As the Supreme Court held in the key free-speech case of Roth v. United States, the First Amendment broadly protects political expression in order to “assure unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people.” Election-campaign contributions and expenditures facilitate such discourse and are thus vital to our democracy. Yet our current laws stifle political speech and inhibit the unfettered exchange of ideas.

More on Elections and Election Law


Gerrymandering in Maryland

By Walter Olson. The Star Democrat. January 5, 2016.

Elena Kagan Selectively Quotes Amendment Framers on Redistricting

By Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry. The Federalist. December 11, 2015.

Equalize Voters, Not Population

By Ilya Shapiro. USA Today. December 8, 2015.

Cato Studies

Move to Defend: The Case against the Constitutional Amendments Seeking to Overturn Citizens United

By John Samples. Policy Analysis No. 724. April 23, 2013.

The DISCLOSE Act, Deliberation, and the First Amendment

By John Samples. Policy Analysis No. 664. June 25, 2010.

The Libertarian Vote in the Age of Obama

By David Kirby and David Boaz. Policy Analysis No. 658. January 21, 2010.


Shelby County and the Vindication of Martin Luther King’s Dream

Ilya Shapiro. New York University Journal of Law & Liberty. Vol. 8. No. 1. Fall 2013.

Stephen Colbert Is Right to Lampoon Our Campaign Finance System (and So Can You!)

Ilya Shapiro. University of St. Thomas (Minn.) Journal of Law & Public Policy. Vol. 4. No. 2. Spring 2013.

Public Filings

Akina v. Hawaii

By Noel H. Johnson, Ilya Shapiro, Kaylan L. Phillips, & Joseph A. Vanderhulst. Legal Briefs. December 23, 2015.

Evenwel v. Abbott

By Ilya Shapiro and Manuel S. Klausner. Legal Briefs. August 7, 2015.

Evenwel v. Abbott

By Ilya Shapiro, Julio Colomba, and Manuel S. Klausner. Legal Briefs. March 5, 2015.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Shelby County v. Holder: The Restoration of Constitutional Order

William S. Consovoy and Thomas R. McCarthy. Supreme Court Review. 2012-2013.

Combating Regulatory Protectionism

Policy Report. July/August 2013.

Curbing Campaign Cash: Henry Ford, Truman Newberry, and the Politics of Progressive Reform by Paula Baker

John Samples. Cato Journal. Spring/Summer 2013.


The Past and Future of Buckley v. Valeo

Featuring Jeffrey Milyo, John Samples, David Savage, David Keating, & Floyd Abrams. January 26, 2016. Conference.

#Cato2016 — Cato Scholars Live-Tweet the First Democratic Primary Debate

Featuring . October 13, 2015. Special Event.

#Cato2016 — Cato Scholars Live-Tweet the CNN Republican Debates

Featuring . September 16, 2015. Special Event.