TITLE

CONTRACTING AROUND CITIZENS UNITED

AUTHOR(S)
Sitaraman, Ganesh
PUB. DATE
April 2014
SOURCE
Columbia Law Review;Apr2014, Vol. 114 Issue 3, p755
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Essay
ABSTRACT
The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC is widely considered a major roadblock for campaign finance reform, and particularly for limiting third party spending in federal elections. In response to the decision, commentators, scholars, and activists have outlined a wide range of legislative and regulatory proposals to limit the influence of third party spending, including constitutional amendments, public financing programs, and expanded disclosure rules. To date, however, they have not considered the possibility that third party spending can be restrained by a self-enforcing private contract between the opposing campaigns. This Essay argues that private ordering, rather than public action, is an additional approach for limiting third party campaign spending. It explains the design of a contract between opposing campaigns that is self-enforcing and restricts third party spending; identifies the conditions under which such a contract is likely to be offered and accepted; shows how political dynamics push third parties and campaigns to adhere to the contract's spending restrictions; and discusses possible loopholes and challenges. While private ordering through a self-enforcing contract might seem like wishful thinking, precisely this kind of contract, "The People's Pledge," succeeded in keeping out third party spending on television, radio, and internet advertising in the most expensive Senate race in history, the 2012 Brown-Warren race in Massachusetts. Since then, this kind of contract has been adopted in two other federal congressional races and debated and offered in a wide range of other races. In the context of political gridlock in Congress, the emergence of a private ordering option to achieve campaign finance reform goals is significant. This Essay analyzes the conditions under which private ordering, rather than public law reform, can limit third party spending in elections. It draws on examples, particularly that of the original "People's Pledge," to illustrate the general parameters of these contracts, and it considers the implications of these contracts for election law and policy.
ACCESSION #
95640475

 

Related Articles

  • CITIZENS UNITED AND THE ORPHANED ANTIDISTORTION RATIONALE. Hasen, Richard L. // Georgia State University Law Review;Summer2011, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p989 

    An essay is presented on the rationale of orphaned antidistortion in the court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) in the U.S. It discusses how the argument concerning antidistortion became an orphan in Citizens United blaming the dissent of Supreme Court Justice John Paul...

  • CITIZENS DIVIDED BY CITIZENS UNITED: HOW THE RECENT SUPREME COURT DECISION AFFECTS SMALL BUSINESS IN POLITICS. MENDRALA, MALLORY E. // Entrepreneurial Business Law Journal;2012, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p253 

    The article discusses the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2010 case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The ruling removed the ban on corporate independent expenditures and upheld corporation-dominated political campaigns. The advantages of small corporations and businesses...

  • PUBLIC CORRUPTION CONCERNS AND COUNTER-MAJORITARIAN DEMOCRACY DEFINITION IN CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION. Kimmel, Daaron // Chicago-Kent Law Review;2012, Vol. 87 Issue 1, p265 

    In determining the shape of the free speech rights and anti-corruption concerns that courts must balance in campaign finance cases, judges are influenced by their own underlying understandings of what an ideal democracy should look like. For judges to decide whether the government is...

  • THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE DEBATE AFTER CITIZENS UNITED. Kang, Michael S. // Georgia State University Law Review;Summer2011, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p1147 

    The author offers his insight on campaign finance law debate on the Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in the U.S. He describes the decision of Citizens United that restrictions on corporate electioneering in federal elections are unconstitutional. He notes...

  • Fighting Campaign Finance Reform. Kosterlitz, Julie // National Journal;9/5/2009, p5 

    The article deals with the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to hold a rehearing of Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission on September 9, 2009, and its impact on the legal challenges against campaign finance laws filed by James Bopp. It outlines the arguments raised by Bopp against...

  • The Race Is On. Fischer, Raymond L. // USA Today Magazine;Nov2011, Vol. 140 Issue 2798, p18 

    The article asserts that the 2010 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United versus (v.) the Federal Election Commission overturning a long-term trend to limit political spending of corporations will set the stage for a lucrative 2012 presidential campaign. It mentions that the...

  • HAS THE TIDE TURNED IN FAVOR OF DISCLOSURE? REVEALING MONEY IN POLITICS AFTER CITIZENS UNITED AND DOE V. REED. Torres-Spelliscy, Ciara // Georgia State University Law Review;Summer2011, Vol. 27 Issue 4, p1057 

    The article examines the campaign finance disclosure law following the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in cases Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) and Doe v. Reed from 2007 to 2010. It explores the hostility exhibited by lower courts between Wisconsin Right to Life II (WRTL II)...

  • Inside the Court.  // Supreme Court Debates;Jan2010, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p4 

    The article discusses the status of cases granted certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court for the October 2009 term and a holdover case from the 2008 term. The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case was reportedly reargued on September 9, 2009 after certiorari was granted on November...

  • A Triumph for Political Speech. Rubin, Jennifer // Commentary;May2010, Vol. 129 Issue 5, p16 

    The article discusses the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the court struck down the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. It describes McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and its goal to limit contributions from...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics