Citizens Divided Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution

ISBN-10: 0674729005
ISBN-13: 9780674729001
Edition: 2014
List price: $29.95
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Description: The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down a federal prohibition on independent corporate campaign expenditures, is one of the most controversial opinions in recent memory. Defenders of the  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 6/23/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 264
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.166
Language: English

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down a federal prohibition on independent corporate campaign expenditures, is one of the most controversial opinions in recent memory. Defenders of the First Amendment greeted the ruling with enthusiasm, while advocates of electoral reform recoiled in disbelief. Robert Post offers a new constitutional theory that seeks to reconcile these sharply divided camps.Post interprets constitutional conflict over campaign finance reform as an argument between those who believe self-government requires democratic participation in the formation of public opinion and those who believe that self-government requires a functioning system of representation. The former emphasize the value of free speech, while the latter emphasize the integrity of the electoral process. Each position has deep roots in American constitutional history. Post argues that both positions aim to nurture self-government, which in contemporary life can flourish only if elections are structured to create public confidence that elected officials are attentive to public opinion. Post spells out the many implications of this simple but profound insight. Critiquing the First Amendment reasoning of the Court in Citizens United, he also shows that the Court did not clearly grasp the constitutional dimensions of corporate speech.Blending history, constitutional law, and political theory, Citizens Divided explains how a Supreme Court case of far-reaching consequence might have been decided differently, in a manner that would have preserved both First Amendment rights and electoral integrity.

Matthew W. Finkinis Albert J. Harno and Edward W. Cleary Chair in Law, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Law. He lives in Champaign.Robert C. Postis Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law, Yale Law School. He lives in New Haven, CT.

Lawrence Lessig is a professor of law at the Stanford Law School. Previously Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School from 1997 to 2000 and professor at the University of Chicago Law School from 1991 to 1997, he is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Trinity College, Cambridge, and Yale Law School. He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. He is a monthly columnist forThe Industry Standard,a board member of the Red Hat Center for Open Source, and the author ofCode and Other Laws of Cyberspace. From the Hardcover edition.

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