By: Richard Briffault
The explosion of independent spending funded by Super PACs and other organizations in the last two election cycles raises new questions about the effectiveness of contribution limits and, perhaps, about the value of maintaining them. But if the law is to continue to limit contributions because of the dangers of corruption and the appearance of corruption they pose, and to maintain the integrity of the contribution/expenditure distinction that has been a foundational part of our campaign finance law for nearly four decades, it is essential to redefine coordination to address the emergence of single-candidate Super PACs. The proposal in this Essay is intended as a contribution to that process.
Lessons on Terrorism and “Mistaken Identity” from Oak Creek, with a Coda on the Boston Marathon Bombings
By: Dawinder S. Sidhu
The tragic events in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, thrust upon an obscure religious community, and more broadly upon our laws and society, provide us with an opportunity to assess the efficacy of the law and conceptual explanations, not only as they apply to this incident, but also to those that may occur in the future. As discussed here, Oak Creek indicates why the definition of “terrorism” should be amended to not rely on the subjective motivation underlying the random killing of innocents, and how the disability-rights context may facilitate understanding and undermine criticisms of the media that are premised on notions of offensiveness or political value judgments. Oak Creek offers at least these lessons.
By: Ellen D. Katz
There is an additional narrative the Justices should consider when they evaluate how far places subject to the VRA’s regional provisions have evolved. This narrative posits that section 5 is far from obsolete and operates not only as a restraint on the ill-intentioned, but also as an affirmative tool of governance. On this account, one of the VRA’s most critical, albeit least appreciated, functions is the way in which it helps public officials navigate complex contemporary questions concerning equality of opportunity in the political process.
By: Caren Myers Morrison
David Jaros’s thought-provoking new Article, Perfecting Criminal Markets, sheds light on a heretofore unappreciated effect of our obsession with criminalization: that merely by creating new crimes, lawmakers may inadvertently strengthen existing criminal markets.
Bargaining in the Shadow of the Debt Ceiling: When Negotiating over Spending and Tax Laws, Congress and the President Should Consider the Debt Ceiling a Dead Letter
By: Neil H. Buchanan & Michael C. Dorf
If the debt ceiling is inconsistent with existing spending and taxing laws, what must the President do? In earlier work, we argued that when Congress creates a “trilemma”—making it impossible for the President to spend as much as Congress has ordered, to tax only as much as Congress has ordered, and to borrow no more than Congress has permitted—the Constitution requires the President to choose the least unconstitutional path.