Contribution Limits: Caps on First Amendment Activity

January 1, 2018  •  By IFS Staff  •    •  

Contribution limits are monetary restrictions on the amount an individual or group can donate to a political actor – usually a candidate, political party, or political action committee. The Supreme Court first allowed limits on contributions in Buckley v. Valeo. The Court’s ruling acknowledged that contribution limits were a restriction on First Amendment activity, but allowed them on the theory…

Assumptions Gone Awry: New Book Casts Further Doubt on “Appearance of Corruption” Legal Standard

In an insightful new book, The Appearance of Corruption: Testing the Supreme Court’s Assumptions about Campaign Finance Reform, three political scientists examine the Court's ...

Top 4 Money in Politics Takeaways from the 2020 Election Cycle

December 15, 2020   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , , , ,

If money suppresses turnout, it’s apparently quite bad at it – even worse if it purports to buy elections. If 2020 has shown us ...

Third Parties Are Excluded from the Presidential Debates – And Punished by Campaign Finance Laws

October 22, 2020   •  By Scott Blackburn   •  , , ,

It’s not just the debates that advantage major party candidates: The entire campaign finance ecosystem has been purposefully crafted to maintain the two-party duopoly. ...

Should Campaign Consultants and Public Opinion Polls Decide Which Political Speech Receives First Amendment Protection?

September 28, 2020   •  By Barnaby Zall   •  , , ,

There’s a new book out by Professors David Primo and Jeffrey Milyo on a fundamental issue in First Amendment law. The authors find that ...

Industry-Based Contribution Bans: Should Your Line of Work Determine Your First Amendment Rights?

September 24, 2020   •  By Heather McGuire   •  , , , ,

A new and creative way to restrict speech has arrived in the form of industry-based contribution bans. These bans typically target an industry and ...

Cancel culture and speech regulation make a toxic mix

September 15, 2020   •  By David Keating   •  , , , ,

This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on September 15, 2020.   What do Steven Pinker, David Frum, Margaret Atwood, and Noam Chomsky have ...

Pledges Against Corporate PACs Do Little but Confuse and Harm

August 26, 2020   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , , ,

Candidate pledges denouncing support from select groups tend to utilize public misunderstanding of campaign finance law to generate the facade of moral superiority, trade ...

2020 shows money can’t buy elections, so let’s remove restrictive contribution limits

July 14, 2020   •  By Nathan Maxwell   •  , , ,

This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner on July 13, 2020.   We should have learned our lesson by now. In elections, it’s not ...

Pandemic Gives Incumbents Yet Another Advantage Over Challengers

May 4, 2020   •  By Tiffany Donnelly   •  , ,

The current public health crisis magnifies the disparity between challengers and incumbents. The entire country is almost singularly focused on the impact of COVID-19, ...

Bloomberg (Again) and DNC Show Why Contribution Limits Should be Eliminated

April 1, 2020   •  By Alex Baiocco   •  , ,

In early March, the failed presidential campaign of billionaire Michael Bloomberg added to the reams of evidence that money can’t buy electoral success. In ...

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