Despite long-standing scholarly literature on the electoral effects of campaign spending, academic research provides little practical policy guidance. In part, this is because existing studies have focused narrowly on some vexing statistical issues, while ignoring many others. However, this is also because political scientists have not devoted enough effort to conducting evaluation studies of how [...]
Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Research, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, External Relations Sub-Pages, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Parties, Research, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, campaign spending, First Amendment, Jeff Milyo, money in politics, political science research, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Political Committees & 527s
A prominent politician once observed that, “You can either have free speech or fair elections, but you can’t have both.” In this article, CCP Academic Advisor and Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School Joel M. Gora argues that saying has it all backwards. In fact, you cannot have one without the other. The election of 2012 [...]
Filed Under: Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Research, Contributions & Limits, Expenditure, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Money in Politics, Research, Super PACs, Super PACs, campaign contributions, campaign finance, Contribution limits, First Amendment, free speech, money in politics, super PACs, Contributions & Limits, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Independent Speech
In this essay, CCP Academic Advisor John Samples looks at the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. It found that Congress lacked the power to prohibit independent spending on electoral speech by corporations. A later lower-court decision, SpeechNow v. Federal Election Commission, applied Citizens United to such spending and related fundraising by individuals. Concerns about the [...]
Filed Under: First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Political Committees & 527s, Research, Super PACs, First Amendment, Independent Speech, Issue Advocacy, Political Committees & 527s
An Analysis of Corporate Governance Reforms Proposed in Response to Citizens United to Limit Corporate Political Spending
Having failed to silence businesses through either litigation or legislation, campaign regulation reformers continue to try new and different tacks, corporate democracy being the latest in a long line of attempts to control money in politics. CCP Academic Advisor J.W. Verret released this report.
Filed Under: Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance Research, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Research, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporate governance, corporations, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment
The Center for Competitive Politics released a report on Activist Investing intended to dispute claims made by some groups that corporations and businesses should be wary of the “economic risks” posed by engaging in political speech.
Filed Under: Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment, Research, activist, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporate governance, corporations, investing, Faulty Assumptions, First Amendment
Corporations, like unions and other organizations, have a constitutional right to discuss politics. The Supreme Court has explicitly welcomed corporate speech on political topics, including the qualifications of officeholders and candidates. Yet many people would prefer to see corporate political speech excluded from the public debate.
Having lost the constitutional battle, reformers who oppose corporate speech have tried to pass legislation or enact regulations that would make it more difficult for corporations to participate in our political discussions. Those efforts have largely failed.
Much criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United stems from the claim that the Constitution does not protect corporations because they are not “real” people. While it’s true that corporations aren’t human beings, that truism is constitutionally irrelevant because corporations are formed by individuals as a means of exercising their constitutionally protected rights. [...]
In this article, CCP Academic Advisor Joel M. Gora, a Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, offers a through recounting of the outcomes of the much maligned Supreme Court case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The article defends the case by highlighting the Court’s endorsement of First Amendment protections for the political speech of corporate, labor, and non-profit entities. In doing so, the Court reversed statutes which had previously made it illegal for these groups to speak out in elections. Aside from several more minor immediate effects, Gora explains that the lasting legacy of Citizens United lies in its enthusiastic support for the First Amendment. While overviewing the arguments of the “reformers,” who wish to regulate the political speech of the aforementioned entities, the article illustrates the deficiencies of their viewpoints when weighed against long-standing First Amendment principles. Ultimately, Gora predicts that the Citizens United decision will enable the further erosion of current speech-chilling regulatory measures—a legacy of the “reformers’” stamp on the existing campaign finance landscape.
In an age of much sharp political division and incipient populism, it is easy to raise emotional flags by asking the question of whether corporations should have some of the same rights as individuals. In this article, Richard A. Epstein examines the many questions that swirl around the Citizens United decision in order to expose [...]
Filed Under: External Relations Sub-Pages, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Research, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporate speech, corporations, First Amendment, First Amendment, Jurisprudence & Litigation
President Obama has claimed that the U.S Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will empower “powerful interests” to “drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” In an analysis of state-specific data, CCP president Sean Parnell dispels this myth that the “public interest” will be adversely affected by the elimination of limits on independent political spending. CCP compared several policy and general welfare indicators considering that 24 states restricted political spending pre-Citizens United (contrasted with the 26 states which allowed unlimited independent spending). In this analysis, CCP demonstrates that there is no positive correlation between corporate spending and policy outcomes. There is no evidence that freedom for corporations, unions and advocacy groups to exercise their First Amendment rights in 26 states has caused any adverse impact on policy compared to the 24 states that restricted such spending.