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‘‘Appearance Of Corruption’’: Linking Public Opinion And Campaign Finance Reform, Douglas M. Spencer, Alexander G. Theodoridis Jan 2020

‘‘Appearance Of Corruption’’: Linking Public Opinion And Campaign Finance Reform, Douglas M. Spencer, Alexander G. Theodoridis

Publications

At present, campaign finance regulations may only be justified if their primary purpose is to prevent quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of corruption. References to the ‘‘appearance of corruption’’ are ubiquitous in campaign finance decisions, yet courts have provided very little guidance about what the phrase means. In this article, we report findings from a broadly representative national survey in which we (1) directly ask respondents to identify behaviors that appear politically corrupt, and (2) indirectly measure perceptions of corruption using a novel paired-choice conjoint experiment asking respondents to choose which of two randomly generated candidates are more …


Keynote Address: Judging The Political And Political Judging: Justice Scalia As Case Study, Richard L. Hasen Aug 2018

Keynote Address: Judging The Political And Political Judging: Justice Scalia As Case Study, Richard L. Hasen

Chicago-Kent Law Review

This is a revised version of a Keynote Address delivered at “The Supreme Court and American Politics,” a symposium held October 17, 2017 at the Chicago-Kent College of Law. In this Address, Professor Hasen considers through the lens of Justice Scalia’s opinions the role that views of the political process play, at least rhetorically, in how Supreme Court Justices decide cases. It focuses on Justice Scalia’s contradictory views on self-dealing and incumbency protection across a range of cases, comparing campaign finance on the one hand to partisan gerrymandering, voter identification laws, political patronage, and ballot access rules on the other. …


The Consequences Of Citizens United: What Do The Lawyers Say?, Ann Southworth Aug 2018

The Consequences Of Citizens United: What Do The Lawyers Say?, Ann Southworth

Chicago-Kent Law Review

This Essay examines a polarized world of advocacy over campaign finance regulation in the Roberts Court. It considers what lawyers who filed party and amicus briefs in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have to say about the consequences of the decision. It shows that the lawyers generally agree about the ruling’s direct consequences but strongly disagree about whether those consequences are good or bad for the country and what lessons the public should draw. This Essay also explores the competing frames that these lawyers bring to questions about money in politics and their competing perspectives about government and where …


The Supreme Court, Judicial Elections, And Dark Money, Richard Briffault Jan 2018

The Supreme Court, Judicial Elections, And Dark Money, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Judges, even when popularly elected, are not representatives; they are not agents for their voters, nor should they take voter preferences into account in adjudicating cases. However, popularly elected judges are representatives for some election law purposes. Unlike other elected officials, judges are not politicians. But judges are policy-makers. Judicial elections are subject to the same constitutional doctrines that govern voting on legislators, executives, and ballot propositions. Except when they are not. The same First Amendment doctrine that protects campaign speech in legislative, executive, and ballot proposition elections applies to campaign speech in judicial elections – but not in quite …


Millennials, Equity, And The Rule Of Law: 2014 National Lawyers Convention, How First Amendment Procedures Protect First Amendment Substance, Erik S. Jaffe, Aaron H. Caplan, Robert A. Destro, Todd P. Graves, Alan B. Morrison, Eugene Volokh, David R. Stras Feb 2016

Millennials, Equity, And The Rule Of Law: 2014 National Lawyers Convention, How First Amendment Procedures Protect First Amendment Substance, Erik S. Jaffe, Aaron H. Caplan, Robert A. Destro, Todd P. Graves, Alan B. Morrison, Eugene Volokh, David R. Stras

Catholic University Law Review

A panel, at the National Lawyers Convention, discussed procedure as it relates to First Amendment rights. The panel set forth how First Amendment procedures have historically protected First Amendment substance and discussed modern applications of the issue. For example, the prior restraint doctrine, overbreadth doctrine, the allocation of the burden of proof and relaxation of ripeness rules have important implications for challenging restrictions on speech and defending against libel and defamation.

The interaction of free speech and due process is often seen in litigation involving civil harassment orders, or civil protection orders. In many jurisidictions the definition of harassment permits …


Contingent Constitutionality, Legislative Facts, And Campaign Finance Law, Michael T. Morley Jan 2016

Contingent Constitutionality, Legislative Facts, And Campaign Finance Law, Michael T. Morley

Florida State University Law Review

Many of the Supreme Court’s important holdings concerning campaign finance law are not pure matters of constitutional interpretation. Rather, they are “contingent” constitutional determinations: the Court’s conclusions rest in substantial part on legislative facts about the world that the Court finds, intuits, or assumes to be true. While earlier commentators have recognized the need to improve legislative factfinding by the Supreme Court, other aspects of its treatment of legislative facts—particularly in the realm of campaign finance—require reform as well.

Stare decisis purportedly insulates the Court’s purely legal holdings and interpretations from future challenge. Factually contingent constitutional rulings should, in contrast, …


In The Shadows Of Sunlight: The Effects Of Transparency On State Political Campaigns, Abby K. Wood, Douglas M. Spencer Jan 2016

In The Shadows Of Sunlight: The Effects Of Transparency On State Political Campaigns, Abby K. Wood, Douglas M. Spencer

Publications

In recent years, the courts have invalidated a variety of campaign finance laws while simultaneously upholding disclosure requirements. Courts view disclosure as a less-restrictive means to root out corruption while critics claim that disclosure chills speech and deters political participation. Using individual-level contribution data from state elections between 2000 and 2008, we find that the speech-chilling effects of disclosure are negligible. On average, less than one donor per candidate is likely to stop contributing when the public visibility of campaign contributions increases. Moreover, we do not observe heterogeneous effects for small donors or ideological outliers despite an assumption in First …


Death By A Thousand Cuts: How The Supreme Court Has Effectively Killed Campaign Finance Regulation By Its Limited Recognition Of Compelling State Interests, Kevin R. Huguelet Oct 2015

Death By A Thousand Cuts: How The Supreme Court Has Effectively Killed Campaign Finance Regulation By Its Limited Recognition Of Compelling State Interests, Kevin R. Huguelet

University of Miami Law Review

This Article examines the current campaign finance jurisprudence in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the Court’s recognition of compelling state interests. Given the limited recognition of compelling state interests, this Article seeks to question the seemingly arbitrary rationale behind recognition and explore the implications of minimal acceptance of compelling state interests. Because the evolution of compelling state interest recognition has varied greatly, the Court’s recent insistence — that the state has merely one compelling interest — is troublesome. This Article provides a comprehensive review of the campaign finance jurisprudence, then reviews the decisions that created or argued …


Challenging Buckley V. Valeo: A Legal Strategy, John C. Bonifaz, Gregory G. Luke, Brenda Wright Jul 2015

Challenging Buckley V. Valeo: A Legal Strategy, John C. Bonifaz, Gregory G. Luke, Brenda Wright

Akron Law Review

In its 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, the United States Supreme Court sanctioned a system of unlimited campaign spending in federal elections. Since that ruling, this nation has witnessed an explosion of political expenditures. The 1996 election cycle marked the most expensive election in U.S. history, with congressional and presidential candidates spending a total of more than $2 billion. Campaign spending has also dramatically risen in state and local elections across the country. Unlimited spending poses a serious threat to our democratic process. It undermines public confidence in our elections and in our democratic institutions. It presents an increased …


In All Fairness: Using Political Broadcast Access Doctrine To Tailor Public Campaign Fund Matching, Andrew V. Moshirnia, Aaron T. Dozeman Apr 2015

In All Fairness: Using Political Broadcast Access Doctrine To Tailor Public Campaign Fund Matching, Andrew V. Moshirnia, Aaron T. Dozeman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Recent United States Supreme Court decisions have undermined the viability of campaign public financing systems, a vital tool for fighting political corruption. First, Citizens United v. FEC allowed privately financed candidates and independent groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on campaigning. Publicly financed candidates now risk being vastly outspent. Second, Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom PAC v. Bennett invalidated a proportional fund matching system whereby privately financed candidates’ or independent groups’ spending triggered funds to publicly funded candidates. These decisions effectuate a libertarian speech doctrine: all speakers, individual or corporate, must be absolutely unburdened. To comply with this approach, …


Paths Of Resistance To Our Imperial First Amendment, Bertrall L. Ross Ii Apr 2015

Paths Of Resistance To Our Imperial First Amendment, Bertrall L. Ross Ii

Michigan Law Review

In the campaign finance realm, we are in the age of the imperial First Amendment. Over the past nine years, litigants bringing First Amendment claims against campaign finance regulations have prevailed in every case in the Supreme Court. A conservative core of five justices has developed virtually categorical protections for campaign speech and has continued to expand those protections into domains that states once had the authority to regulate. As the First Amendment’s empire expands, other values give way. Four key cases from this era illustrate the reach of this imperial First Amendment. In Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. v. …


The Heritage Guide To The Constitution, Second Edition: What Has Changed Over The Past Decade, And What Lies Ahead?, David Forte, Edwin Meese Iii, Matthew Spalding Mar 2015

The Heritage Guide To The Constitution, Second Edition: What Has Changed Over The Past Decade, And What Lies Ahead?, David Forte, Edwin Meese Iii, Matthew Spalding

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, first released in 2005, brought together more than 100 of the nation’s best legal experts to provide line-by-line examination of each clause of the Constitution and its contemporary meaning—the first such comprehensive commentary to appear in many decades. The Heritage Guide to the Constitution: Fully Revised Second Edition takes into account a decade of Supreme Court decisions and legal scholarship on such issues as gun rights, religious freedom, campaign finance, civil rights, and health care reform. The Founders’ guiding principles remain unchanged, yet a number of Supreme Court decisions over the past decade …


A Court For The One Percent: How The Supreme Court Contributes To Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman Jan 2014

A Court For The One Percent: How The Supreme Court Contributes To Economic Inequality, Michele E. Gilman

All Faculty Scholarship

This Article explores the United States Supreme Court’s role in furthering economic inequality. The Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 not only highlighted growing income and wealth inequality in the United States, but also pointed the blame at governmental policies that favor business interests and the wealthy due to their outsized influence on politicians. Numerous economists and political scientists agree with this thesis. However, in focusing ire on the political branches and big business, these critiques have largely overlooked the role of the judiciary in fostering economic inequality. The Court’s doctrine touches each of the major causes of economic inequality, …


Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2014

Election Law's Lochnerian Turn, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

This panel has been asked to consider whether "the Constitution [is] responsible for electoral dysfunction."' My answer is no. The electoral process undeniably falls well short of our aspirations, but it strikes me that we should look to the Supreme Court for an accounting before blaming the Constitution for the deeply unsatisfactory condition in which we find ourselves.


Hobby Lobby And The Pathology Of Citizens United, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2014

Hobby Lobby And The Pathology Of Citizens United, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Four years ago, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that for-profit corporations possess a First Amendment right to make independent campaign expenditures. In so doing, the United States Supreme Court invited speculation that such corporations might possess other First Amendment rights as well. The petitioners in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius are now arguing that for-profit corporations are among the intended beneficiaries of the Free Exercise Clause and, along with the respondents in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, that they also qualify as “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Neither suggestion follows inexorably from Citizens United, …


Financing Elections And 'Appearance Of Corruption': Citizen Attitudes And Behavior In 2012, Molly J. Walker Wilson Jan 2014

Financing Elections And 'Appearance Of Corruption': Citizen Attitudes And Behavior In 2012, Molly J. Walker Wilson

All Faculty Scholarship

As political spending reaches new highs in the 2012 election cycle, and as the controversy surrounding wealthy donors and interest groups grows, polls demonstrate a surge of cynicism among Americans who profess a belief that the American political system is corrupt. The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United made possible the most recent expansion of political spending. In this case, the question was whether allowing corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on political advertising would result in corruption or the appearance of corruption. The majority on the Court determined that it would not. Many observers have …


Defining Corruption And Constitutionalizing Democracy, Deborah Hellman Jun 2013

Defining Corruption And Constitutionalizing Democracy, Deborah Hellman

Michigan Law Review

The central front in the battle over campaign finance laws is the definition of corruption. The Supreme Court has allowed restrictions on the giving and spending of money in connection with elections only when they serve to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption. The constitutionality of such laws, therefore, depends on how the Court defines corruption. Over the years, campaign finance cases have conceived of corruption in both broad and narrow terms, with the most recent cases defining it especially narrowly. While supporters and critics of campaign finance laws have argued for and against these different formulations, both sides …


Citizens United And The Illusion Of Coherence, Richard L. Hasen Jan 2011

Citizens United And The Illusion Of Coherence, Richard L. Hasen

Michigan Law Review

The self-congratulatory tone of the majority and concurring opinions in last term's controversial Supreme Court blockbuster, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, extended beyond the trumpeting of an absolutist vision of the First Amendment that allows corporations to spend unlimited sums independently to support or oppose candidates for office. The triumphalism extended to the majority's view that it had imposed coherence on the unwieldy body of campaign finance jurisprudence by excising an "outlier" 1990 opinion, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which had upheld such corporate limits, and parts of a 2003 opinion, McConnell v. FEC, extending Austin to unions …


Can Congress Authorize The Opponents Of Self-Financed Candidates To Receive Extra-Large Contributions?, Richard Briffault Jan 2008

Can Congress Authorize The Opponents Of Self-Financed Candidates To Receive Extra-Large Contributions?, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Is the so-called Millionaires’ Amendment, which permits federal candidates who are running against self-funded opponents to receive contributions significantly above the standard federal statutory ceiling constitutional?

Federal law caps contributions to federal candidates, but the Supreme Court has ruled that limits on how much money a candidate can contribute to his or her own campaign are unconstitutional. This case tests the 2002 Millionaires’ Amendment, which enables candidates for Congress running against self-financing opponents to obtain contributions well above the ordinary statutory ceiling and also imposes additional reporting requirements on self-funding candidates.


The Newberry Case, Ralph W. Aigler Jan 1921

The Newberry Case, Ralph W. Aigler

Articles

Senator Newberry of Michigan and sixteen others were convicted in the United States District Court on the charge that they "unlawfully and feloniously did conspire, combine, confederate, and agree together to commit the offense [in the Newberry indictment] on his part of wilfully violating the act of Congress approved June 25, 1910, as amended, by giving, contributing, expending, and using and by causing to be given, contributed, expended and used in procuring his nomination and election at said primary and general elections, a greater sum than the laws of Michigan permitted and above ten thousand dollars," etc. The Act of …