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Series

2000

Columbia Law School

SSRN

Law and Politics

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault Jan 2000

The Political Parties And Campaign Finance Reform, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

The major political parties have blown large and widening holes in federal campaign finance law. The most significant party practices – independent expenditures, soft money fundraising, and issue advocacy – map on to the fault lines central to the constitutional law of campaign finance – so that limiting these party activities raises important constitutional question. Indeed, in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v FEC, a Supreme Court plurality determined that parties, like PACs, may engage in expenditures that are independent of their candidates and, thus, not subject to the limits on party contributions to candidates. So, too, several justices and some political scientists ...