On October 7, 2008, the Federalist Society presented the 2008 Election Law Conference. This panel will consider the laws and regulations that limit or restrict giving, receiving, and/or spending related to an election, as well as the constitutional requirements and boundaries for such rules. Thus, the panel will consider the topics that generally fall under the umbrella of campaign finance, most notably the continued fight over who can contribute and/or expend what money on political advertising.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), popularly known as McCain-Feingold, was supposed to usher in a new bright line rule when it came to broadcast advertising that referred to a federal candidate around election time. However, this rule has never been implemented, and the contribution and expenditure of so-called “soft money” around election time has persisted. The presidential election cycle of 2004 was replete with broadcast advertisements referring to candidates that were paid for using “soft money.” Our panel will discuss potential constitutional, statutory, and regulatory questions about the free speech rights of non-profit or tax-exempt groups such as so-called 527 and 501(c)(4) organizations.
10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Election Finance and 527s
- Mr. Joseph M. Birkenstock, Caplin Drysdale
- Mr. James Bopp, Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom
- Hon. Bradley A. Smith, Capital University Law School and former member of the Federal Election Commission
- Mr. Scott E. Thomas, Dickstein Shapiro
- Moderator: Mr. Reid Alan Cox, Center for Competitive Politics