Election Law

Debate: Was Citizens United Wrongly Decided?

Federalist Society with the American Constitution Society and the National Constitution Center Tuesday, May 12, 05:30 PMJohn Adams Courthouse
1 Pemberton Square
Boston, MA 02108


  • Anthony Johnstone, University of Montana School of Law
  • John McGinnis, Northwestern University School of Law

Moderator: Jeffrey Rosen,  President and Chief Executive Officer, The National Constitution Center

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Judicial Election Fundraising

Free Speech & Election Law and Professional Responsibility & Legal Education Practice Groups Courthouse Steps Teleforum Friday, May 08, 04:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

On April 29, the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-4 opinion in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar allowing states to bar candidates for judgeships from personally asking for campaign donations. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts noted the importance of “public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary,” concluding that “States may regulate judicial elections differently than they regulate political elections, because the role of judges differs from the role of politicians.” In dissent, Justice Scalia noted that the majority disregarded “one settled First Amendment principle after another” to reach its result.

  • Prof. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Erik S. Jaffe, Sole Practitioner, Erik S. Jaffe, PC

Political Contribution Limits, Labor Unions, and Businesses - Podcast

Litigation and Free Speech & Election Law Practice Groups Podcast
James Manley March 26, 2015

The laws of six states prohibit businesses—but not unions or other groups—from contributing to political parties, committees, or candidates. On February 24, 2015, the Goldwater Institute filed suit on behalf of two family-owned Massachusetts businesses to challenge Massachusetts’ political contribution ban. Since 1908, businesses have faced a total contribution ban, but special rules implemented in 1988 allow unions to contribute as much as $15,000 before any disclosure requirements or other contribution limits apply to the union. After unions have donated $15,000 to campaigns, their PACs can continue to contribute up to the ordinary limits. Meanwhile, business-funded PACs are banned from contributing. Does the Massachusetts law violate state and federal constitutional guarantees of equal protection, free speech, and free association?

  • Jim Manley, Senior Attorney, Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, The Goldwater Institute

Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 3-16-15
Derek Muller March 16, 2015

On March 2, 2015, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. The first question in the case is whether Arizona’s reliance on a commission to draw up congressional districts rather than its state legislature violates the Elections Clause of the United States Constitution as well as Title 2 of the U.S. Code. The second question is whether the Arizona Legislature has standing to file suit against the commission.

To discuss the case, we have Derek Muller, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the Pepperdine University School of Law.

Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 2-14-15 featuring Mark Braden
Mark Braden February 24, 2015

On November 12, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, which was consolidated with Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama.

These cases ask whether Alabama's legislative redistricting plans classify black voters by race, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, by intentionally packing them into districts designed to maintain supermajority percentages produced when 2010 census data are applied to the 2001 majority-black districts.

To discuss the case, we have Mark Braden, who is Of Counsel at Baker & Hostetler.