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


Waiting on the Court

By Walter Olson. The Frederick News-Post. May 25, 2019.

Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Should Support Eliminating Limits on Campaign Contributions

By Trevor Burrus and Patrick Moran. USA Today. March 7, 2019.

What Left-Wing Populism Looks Like

By Ilya Shapiro and Nathan Harvey. National Review (Online). March 7, 2019.

Cato Studies

Spillovers from Regulating Corporate Campaign Contributions

By Adam Fremeth, Brian Richter, and Brandon Schaufele. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 167. June 12, 2019.

Do 40-Year-Old Facts Still Matter?: Long-Run Effects of Federal Oversight under the Voting Rights Act

By Desmond Ang. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 146. January 16, 2019.

Staring at the Sun: An Inquiry into Compulsory Campaign Finance Donor Disclosure Laws

By Eric Wang. Policy Analysis No. 829. December 14, 2017.


The Rise of Trump in a Changing America

Emily Ekins. Ipsos MORI. June 2017.

Evenwel v. Abbott: The Court Shanks Its Punt on “One Person, One Vote”

Ilya Shapiro and Thomas A. Berry. Federalist Society Review. Vol. 17. No. 2. June 2, 2016.

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.

Public Filings

Utah Republican Party v. Cox

By Deborah J. La Fetra, Daniel M. Ortner, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. November 12, 2018.

Holland v. Williams

By Rebecca C. Furdek and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. January 12, 2018.

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

By Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, and Thomas A. Berry. Legal Briefs. July 3, 2017.

Cato Reviews & Journals


Who’s Afraid of Big Tech?

Featuring Matthew Feeney, Lindsey Barrett, Thomas Kadri, Ashkhen Kazaryan, Corynne McSherry, Alec Stapp, Matthew Stoller, Kristian Stout, & Allen Dickerson. March 1, 2019. Conference.

NAACP v. Alabama after 60 Years: Should Associational Privacy Still Be Protected by the Constitution?

Featuring Bradley A. Smith, Lawrence Noble, and John Samples. June 28, 2018. Policy Forum.

Will Social Media Save Democracy?

Featuring Alexandra Woodward, Ned Ryun, George Hawley, Katie Harbath, & Andrew Marantz. May 31, 2018. Policy Forum.


Bush and Kerry: Comparing Their Economic Platforms

By Daniel Griswold. May 25, 2004.