Town Hall Video: Was Citizens United Wrongly Decided? – May 15, 2015

link May 15, 2015 by

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Is Harvard Unfair to Asian-Americans? – NY Times, Nov. 24, 2014


It may not be absolutely right, but it’s a common obstacle to overcome.(right?!)

“The most common defense of the status quo is that many Asian-American applicants do well on tests but lack intangible qualities like originality or leadership. As early as 1988, William R. Fitzsimmons, Harvard’s dean of admissions, said that they were “slightly less strong on extracurricular criteria.”

Even leaving aside the disturbing parallel with how Jews were characterized, there is little evidence that this is true. A new study of over 100,000 applicants to the University of California, Los Angeles, found no significant correlation between race and extracurricular achievements

The truth is not that Asians have fewer distinguishing qualities than whites; it’s that — because of a longstanding depiction of Asians as featureless or even interchangeable — they are more likely to be perceived as lacking in individuality. “

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Money, Politics, and the Constitution: Beyond Citizens United

Money, Politics, and the Constitution: Beyond Citizens United

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Money in Politics: Toward a New Jurisprudence- NYU Law review, Volume 89, Online Symposium

Brennen Center for Justice: NYU School of Law

The Aftermath of McCutcheon v. FEC


Online Symposium



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Campaign Finance 40 Years Later, NY Times October 14, 2014

“On Oct. 15, 1974, Congress enacted the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments, ushering in the modern era of federal campaign finance regulation. Forty years later, many of those provisions have been struck down as unconstitutional and Supreme Court rulings have paved the way for outside groups to raise and spend more money.

Should what remains of this legislation be used as the foundation for additional reforms, or is the system so badly damaged that lawmakers should start from scratch? What more can be done to curb the influence of money on elections?”

The following link provides several comments about this issue:

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The First Amendment in Five Minutes, Floyd Abrams

Question: What should everyone know about the First Amendment?

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DOUGLAS M. SPENCER AND ABBY K. WOOD, Citizens United, States Divided: An Empirical Analysis of Independent Political Spending

Citizens United, States Divided: An Empirical Analysis of Independent Political Spending


What effect has Citizens United v. FEC had on independent spending in American politics? Previous attempts to answer this question have focused solely on federal elections, where there is no baseline for comparing changes in spending behavior. We overcome this limitation by examining the effects of Citizens United as a natural experiment on the states. Before Citizens United, about half of the states banned corporate independent expenditures and thus were “treated” by the Supreme Court’s decision, which invalidated these state laws. We rely on recently released state-level data to compare spending in “treated” states to spending in the “control” states, which have never banned corporate or union independent expenditures. We find that, while independent expenditures increased in both treated and control states between 2006 and 2010, the increase was more than twice as large in the treated states, and nearly all of the new money was funneled through nonprofit organizations and political committees where weak disclosure laws and practices protected the anonymity of the spenders. Finally, we observe that the increase in spending after Citizens United was not the product of fewer, larger expenditures as many scholars and pundits predicted, and we note that people were just as likely to make smaller expenditures (less than $400) after Citizens United as they were before. This finding is particularly striking because it cuts against the conventional wisdom of spending behavior and also challenges the logic of those who disagree with the most controversial element of the Citizens United decision—the rejection of political equality as a valid state interest.

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