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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 …


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 …


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 …


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, …


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 …


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, …


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.


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 …