A Win for Free Speech or Corruption? Assessing the Supreme Court’s Recent Decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission

The Cincinnati Lawyers Chapter
Start : Wednesday, April 30, 2014 12:00 PM
End : Wednesday, April 30, 2014 01:15 PM

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The University Club
401 East 4th Street

Featured Speakers:
Bradley A. Smith



  • Bradley A. Smith, Former Chairman, Federal Elections Commission; 2013-2014 Judge John T. Copenhaver Visiting Endowed Chair of Law, West Virginia University College of Law; and Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law, Capital University Law School

Earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court decided McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission. By a 5-4 vote, the Court held that aggregate limits imposed by federal law on individuals’ contributions to candidates, parties, and political organizations are unconstitutional. Writing for the plurality, Chief Justice Roberts noted that “If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades—despite the profound offense such spectacles cause—it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.” Writing for the dissenters, Justice Breyer stated that the McCutcheon decision “eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws” and opens up new opportunities for corruption in the world of campaign finance. Was McCutcheon correctly decided? What does the decision tell us about where the Supreme Court may be heading with regard to the treatment of campaign donations as speech? And what does the dissent tell us about the dissenters’ view of First Amendment rights?

Registration details:

The cost of lunch and attendance is $15.00. Members and non-members alike are always welcome.

Please RSVP by April 27 to Matthew R. Byrne at Pay at the door or in advance by cash or check (payable to “The Federalist Society”).