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Fordham Law School




This Foreword focuses on a few related observations from the symposium. First, it summarizes Teachout's book, which inspired this symposium and which relied on history to undermine Citizens United. Second, it suggests that a more recent case in this Court's Term, Williams-Yulee vs. Florida Bar,8 also erodes Citizens United, at least a bit, by recognizing a compelling state interest in combating the appearance of corruption and bias in a new context: by embracing that corruption lurks in gray areas and the banality of campaign fundraising. Third, Pamela Karlan and Samuel Issacharoff once observed that money in politics is like water: if you stop up one stream, the money finds another way to flow.9 I pick up on Albert Alschuler's critique of overbroad criminalization of corruption 10 to note how anticorruption reforms are also hydraulic systems: if you dam up one source of reform, you flood the other sources. The result of those dams leads to the unfair damnation of public officials who run into zealous prosecutors and a powerful political undertow. If the Court frustrates the ex ante regulation of campaign cash, then other actors will step in ex post, and often without the right role or the right fit for the structural problems. The history of campaign finance reform demonstrates this pattern of hydraulic forces and unintended consequences.


Part of Fordham Law Review's Symposium: Fighting Corruption in America and Abroad

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