Footnotes (198)



The End of Campaign Finance Law

Michael S. Kang

Emory University School of Law

April 27, 2011

Virginia Law Review, Vol. 98, 2012
Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 11-152
Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-103

The Article argues that Citizens United v. FEC ended campaign finance law as we long knew it, but along lines that have little to do with corporate electioneering. Although the public outcry focused on the decision’s narrow effect on corporations, the Article demonstrates how the decision’s broader logic transformed campaign finance law beyond corporate electioneering and led within months to the nearly complete de-regulation of independent expenditures in time for the 2010 elections. Those elections provided only a glimpse of what the Article calls the reverse hydraulics of de-regulation, and as the Article argues, this new de-regulated world of campaign finance is not a better one. Citizens United therefore is a turning point not just for campaign finance law, but all regulation of the relationship between campaign money and the political process. However, the Article surprisingly concludes in the end that the Supreme Court may still be somewhat sympathetic to alternate forms of regulation of political corruption, notwithstanding Citizens United’s broad skepticism about corruption. Namely, the Court may be more sanguine toward government regulation of campaign money’s influence when it is structured as ex post regulation of the legislative process on the back end, as opposed to the ex ante structure of campaign finance regulation. Citizens United, when considered in light of other recent Court decisions, points this way forward for campaign finance reform without campaign finance regulation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 67

Keywords: Campaign Finance, Citizens United, Caperton, Speechnow, Lobbying, Bribery, Independent Expenditures, Elections

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: May 3, 2011 ; Last revised: June 6, 2012

Suggested Citation

Kang, Michael S., The End of Campaign Finance Law (April 27, 2011). Virginia Law Review, Vol. 98, 2012; Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 11-152; Emory Law and Economics Research Paper No. 11-103. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1829474 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1829474

Contact Information

Michael S. Kang (Contact Author)
Emory University School of Law ( email )
1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 4,158
Downloads: 725
Download Rank: 26,007
Footnotes:  198