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


Reform Md. Redistricting Or the Courts Will

By Alexander Williams Jr. and Walter Olson. Baltimore Sun. May 30, 2017.

A Misplaced Focus on “Collusion”

By Julian Sanchez. Just Security. May 12, 2017.

How to Stop Politicians from Gerrymandering

By Walter Olson. Learn Liberty. April 8, 2017.

Cato Studies

Compulsory Voting, Turnout, and Government Spending: Evidence from Austria

By Mitchell Hoffman, Gianmarco Leon, and María Lombardi. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 68. January 25, 2017.

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 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 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

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky

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

Alabama Democratic Conference v. Attorney General, Alabama

By Ilya Shapiro and Thomas Berry. Legal Briefs. January 30, 2017.

Independence Institute v. Federal Election Commission

By Paul Sherman, Samuel B. Gedge, and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. January 9, 2017.

Cato Reviews & Journals

29. Redistricting

Cato Handbook for Policymakers. Cato Handbook for Policymakers, 8th Edition (2017).

Citizens Not So United

Tim Rowland. Regulation. Winter 2016/2017.

Removing Direct Contribution Limits: Free Speech and Disclosure

Adam G. Byrne. Cato Journal. Fall 2016.


Populism and Nationalism in the Trump Era

Featuring Mindy Finn, Alex Nowrasteh, Ruy Teixeira, Robert P. Jones, Henry Olsen, Alex Lundry, Emily Ekins, Lisa Dropkin, Patrick Ruffini, & Meira Neggaz. January 25, 2017. Policy Forum.

Debate: Should Libertarians Vote?

Featuring Jim Harper, Michael F. Cannon, Aaron Ross Powell, & Jason Kuznicki. November 2, 2016. Policy Forum.

#CatoDigital — Digital Speech under Attack: How Regulators Are Trying to Shut Down Dissent Online

Featuring Kat Murti. June 29, 2016. Cato Digital.