Professor Eugene Mazo speaks on regulating political corruption at Duke Law on Friday, Feb. 7

Professor Eugene Mazo

Photo of Professor Eugene Mazo

Professor Eugene Mazo will speak at the symposium, “The Future of Campaign Finance Reform,”  hosted by the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy and Duke’s Center on Law, Race, and Politics on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.

The event, held at Duke University, brings together many of the leading scholars in the fields of election law and campaign finance. Questions and ideas to be addressed according to the symposium description include: “The Supreme Court recently heard McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, and it may be poised to enact further changes to the campaign donation system. This presents a great opportunity to discuss issues related to the state of campaign finance and the possible need for reform after Citizens United. What is the identifiable role of big money in politics? How should we identify corruption in campaign finance? Should we bring back soft money?”

The keynote address will be given by Professor Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. Professor Lessig’s address will address reforms to the election system.

Professor Mazo’s lecture is titled, “The Appearance and Disappearance of Corruption.” He will argue that “political corruption is a lot like ‘love,’ ‘democracy,’ or even ‘pornography’ – we all know what these things are when we see them, even if the terms can be difficult to define.”  His point will focus on the idea that  “scholars should move beyond working to come up with a specific definition of ‘corruption,’ as many are spending their energies doing today, and toward thinking more about how we can better regulate the role of big money in American politics and in political campaigns.”

The symposium schedule follows:

9 a.m. Introductory Remarks

9:15 a.m. Classifying Corruption


Yasmin Dawood, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Richard L. Hasen, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Moderator: Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University School of Law

Commentator: James A. Gardner, SUNY Buffalo Law School

10:25 a.m. Break

10:40 a.m. Regulating Corruption


Eugene Mazo, Wake Forest University School of Law

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy, Stetson University College of Law

Moderator: Guy-Uriel Charles, Duke University School of Law

Commentator: Jason A. Abel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

11:50 a.m. Break/ Change of Venue

12:20 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Address by Lawrence Lessig

1:20 p.m. Break

1:30 p.m. Big Money/Soft Money


Raymond La Raja, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Lynda W. Powell, University of Rochester

Moderator: Richard L. Hasen, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Commentator: Michael D. Gilbert, University of Virginia School of Law

2:40 p.m. Break

2:50 p.m. Next Steps


Renata E. Strause, The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law

Zephyr Teachout, Fordham University School of Law

Moderator: James A. Gardner, SUNY Buffalo Law School

Commentator: Ellen D. Katz, University of Michigan Law School

4 p.m. Break

4:10 p.m. Closing Remarks

The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy Symposium will be held in the Sanford 223 Rhodes Conference Room for the morning panels and in Law 4047 for the afternoon panels. For more information, visit the symposium website here.

For more information, please contact Sudeep Paul at or Tara McGrath at