Determining the Empirical Impact of Corporate Independent Expenditures on Elections and Political Integrity

Client: Brennan Center for Justice
Faculty: Charles Brecher, Maria Doulis
Team: Richard Lee, Manuel Morales, Alexandra Nigolian, Natalie Pregibon, Emily Ryder
Year: 2011
The Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law is a non­partisan think tank that combines public policy and public interest law to advocate for measurable legislative and legal changes that advance fundamental issues of democracy and jus­tice in the legal sector. Following the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision, the Brennan Center for Justice commissioned a Capstone team to examine the impact that corporate independent expenditures have on repre­sentative democracy. To understand the effect, the Capstone team compared trends in democratic indicators such as voter turnout, electoral competitiveness, and corruption convictions across states with varying historical restrictions on cor­porate independent expenditures. The information was compiled and analyzed to support the Brennan Center's campaign finance litigation efforts.