Title

Campaign Finance and Collective Egotism

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publisher

Penn State University Press

Source Publication

Soundings

Source ISSN

0038-1861

Abstract

Currently, campaign finance law in the United States is governed by the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC, but the debate surrounding the case has grown tired. In order to reinvigorate public discourse on this consequential topic, this article proposes an interdisciplinary conversation between theology and law, relying on Reinhold Niebuhr’s notion of collective egotism to shed new light on the decision. The comparison with Niebuhr highlights the Court’s problematic reliance on unexamined empirical claims, pinpointing areas of the case in need of further critical assessment and suggesting viable alternatives. The result is a more precise diagnosis of the problems in contemporary campaign finance law and a more practical way forward for the public debate.

Comments

Soundings, Vol. 99, No. 3 (2016): 291-320. Permalink.

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