Hasen on Gorsuch on Citizens United

Rick Hasen thinks that Judge Gorsuch “misstates” the holding of Citizens United v. FEC in his Senate testimony, when he states: I think there is ample room for this body to legislate, even in light of Citizens United, whether it has to do with contribution limits, whether it has to with expenditure limits, or whether it has […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Buckley v. Valeo, Derek Muller, Gorsuch, Neil Gorsuch, Rick Hasen, Supreme Court

Neil Gorsuch, and the Supreme Court’s Role on Money in Politics

Democrats in Congress have signaled their intention to make campaign finance a major theme of the Gorsuch hearings this week. No doubt with that in mind, the anti-speech group Demos has rushed out a document criticizing past U.S. Supreme Court decisions that, they claim, have “benefited a small class of wealthy, white conservative men.” The […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Communications, Issues, Money in Politics, Buckley v. Valeo, campaign finance, Davis v. FEC, Demos, Donald Trump, Gorsuch, McCutcheon, Neil Gorsuch, PACs, Sierra Club, Supreme Court

Demos Study Doesn’t Prove Donors Control Politics, But it Suggests Government Should

The progressive advocacy group Demos released a study examining the demographics of the “elite donor” class, arguing that its makeup unfairly shapes policy formation in America. Their study finds that the biggest political contributors are proportionally more white and male than small and non-donors, that their policy preferences are more conservative than Americans as a […]

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Tax Financed Campaigns Press Release/In the News/Blog, Tax-Financing, Buckley v. Valeo, Demos, Elite Donors, Small Donors

Massachusetts Businesses and Labor Unions Are Entitled to the Same Free Speech Rights

The ability of businesses and unions to participate in electoral politics has long been a contentious topic, particularly in the years since Citizens United v. FEC. That decision struck down a federal ban on independent expenditures from those entities, but not a ban on direct donations from businesses and unions to candidates and parties (those […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits, Contribution Limits Press Release/In the News/Blog, Contribution Limits State, Issues, Buckley v. Valeo, Goldwater Institute, Kentucky, Massachusetts

Super PAC Funding Comes Overwhelmingly from Individuals, Again

Data from the 2016 election continues to undermine a key prediction made by critics of Citizens United in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s famous 2010 ruling. Once again, super PACs are being funded overwhelmingly by citizens, not corporations. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, “A study by the Conference Board’s Committee for Economic […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Money in Politics, Super PACs, Alan Grayson, Buckley v. Valeo, Committee for Economic Development, President Obama, SpeechNow.org v. FEC, The Conference Board, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal

Limiting Access to Lawmakers Would Stifle Representative Democracy

Media commentary about the fine line between political influence and corruption has been plentiful over the past week. Many different writers have expressed discomfort at the notion of donors to a private charity being granted meetings with senior State Department officials. Absent evidence of direct quid pro quo corruption, these writers have argued that providing […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Access, Buckley v. Valeo, Chief Justice John Roberts, corruption, Influence, Justice Anthony Kennedy, McDonnell v. United States

Speech These Days: It’s Just Too Damn Loud…

Howard Schweber, a Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, flippantly claims that the most imminent threat to our democracy is speech that is, in his opinion, too “loud.” According to a recent blog by Schweber in The Huffington Post, some speakers in our democracy, like some commenters on the […]

Filed Under: Blog, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Issues, Buckley v. Valeo, First Amendment, Howard Schweber, Internet Speech

On Bob Bauer and “Evidence”

Bob Bauer responded to my early summer post about professors Rick Hasen and Larry Lessig’s use of the infamous ‘Gilens and Page’ study. In familiar ‘pox-on-both-houses’ style, he avers it is a matter that “a particular evidentiary claim is overstated.” Through understatement Bauer doubly flaws his analysis: “Noting that Rick Hasen and Larry Lessig had […]

Filed Under: Blog, Benjamin I. Page, Bob Bauer, Buckley v. Valeo, Cass Sunstein, Larry Lessig, Martin Gilens, Rick Hasen

On First Amendment Issues, 2016 Party Platforms Differ Greatly from Each Other, But also from 2012

The Democratic and Republican National Conventions have ended, and attention has shifted to the general election season ahead. Yet the parties’ respective platforms endure as a landmark of where they (or at least their most active supporters) stand on the issues at this particular moment in time. It is no surprise that political speech rights […]

Filed Under: Blog, Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United v. FEC, Democratic National Convention, Democratic Party Platform, DNC, Republican National Convention, Republican Party Platform, RNC, WRTL v. FEC

Does “The Freedom of the Press” Include a Right to Anonymity? The Original Meaning

In this New York University Journal of Law and Liberty article, constitutional historian Robert G. Natelson examines relevant evidence to determine whether, as some have argued, the original legal force of the First Amendment’s “freedom of the press” clause included a per se right to anonymous authorship. The Article concludes that, except in cases in […]

Filed Under: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Disclosure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Press, Buckley v. Valeo, New York University Journal of Law and Liberty, Robert G. Natelson, Disclosure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Disclosure, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Press