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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

The Changing Contours of Campaign Finance Reform

Since the founding of our nation, candidates and campaigns have sought to use the power of the purse to influence voters. To maximize their financial advantage, large corporations and wealthy individuals used their resources to flood the “marketplace of ideas” with messages favorable to their businesses and causes. State and federal laws were enacted to combat the corrupting influence of large aggregations of wealth. This investigation looks at the way the US Supreme Court has dealt with the First Amendment implications of these regulations on political speech by looking at three contemporary Supreme Court decisions. Additionally, this study proves how the shift from the liberal courts of the late 20th century to the conservative Roberts court will be a sea-change in American jurisprudence in campaign finance case law. Campaign finance case law remains fluid and prone to the whims of two sharply divided philosophical schools of thought.

Presenter: Josh Keaton (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: History
Location: 127 Hartwell
Time: 10:10 am (Session I)