David Strauss, "Campaign Finance First Principles"

What limits should the government be allowed to impose on people who want to give money to a political campaign, or spend money in support of a campaign? The question is complex, difficult, and very important. Limits on the way money can be used to support candidates can undermine democracy - but so can the lack of limits. For the last forty years, the Supreme Court’s decisions in this area have helped produce some controversial things: PACs, Super-PACs, corporate contributions, soft money, and the rest. Suppose we could sweep those decisions aside and start again. What would an ideal system of campaign finance regulation look like? David Strauss is Gerald Ratner Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. This talk was recorded on January 30, 2012.