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University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

2004

Law and Politics

Election Law

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Perceptions Of Corruption And Campaign Finance: When Public Opinion Determines Constitutional Law, Nathaniel Persily, Kelli Lammie Jun 2004

Perceptions Of Corruption And Campaign Finance: When Public Opinion Determines Constitutional Law, Nathaniel Persily, Kelli Lammie

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

This study tests the empirical assumptions about American public opinion found in the Supreme Court’s opinions concerning campaign finance reform. The area of campaign finance is a unique one in First Amendment law because the Court has allowed the mere appearance of a problem (in this case, “corruption”) to justify the curtailment of recognized First Amendment rights of speech and association. Since Buckley v. Valeo, defendants in campaign finance cases have proffered various types of evidence to support the notion that the public perceives a great deal of corruption produced by the campaign finance system. Most recently, in McConnell v. …