“A brilliant collection of essays on one of the most important contemporary constitutional issues: when can and should the government be able to regulate campaign spending? Each essay offers original insights, and together they are a superb examination of the intersection of politics and constitutional law. If there is to be a new jurisprudence in this area, this book is likely its foundation.”—Erwin Chemerinsky, founding dean, School of Law, University of California–Irvine
In the U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, five justices ruled that corporations and unions had a constitutional right to spend unlimited sums in elections. In so doing, they overturned decades of precedent and dozens of laws. The ruling earned banner headlines, a sharp State of the Union rebuke, and public disapproval hovering near 80 percent in the polls. In the 2010 election that followed, independent spending spiked, much of it done secretly. The decision ranks among the Court’s most controversial and consequential.
This volume is an attempt to map out the complex labyrinth that led to Citizens United and to explore where this decision may lead. The chapters in it arose from a symposium sponsored by NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice just nine weeks after the Citizens United decision was announced.