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Full-Text Articles in Law

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. …


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.


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


‘‘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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


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 …


Shareholder Proposal Settlements And The Private Ordering Of Public Elections, Sarah C. Haan Nov 2016

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

Scholarly Articles

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 …


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

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

Scholarly Publications

Many of the Supreme Court's important holdings concerning campaign finance law are not pure matters of constitutional interpretation. Rather, they are "contingent" constitution- al 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 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 …


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

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

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Campaign Finance Makes America Go ‘Round: Individual Campaign Contributions And The Effects Of Citizens United On The American Election System, Geneva Sherman Dec 2015

Campaign Finance Makes America Go ‘Round: Individual Campaign Contributions And The Effects Of Citizens United On The American Election System, Geneva Sherman

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

How political campaigns are financed directly affects every citizen in the United States. This can be attributed to the fact that campaign money is correlated to the laws that pass through congress and the interests that are taken into consideration. After the passage of Citizens United in 2010, campaign donation caps were lifted to allow for virtual unregulated money in politics with PACs, Super PACs and 501(c)(4)s. Although the 2010 passage of Citizens United has increased the influence of corporate and wealthy interests, individual campaign donations represent a major percentage of funds raised and are heavily relied upon. The present …


The Price Of Corruption, Usha Rodrigues Jul 2015

The Price Of Corruption, Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

The Supreme Court recently held that campaign contributions under $5200 do not create a “cognizable risk of corruption.” It was wrong. This Essay describes a nexus of timely contributions and special-interest legislation. In the most noteworthy case, a CEO made a first-time $1000 donation to a member of Congress. The next day that representative introduced a securities bill tailored to the interests of the CEO’s firm.

Armed with this real-world account of how small-dollar campaign contributions coincided with favorable legislative action, the Essay reads McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission with a critical eye. In McCutcheon the Supreme Court assumed that …


Mccutcheon V. Fec: Sacrificing Campaign Finance Regulation In The Name Of Free Speech, Haley S. Peterson Apr 2015

Mccutcheon V. Fec: Sacrificing Campaign Finance Regulation In The Name Of Free Speech, Haley S. Peterson

Maryland Law Review Online

No abstract provided.


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 …


Speech And The Truth-Seeking Value, Brian C. Murchison Jan 2015

Speech And The Truth-Seeking Value, Brian C. Murchison

Scholarly Articles

Courts in First Amendment cases long have invoked the truth-seeking value of speech, but they rarely probe its meaning or significance, and some ignore it altogether. As new cases implicate questions of truth and falsity, thorough assessment of the value is needed. This Article fills the gap by making three claims. First, interest in truth-seeking has resurfaced in journalism, politics, philosophy, and fiction, converging on a concept of provisional or “functional” truth. Second, the appeal of functional truth for the law may be that it clarifies thinking about a range of human priorities—survival, progress, and character—without insisting on truth in …


The Price Of Corruption, Usha Rodrigues Jan 2015

The Price Of Corruption, Usha Rodrigues

Scholarly Works

The Supreme Court recently held that campaign contributions under $5200 do not create a “cognizable risk of corruption.” It was wrong. This Essay describes a nexus of timely contributions and special-interest legislation. In the most noteworthy case, a CEO made a first-time $1000 donation to a member of Congress. The next day that representative introduced a securities bill tailored to the interests of the CEO’s firm.

Armed with this real-world account of how small-dollar campaign contributions coincided with favorable legislative action, the Essay reads McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission with a critical eye. In McCutcheon the Supreme Court assumed that …


The Uncertain Future Of The Corporate Contribution Ban, Richard Briffault Jan 2015

The Uncertain Future Of The Corporate Contribution Ban, Richard Briffault

Faculty Scholarship

Concern about the role of corporate money in democracy has been a longstanding theme in American politics. In the late nineteenth century, the states began to adopt laws restricting the use of corporate funds in elections. The first permanent federal campaign finance law – the Tillman Act of 1907 – targeted corporations by prohibiting federally-chartered corporations from making contributions in any election and prohibiting all corporations from making contributions in federal elections. Subsequently amended, continued, and strengthened by the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, and the Bipartisan …


Review Of Corruption In America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box To Citizens United By Zephyr Teachout, Robert L. Tsai Jan 2015

Review Of Corruption In America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box To Citizens United By Zephyr Teachout, Robert L. Tsai

Faculty Scholarship

This is a review of Zephyr Teachout's book on the anticorruption principle, "Corruption in America" (Harvard 2014).


Governing And Deciding Who Governs, Josh Chafetz Jan 2015

Governing And Deciding Who Governs, Josh Chafetz

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that, "Campaign finance restrictions that pursue other objectives [than eradicating quid pro quo corruption or its appearance], we have explained, impermissibly inject the Government 'into the debate over who should govern.' And those who govern should be the last people to help decide who should govern."

This passage sounds great — after all, who could object to an attempt to purge official self-dealing, especially in the election-law context? And therein lies its insidiousness: this rousing language masks a programmatic attempt by Roberts and his colleagues to distance themselves rhetorically …