. It also will put a lot of pressure on the Supreme Court to review the decision," Derek T. Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana told Newsweek.

Colorado Ruling Knocks Trump Off Ballot: What It Means, What Happens Next

“This is a major and extraordinary holding from a state supreme court,” Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, wrote on the Election Law Blog.

The Supreme Court may decide the 2024 election. Here’s how

“It’s not an ideal situation for anyone, but I think there’s no question that with any adverse judicial decision, Trump will turn it into campaign talk,” said Derek Muller, an election law professor at Notre Dame Law School.

Trump’s fate rests with Supreme Court in two unprecedented cases

Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller called the Colorado decision “a major and extraordinary holding from a state supreme court. 

Colorado Trump Ban Puts Supreme Court in Hot Seat

The case “exerts major pressure on the Court,” said Derek T. Muller, an election-law professor at Notre Dame Law School, and taking it will require the justices “to step into the thorniest of political thickets.” 

Colorado Newsline

ELECTION 2024 JUSTICE Colorado Supreme Court blocks Trump from 2024 ballot in historic insurrection ruling

Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who has followed the case closely, called the Colorado decision a “major and extraordinary holding” that will require the U.S. Supreme Court “to step into the thorniest of political thickets.”

Colorado’s top court finds Donald Trump ineligible for US presidency

“I think it may embolden other state courts or secretaries to act now that the bandage has been ripped off,” Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who has closely followed the cases, told the Associated Press news agency after Tuesday’s ruling.

What the Colorado ruling means for Donald Trump

Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who has closely followed the Section 3 cases, said the ruling is “a major threat to Trump's candidacy.

What happens now that Trump is disqualified from running for office in Colorado?

Notre Dame Law School professor Derek Muller, an election law scholar, told Business Insider he believes the Supreme Court will be inclined to hear the case because it deals with the 14th Amendment — which has never been subject to interpretation by the Supreme Court in the 150 years it has been in place.

Colorado Supreme Court rules Trump disqualified from the 2024 primary ballot

Critics of the suit have argued that CREW's argument and Colorado's subsequent ruling limit voters' rights to choose who to cast their ballot for — but election law scholar and Notre Dame Law School professor Derek Muller told Business Insider the existing qualifications for office are designed to prevent people from voting for who they want to.

Trump Barred From Colorado Ballot in Unprecedented Ruling

“This is an extraordinary holding from the Colorado Supreme Court,” said Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Supreme Court may want to avoid Trump. Colorado's ballot ruling won't let them

"It exerts major pressure on the court," said Notre Dame Law School Professor Derek Muller. "Even inaction would functionally exclude (Trump) from not just Colorado but perhaps other states."

Trump ‘engaged in an insurrection,’ judge says, but should remain on Colorado ballot

Derek Muller, an election law expert at Notre Dame Law School, said Wallace’s conclusions about Trump’s role in the insurrection were “remarkable.”

Donald Trump banned from Colorado ballot in historic ruling by state's Supreme Court

“I think it may embolden other state courts or secretaries to act now that the bandage has been ripped off,” Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who has closely followed the Section 3 cases, said after Tuesday’s ruling.

Trump disqualified from Colorado’s 2024 primary ballot by state Supreme Court

Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame law professor who has studied the cases challenging Trump’s candidacy, called the Colorado decision unlike any other in history.

SCOTUS Asked to Rule on Trump Immunity Claims

Audio

Derek Muller, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, discusses the Special Counsel asking the Supreme Court to decide whether Donald Trump is entitled to absolute presidential immunity against criminal charges over his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

Special Counsel Asks Supreme Court to Decide if Trump Is Immune From Prosecution

Derek Muller, a law professor at Notre Dame, said the procedure remained unusual.

U.S. prosecutors ask Supreme Court to quickly take up Trump immunity claims

Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame law school professor, described Monday’s filing as rare and said Smith was asking the Supreme Court for “extraordinary relief.”

In 'extraordinary' move, prosecutors ask Supreme Court to decide if Trump may claim immunity

"It's always a longshot bid for the Supreme Court to hear a case like this, without waiting for the process to play out in the lower courts," said Notre Dame Law School Professor Derek Muller

Donald Trump Could Be Disqualified Due to 55-Year-Old Ruling

Derek T. Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, has filed a briefing to the Colorado Supreme Court. In it, he said that there have been several cases where presidential candidates were excluded from the ballot because they were deemed ineligible under the U.S constitution.

Major ruling looms after Colorado Supreme Court hearing on whether the ‘insurrectionist ban’ applies to Trump

“The justices struggled with whether Colorado courts even have power to hear cases like this,” said Derek Muller, an election law expert at Notre Dame Law School who filed a brief that was neutral on disqualifying Trump. 

How exodus from Congress could shape 2024 election

"Retirements can take many forms. Members seek another office or another career opportunity, or they simply get tired with the job after doing it for many years," Derek T. Muller, professor of law at Notre Dame Law School, told Fox News Digital.

Are attacks on Trump witnesses 'par for the course'? Why the gag orders are hard to enforce.

“It’s a delicate balancing that the courts are going through," said Derek Muller, a lawyer professor at the University of Notre Dame. "I envy no one in trying to balance them in a case like this."

Voting Rights Law Faces More Setbacks With Conservative Judges

Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame who studies election law, said that federal appeals courts with a number of judges appointed by Trump and other Republicans, including the Eleventh and Eighth circuits, tend to have a more conservative approach to interpreting statutes.

Trump ‘engaged in an insurrection,’ judge says, but should remain on Colorado ballot

Derek Muller, an election law expert at Notre Dame Law School, said Wallace’s conclusions about Trump’s role in the insurrection were “remarkable.”

With three major recent losses, is the effort to knock Trump off ballots in 2024 over?

But Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame law professor who has closely followed the issue, said it’s too soon to declare the effort to knock Trump off the ballot over. 

Colorado judge finds Trump engaged in insurrection, but rejects constitutional ballot challenge

“It’s a stunning holding for a court to conclude that a former president engaged in insurrection against the United States,” said Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who has followed the case closely. 

Closing arguments set for lawsuit to bar Trump from Colorado ballot

“There’s this very public fight, in all these colloquial terms, about whether it’s an insurrection, but it really comes down to brass tacks defining what this constitutional term means,” Derek Muller, a Notre Dame law professor who’s followed the litigation closely, told the Associated Press.

Taking Trump off the ballot in 2024? Minnesota Supreme Court grapples with the issue

"States are looking to start printing and mailing ballots in January so these cases are moving very quickly and Minnesota might be the first state supreme court to issue a decision," said Derek Muller, a University of Notre Dame law professor. 

Minnesota Supreme Court appears skeptical of removing Trump from 2024 ballot

Derek Muller, an election law expert at Notre Dame Law School, filed a brief in the case that was neutral on Trump’s eligibility but offered analysis of key legal questions.

North Carolina Public Radio

Trump candidacy challenge has echoes of case against former NC Rep. Cawthorn

Courts will now contend with thorny legal questions, such as what actually constitutes a rebellion and whether Congress needs to make that clearer through legislation before courts can weigh in, according to Professor Derek Muller, an elections law expert at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

Arguments in lawsuit using ‘insurrection’ clause to knock Trump off presidential ballots begins

“We’ve had hearings with presidential candidates debating their eligibility before — Barack Obama, Ted Cruz, John McCain,” said Derek T. Muller, a Notre Dame law professor, listing candidates challenged on whether they met the constitutional requirement of being a “natural born citizen.”

What to know about the 14th Amendment Trump disqualification trial in Colorado

"We’ve never seen a challenge like this to a presidential candidate, hearings that go for days to evaluate their eligibility,” said Derek Muller, an election law expert at Notre Dame Law School who filed a brief in a similar case that was neutral on disqualifying Trump but gave analysis for key legal questions.

Donald Trump Faces Being Struck off Ballot in Two States

"It's the first domino to fall. We've never seen a challenge like this to a presidential candidate, hearings that go for days to evaluate their eligibility," Derek Muller, an election law expert at Notre Dame Law School, told CNN.

The Queens Man Ruled Ineligible to Be President

“Hassan is kept off, because he’s not a citizen,” Derek T. Muller, a law professor at Notre Dame who has written about the legal significance of Hassan’s case, told me. 

Judge in election conspiracy case sets limits on Donald Trump comments

Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame said the bench order appeared narrowly tailored, but enforcing the eventual written order could still become a challenge.

Law school financial data is about to get more transparent

A May analysis of Education Department data by Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller found that Western Michigan University Cooley Law School; Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, and Appalachian School of Law were among the schools with the highest debt-to-income ratios.

GOP fake electors charged in Georgia try to move case to federal court

Derek Muller, an election law expert who teaches at the Notre Dame Law School, said he believes it’ll be a “heavy lift” for their argument to prevail in court.

Election officials reject calls to unilaterally block Trump from ballot using 14th Amendment but will defer to courts

“Many states do not have a law on the books empowering the secretary of state to judge the eligibility of presidential candidates,” said Derek Muller, an election law expert who teaches at the Notre Dame Law School.

Washington Times

Efforts to disqualify Trump for reelection create a prime case for the Supreme Court’s consideration

Derek T. Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said a secretary of state’s authority over removing Mr. Trump’s name from the ballot depends on state law.

Colorado Lawsuit Seeks to Keep Trump Off Ballots Under 14th Amendment

Derek Muller, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, emphasized that standing requirements are looser in state courts than in federal courts, especially when it comes to voters’ ability to challenge candidates’ eligibility.

Is Trump disqualified for 2024? Here’s how we’ll soon find out.

 “The odds are high that at least one gets to the merits and decides whether Trump participated in an insurrection that disqualifies him,” said Derek Muller, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

Derek Muller on the Supreme Court Decision in Moore v. Harper

University of Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller talked about the Supreme Court decision in Moore v. Harper, which found the Constitution does not allow a state to regulate federal elections, rejecting a broad interpretation of the so-called “independent state legislature” theory. 

This issue could knock Trump off ballots nationwide. Get ready for it to dominate primary season

“People are not anticipating how pervasive these will be,” said Notre Dame law professor Derek Muller, an election law expert.

DeSantis Crushes Trump in Cash From Lawyers Seeking Alternative

“To the extent that attorneys are looking for an alternative on the Republican side, it’s no surprise to see them coalescing around DeSantis,” said Derek Muller, a Notre Dame University law professor who has studied lawyers’ political contributions. 

Detroit News

16 false Trump electors face felony charges in Michigan

Derek Muller, a law professor at Notre Dame Law School, said the criminal charges leveled are a "fraught" area of the law.