In Bootleggers & Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics, economists Bruce Yandle and Adam Smith explain how money and morality are often combined in politics to produce arbitrary regulations benefiting cronies, while constraining productive economic activities by the general public.
Featuring Shaun McCutcheon, CEO, Coalmont Electrical Development Co., and Author, Outsider Inside the Supreme Court: A Decisive First Amendment Battle; Ronald Collins, Harold S. Shefelman Scholar, University of Washington Law School, and Co-Author, When Money Speaks: The McCutcheon Decision, Campaign Finance Laws, and the First Amendment; and Donald McGahn, Partner, Jones Day LLP, and Former Chairman, Federal Election Commission; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.
On April 2, the Supreme Court issued its latest blockbuster ruling on campaign finance, McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down the “aggregate” contribution limits on how much money any one person can contribute to election campaigns (leaving untouched the “base” limits on donations to individual candidates or party committees). Within days of the decision, while pundits and activists were still battling in the media, two e-books were published about the case. One was by Shaun McCutcheon himself, an Alabama engineer who has quickly gone from political neophyte to Supreme Court plaintiff, thus providing a rare first-person layman’s account of high-stakes litigation. The other was by two law professors specializing in the First Amendment, Ronald Collins and David Skover, who dissect the Court’s ruling and put it in the broader context of campaign finance regulation. Please join us to hear about McCutcheon and its implications for our political system from authors with unique perspectives on the subject.