Emory Law Journal


This Article provides the first systematic account of the relationship between campaign finance and federalism. Federalism-a fundamental characteristic of the constitutional structure-depends for its stability on political mechanisms. States and their advocates and representatives in Congress, federal agencies, political parties, intergovernmental lobbying groups, and other political forums work together to check federal interference with state governments. Entire normative theories of federalism depend on the assumption that this system of political safeguards is working effectively in the background. But the federalism and constitutional theory literatures lack a rigorous account of the effects of dramatic political change on pro-federalism political dynamics. Building that account is particularly timely now. Political safeguards work only if states retain significant political influence. But, as recent elections vividly demonstrate, Citizens United has created a new class of political operators,of which Super PACs are emblematic, whose potential political influence may be limitless.