Posted: January 28th, 2015 | By: Lisa Snedeker
Professor Eugene Mazo published a paper in the 2014 Duke Journal of Constitutional Law & Public Policy entitled, “The Disappearance of Corruption and the New Path Forward in Campaign Finance.”
The abstract reads as follows:
The reason reformers cloak their plans for changing the campaign finance system in the language of corruption is because of the Supreme Court. In Buckley v. Valeo, the 1976 case that put corruption at the center of campaign finance law, the Supreme Court held that the only compelling justification that could be used to impose limits on campaign contributions is the government’s interest in preventing “corruption” and the “appearance of corruption.” All other justifications have led to laws being struck down for violating the freedoms of the First Amendment. This Article argues, however, that the Court’s corruption paradigm has now outlived its usefulness. It has been inconsistently applied, and it has led to more confusion than clarity. Because new legislation regulating campaign finance is likely to be struck down by the Court, Congress no longer has the stomach to regulate in this area. For this reason, this article argues that champions of campaign finance reform need to find a new path forward. One such path that this Article proposes is to let Congress regulate campaign finance through its internal ethics rules.
Find the entire paper on SSRN here.
Professor Mazo is also featured writing about the paper on PrawfsBlawg here.
Professor Mazo is an expert in constitutional law and the law of democracy. He writes about constitutional law, election law, and foreign affairs law, and he teaches classes in those areas in addition to first-year courses in contracts, torts, and civil procedure. Professor Mazo’s research predominantly focuses on the regulation of the political process, democratic development, and constitutional governance. Prior to becoming a law professor, he founded Parker & Mazo, an appellate law firm that focused on counseling clients in California and in Washington, D.C., on complex litigation matters. He also worked for Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and was the general counsel of a small company in Silicon Valley.
Learn more about Professor Mazo from his faculty bio here.