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Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Growth Of The Tax-Exempt Sector And The Impact On The American Political Landscape (U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee On Oversight, December 13, 2023), Philip Hackney Dec 2023

Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Growth Of The Tax-Exempt Sector And The Impact On The American Political Landscape (U.S. House Ways & Means Subcommittee On Oversight, December 13, 2023), Philip Hackney

Testimony

In written testimony before the House Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight on December 13, 2023, Professor Hackney emphasized three points about tax-exempt organizations and politics: (1) a diverse nonprofit sector that fosters civic participation and engagement is a gem of the United States -- we should maintain that; (2) the IRS budget for Exempt Organizations continues to NOT be sufficient to ensure the laws are equally and fairly enforced; and (3) there are simple things the IRS could do to enforce the law that it is not doing.


Judges For Sale: The Effect Of Campaign Contributions On State Criminal Courts, Arturo Romero Yáñez, Neel U. Sukhatme Jan 2023

Judges For Sale: The Effect Of Campaign Contributions On State Criminal Courts, Arturo Romero Yáñez, Neel U. Sukhatme

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Do campaign contributions impact democratic processes? Using donation data from Texas, we show that criminal defense attorneys who contribute to a district judge’s electoral campaign are preferentially assigned by that judge to indigent defense cases, i.e., public contracts in which the state pays private attorneys to represent poor defendants.

We estimate that attorney donors receive twice as many cases as non-donors during the month of their campaign contribution. Nearly two-thirds of this increase is explained by the contribution itself, with the remainder attributable to shared preferences within attorney-judge pairs, such as those based on professional, ideological, political, or personal ties. …


An Avenue For Corruption: Super Pacs And The Common Vendor Loophole, Matt Choi Nov 2022

An Avenue For Corruption: Super Pacs And The Common Vendor Loophole, Matt Choi

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

In their campaign efforts, Super PACs and political candidates often engage professional media agencies or political consulting firms to aid them in production and placement of advertisements on media outlets, planning of advertising efforts, and planning campaign strategy. But an increasing number of Super PACs have taken to hiring the same media agencies and consulting firms as the candidates they support. Through the use of a so-called “common vendor,” Super PACs and their supported candidates can coordinate advertising strategies with each other without triggering the federal limits on spending and fundraising.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the public must …


Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Laws And Enforcement Governing The Political Activities Of Tax-Exempt Entities (U.S. Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee On Taxation And Irs Oversight, May 4, 2022), Philip Hackney May 2022

Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Laws And Enforcement Governing The Political Activities Of Tax-Exempt Entities (U.S. Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee On Taxation And Irs Oversight, May 4, 2022), Philip Hackney

Testimony

Are tax laws and IRS enforcement up to the task of overseeing the tax issues associated with the political activities of tax-exempt organizations? Though the tax laws governing the tax-exempt realm are wanting, our overall legal structure is not bad. It is justifiable at least. Where we fall down as a nation in this space is in the enforcement. We do not allocate enough resources to this arena, and we do not institutionally offer the support necessary to enforce these laws. These failures do not favor one party over the other but favor those interests in the country with the …


Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Donor Disclosure And Campaign Finance Regulations: Reviewing Recent Legal Precedents (Pennsylvania House Of Representatives, State Government Committee, February 7. 2022), Philip Hackney Feb 2022

Written Testimony Of Philip Hackney For The Hearing On Donor Disclosure And Campaign Finance Regulations: Reviewing Recent Legal Precedents (Pennsylvania House Of Representatives, State Government Committee, February 7. 2022), Philip Hackney

Testimony

The following is written testimony provided to the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee for a hearing entitled Donor Disclosure and Campaign Finance Regulations: Reviewing Recent Legal Precedents held on February 7, 2022. In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta struck down as facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment a law in California requiring charities soliciting donations in the state of California to disclose substantial donors identified on Schedule B to the IRS Form 990. The Form 990 is the information tax return nonprofits must file annually to maintain their tax-exempt status. Schedule B collects …


On Foxes And Hedgehogs, Roger P. Alford Jan 2022

On Foxes And Hedgehogs, Roger P. Alford

Journal Articles

This Article is about John Nagle’s many means to one great end. It will outline the many themes of his scholarship: (i) environmental law, (ii) statutory interpretation, (iii) constitutional law, (iv) nuisance and pollution, (v) election law and campaign finance, (vi) Christianity and the environment, and (vii) national parks. It will offer conclusions on how he used his scholarly interests as a means to pursue his overarching worldview.


Free Speech Has Gotten Very Expensive: Rethinking Political Speech Regulation In A Post-Truth World, John A. Barrett, Jr. Oct 2021

Free Speech Has Gotten Very Expensive: Rethinking Political Speech Regulation In A Post-Truth World, John A. Barrett, Jr.

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

Protecting free speech has been a foundational principle of American democracy since the nation’s founding. A core element of free speech has long been a prohibition on regulating political speech. The principle behind this protection holds that citizens are free to make whatever political pronouncements they wish and that their speech shall remain free from government suppression. Even within the limited exceptions to unfettered political speech, like defamation or libel, the speech is not banned but may merely result in liability. A premise underlying this view is that competing viewpoints, by being made available to us all, will allow …


Our Campaign Finance Nationalism, Eugene D. Mazo Mar 2021

Our Campaign Finance Nationalism, Eugene D. Mazo

Pepperdine Law Review

Campaign finance is the one area of election law that is most difficult to square with federalism. While voting has a strong federalism component—elections are run by the states and our elected officials represent concrete geographical districts—our campaign finance system, which is rooted in the First Amendment, almost entirely sidesteps the boundaries of American federalism. In so doing, our campaign finance system creates a tenuous connection between a lawmaker’s constituents, or the people who elect him, and the contributors who provide the majority of his campaign cash. The recent explosion of outside spending in American elections by wealthy individuals and …


Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney Jan 2021

Dark Money Darker? Irs Shutters Collection Of Donor Data, Philip Hackney

Articles

The IRS ended a long-time practice of requiring most nonprofits to disclose substantial donor names and addresses on the nonprofit annual tax return. It is largely seen as a battle over campaign finance rather than tax enforcement. Two of the nonprofits involved, social welfare organizations and business leagues, are referred to as “dark money” organizations because they allow individuals to influence elections while maintaining donor anonymity. Many in the campaign finance community are concerned that this change means wealthy donors can avoid campaign finance laws and have no reason to fear being discovered. In this Article, I focus on whether …


Democracy, Deference, And Compromise: Understanding And Reforming Campaign Finance Jurisprudence, Scott P. Bloomberg Aug 2020

Democracy, Deference, And Compromise: Understanding And Reforming Campaign Finance Jurisprudence, Scott P. Bloomberg

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

In Citizens United, the Supreme Court interpreted the government’s interest in preventing corruption as being limited to preventing quid pro quo— cash-for-votes—corruption. This narrow interpretation drastically circumscribed legislatures’ abilities to regulate the financing of elections, in turn prompting scholars to propose a number of reforms for broadening the government interest in campaign finance cases. These reforms include urging the Court to recognize a new government interest such as political equality, to adopt a broader understanding of corruption, and to be more deferential to legislatures in defining corruption.

Building upon that body of scholarship, this Article begins with a descriptive …


Pay To Play? Campaign Finance And The Incentive Gap In The Sixth Amendment's Right To Counsel, Neel U. Sukhatme, Jay Jenkins May 2020

Pay To Play? Campaign Finance And The Incentive Gap In The Sixth Amendment's Right To Counsel, Neel U. Sukhatme, Jay Jenkins

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For nearly 60 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees felony defendants the right to counsel, regardless of their ability to pay. Yet nearly all criminal procedure scholars agree that indigent defense as practiced today falls far short of its initial promise. These scholars frequently cite a lack of political support, insufficient public funding, and a failure to address instances of inadequate legal representation, among other things, as causes for the underlying systemic dysfunction.

We contend that these conventional critiques are incomplete. Rather, indigent defense systems often fail due to poor …


From Public Health To Public Wealth: The Case For Economic Justice, Barbara L. Atwell Apr 2020

From Public Health To Public Wealth: The Case For Economic Justice, Barbara L. Atwell

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

This Article examines how we can overlay the principle of serving the common good, which undergirds public health law, onto financial well-being. It suggests that we apply public health law principles to corporate law and culture. In matters of public health, we view quite broadly states' police power to protect the public good. Government is also empowered to protect the general welfare in matters of financial well-being. Using the “general welfare” as a guidepost, this Article challenges the conventional wisdom that corporations exist solely to maximize profit and shareholder value to the exclusion of virtually everything else. It proposes two …


‘‘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 Segregation Of Markets, Christian Turner Jan 2020

The Segregation Of Markets, Christian Turner

Scholarly Works

Campaign-finance reformers fear that rich donors’ money can be used disproportionately to influence the content of campaign advertising and thus, perhaps, the results of elections. In European football, UEFA has attempted to ban “financial doping,” rich owners’ use of money earned in sectors other than football to pay large sums for the best football players. Campaign-finance reform efforts and “financial fair play” rules in sport may seem like bespoke solutions to different problems. In fact, they are the same solution to the same problem. Both are attempts to ensure that power accumulated in one market is not brought into another …


First Amendment (Un)Exceptionalism: A Comparative Taxonomy Of Campaign Finance Reform Proposals In The United States And United Kingdom, Lori A. Ringhand Jan 2020

First Amendment (Un)Exceptionalism: A Comparative Taxonomy Of Campaign Finance Reform Proposals In The United States And United Kingdom, Lori A. Ringhand

Scholarly Works

There is an urgent conversation happening among the world’s democracies about how to respond to the combined threat of online electioneering and foreign interference in domestic elections. Despite the shadow such activities cast over the 2016 presidential election in the United States, the US has been largely absent from comparative discussions about how to tackle the problem. This is not just because of a recalcitrant president. The assumption that America’s “First Amendment Exceptionalism” – the idea that American freedom of expression law is simply too much of an outlier to warrant useful comparative consideration – is strong on both sides …


Dollars And Sense: A "New Paradigm" For Campaign Finance Reform?, Daniel A. Farber Aug 2019

Dollars And Sense: A "New Paradigm" For Campaign Finance Reform?, Daniel A. Farber

Daniel A Farber

No abstract provided.


Making And Unmaking Citizens: Law And The Shaping Of Civic Capacity, Tabatha Abu El-Haj Jan 2019

Making And Unmaking Citizens: Law And The Shaping Of Civic Capacity, Tabatha Abu El-Haj

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

American democracy is more fragile today than in recent memory. As evidence of stubborn imbalances in political influence grow, so too does public skepticism concerning the relative benefits of our democratic institutions. Scholars have taken note, and two dominant camps have emerged to offer proposals for restoring democratic accountability and responsiveness. The first, like the public, identifies the flood of money into electoral politics as the primary source of our troubles, whereas the second points to political parties as the root of the crisis. More recently, however, a nascent third approach has emerged. Looking beyond the usual suspects—money in politics …


Reorienting Disclosure Debates In A Post-Citizens United World, Katherine A. Shaw Dec 2018

Reorienting Disclosure Debates In A Post-Citizens United World, Katherine A. Shaw

Book Chapters

Disclosure is often an afterthought in debates about money in politics. Reformers have tended to take disclosure for granted, devoting little time to developing and refi ning the affi rmative case for it. They have also tended to assume that the current disclosure regime is an effective one, at least as far as it goes. Reformers have devoted substantial attention to the holes in the current regime in the post- Citizens United era— so- called “dark” and “gray” money 1 — and have considered ways to bring such activity into the light. Yet even if they are successful, such expansion …


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 …


Contributions, Brides, And The Convergence Of Political And Criminal Corruption, Joshua S. Sellers Apr 2018

Contributions, Brides, And The Convergence Of Political And Criminal Corruption, Joshua S. Sellers

Florida State University Law Review

No abstract provided.


A Voice In The Wilderness: John Paul Stevens, Election Law, And A Theory Of Impartial Governance, Joshua A. Douglas, Cody S. Barnett Jan 2018

A Voice In The Wilderness: John Paul Stevens, Election Law, And A Theory Of Impartial Governance, Joshua A. Douglas, Cody S. Barnett

Law Faculty Scholarly Articles

Justice John Paul Stevens retired from the Supreme Court almost a decade ago and turned ninety-eight years old in April 2018. How should we remember his legacy on the Supreme Court? This Article places his legacy within his election law jurisprudence. Specifically, Justice Stevens provided a consistent theory, which we term “impartial governance,” that has had a lasting impact on the field. This theory undergirds Justice Stevens’s creation of the important Anderson-Burdick-Crawford balancing test that federal courts use to construe the constitutionality of laws that impact the right to vote, such as voter ID laws. It is part of his …


Judicial Selection And The Search For Middle Ground, Charles G. Geyh Jan 2018

Judicial Selection And The Search For Middle Ground, Charles G. Geyh

Articles by Maurer Faculty

This Article seeks to transcend perennial election versus appointment debates-including debates over campaign finance and the impact of "dark money"-by taking a closer look at why judicial selection is a contentious mess and discussing how it might be fixed. First, I present the case for elective and appointive systems. Second, I show that the arguments for each system are exaggerated or flawed.Third, I explore why it has been hard for proponents of each system to perceive and acknowledge those exaggerations and flaws, and propose ways to narrow the divide. Although the divide can and should be narrowed, I conclude that …


Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen Jan 2018

Transparency's Ideological Drift, David E. Pozen

Faculty Scholarship

In the formative periods of American "open government" law, the idea of transparency was linked with progressive politics. Advocates of transparency understood themselves to be promoting values such as bureaucratic rationality, social justice, and trust in public institutions. Transparency was meant to make government stronger and more egalitarian. In the twenty-first century, transparency is doing different work. Although a wide range of actors appeal to transparency in a wide range of contexts, the dominant strain in the policy discourse emphasizes its capacity to check administrative abuse, enhance private choice, and reduce other forms of regulation. Transparency is meant to make …


Reforming Campaign Finance Reform: The Future Of Public Financing, Richard Briffault Jan 2018

Reforming Campaign Finance Reform: The Future Of Public Financing, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

In his Seventh Annual Message to Congress on December 3, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt proposed what he acknowledged was a “very radical measure”: public funding of election campaigns. Roosevelt had previously urged a federal campaign disclosure law and restrictions on corporate contributions, and Congress had adopted a corporate contribution ban earlier that year. But Roosevelt warned that disclosure and contribution limits alone would not be enough to truly reform campaign finance. “[L]aws of this kind,” that is, regulations of private campaign money, “from their very nature are difficult of enforcement,” Roosevelt observed. They posed the “danger” they would be “obeyed …


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 …


Shareholder Proposal Settlements And The Private Ordering Of Public Elections, Sarah C. Haan Dec 2017

Shareholder Proposal Settlements And The Private Ordering Of Public Elections, Sarah C. Haan

Sarah Haan

Reform of campaign finance disclosure has stalled in Congress and at various federal agencies, but it is steadily unfolding in a firm-by-firm program of private ordering. Today, much of what is publicly known about how individual public companies spend money to influence federal, state, and local elections—and particularly what is known about corporate “dark money”—comes from disclosures that conform to privately negotiated contracts.

The primary mechanism for this new transparency is the settlement of the shareholder proposal, in which a shareholder trades its rights under SEC Rule 14a-8—and potentially the rights of other shareholders—for a privately negotiated social policy commitment …


Constitutional Law—Why Amending The Consitution To Overrule Citizens United Is The Wrong Way To Fix Campaign Finance In The United States, Zachary Hale Jul 2017

Constitutional Law—Why Amending The Consitution To Overrule Citizens United Is The Wrong Way To Fix Campaign Finance In The United States, Zachary Hale

University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review

No abstract provided.


Churches' Lobbying And Campaigning: A Proposed Statutory Safe Harbor For Internal Church Communications, Edward A. Zelinsky Jul 2017

Churches' Lobbying And Campaigning: A Proposed Statutory Safe Harbor For Internal Church Communications, Edward A. Zelinsky

Articles

President Trump, reiterating the position he took during the presidential campaign, has recently reaffirmed his pledge to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” the provision of the Internal Revenue Code which prohibits tax-exempt institutions from participating in political campaigns. The Code also bars tax-exempt institutions, including churches, from substantial lobbying activities.

Rather than the blanket repeal of the Johnson Amendment proposed by President Trump, I argue for a statutory safe harbor for the internal communications of churches. This limited safe harbor would protect in-house church discussions from both Section 501(c)(3)’s ban on substantial lobbying and from that …


The New Front In The Clean Air Wars: Fossil-Fuel Influence Over State Attorneys General- And How It Might Be Checked, Eli Savit Apr 2017

The New Front In The Clean Air Wars: Fossil-Fuel Influence Over State Attorneys General- And How It Might Be Checked, Eli Savit

Michigan Law Review

Review of Struggling for Air: Power and the "War On Coal" by Richard L. Revesz and Jack Leinke, and Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America by Paul Nolette.