Recent federal court decisions have deregulated state campaign finance systems to a significant degree. These decisions are not only rooted in First Amendment jurisprudence but also raise issues of federalism. Although most studies of federal-state conflict focus on disputes between state officials and elected federal policy makers, courts are also policy-making institutions, and in the absence of policy making by other federal branches, courts have become the critical federal policy maker in this area. In response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that deregulate campaign finance rules and are out of step with the policy preferences of many state electorates and officials, states are attempting to resist these rulings, but using different approaches than are used by states in disputes with the Congress or President. We discuss these rulings and state responses to them. We also describe the implications of these dynamics for federalism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration