Special Interests after Citizens United: Access, Replacement, and Interest Group Response to Legal Change

Posted: 6 Nov 2013

See all articles by Samuel Issacharoff

Samuel Issacharoff

New York University School of Law

Jeremy Peterman

New York University School of Law

Date Written: November 2013

Abstract

The legal literature on campaign finance law and the political science literature on how and why interest groups mobilize use different methodologies to get at overlapping issues. This review integrates some of these insights to better understand the relationship between interest group participation in elections and changes in campaign finance law. The post–Citizens United world of law created regulatory vacuums that only certain groups tried to take advantage of. For example, little corporate money found its way into Super PACs or groups engaging in independent electoral advocacy. We argue that ascertaining interest groups' objectives of either using contributions to candidates to obtain access, on one hand, or using independent expenditures to install friendly candidates in office, on the other, is key to understanding how interest groups respond to legal developments. We also argue that although interest group participation in elections increased in 2012, the party-centric federal election system was largely resilient to increased interest group mobilizations, highlighting the difficulties with the replacement strategy.

Suggested Citation

Issacharoff, Samuel and Peterman, Jeremy, Special Interests after Citizens United: Access, Replacement, and Interest Group Response to Legal Change (November 2013). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 9, pp. 185-205, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350722 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102612-133930

Samuel Issacharoff (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States
212-998-6580 (Phone)
212-995-3150 (Fax)

Jeremy Peterman

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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