Why the Center Does Not Hold: The Causes of Hyperpolarized Democracy in America

In this New York University School of Law working paper by Professor Richard H. Pildes, examines the increase in partisan polarization and its effect on political parties. According to the author, we have not seen the intensity of political conflict and the radical separation between the two major political parties that characterizes our age since […]

Filed Under: Political Parties, Research, Barack Obama, campaign finance, George W. Bush, New York University School of Law, Polarization, Political Parties, Richard Pildes, Voting Rights Act of 1965, Political Parties

Disclosures about Disclosure

In this article, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer takes an interesting look at the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC. He notes that while the Court lifted a longstanding ban on corporations and unions, who wish to engage in election related spending, the Court left questions pertaining to disclosure and disclaimer provisions related to independent expenditures unanswered. Mayer attempts to discover whether or not existing disclosure and disclaimer rules result in better informed voters and addresses the extent to which existing current requirements result in potential retaliation from political opponents. As the virtues of disclosure and disclaimers are too often unquestioned, he suggests that further research should be done in order to determine whether or not current policies are accomplishing their stated objectives. Given the recent reaffirmation of fundamental speech rights in Citizens United, Mayer advocates that disclosure and disclaimer rules should be designed to encourage greater political participation and assist voters in making better ballot-box initiatives.

Filed Under: Research, campaign finance, campaign finance reform, Center for Competitive Politics, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

DISCLOSE Act—The Legislative “Fix” to Citizens United

On Jan. 21, 2010, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Since then, congressional critics of the Court’s broad holding have promised a legislative “fix.” These Members believe that the decision to recognize constitutional protection for corporate (and labor) independent expenditures in federal elections will have a pernicious effect on American politics. Accordingly, on April 29, 2010, Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Chris Van Hollen introduced the “DISCLOSE Act.”

The DISCLOSE Act contains two main features. First, it requires corporations to include certain notices in their expenditures and file additional disclosure reports. Second, the DISCLOSE Act identifies certain types of corporations that would not be permitted to make independent expenditures.Leaders in both the Senate and the House have promised expedited consideration of this legislation. The sponsors intend for it to enter into effect for much of the 2010 election cycle. 

Filed Under: Disclosure, Disclosure, Research, campaign finance, campaign finance disclosure, DISCLOSE, Disclose Act, Disclosure, Coordination, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Coordination, Disclosure, Independent Speech, Jurisprudence & Litigation, Stand By Your Ad

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.