Prof. James Sample on Contributions, Expenditures and Caperton Contributions

Sample: Contributions, Expenditures, and Caperton Contributions
By James Sample
Election Law Blog
August 20, 2010


Rick Hasen is a friend and mentor for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration. And–in yet another testament to Rick exemplifying the highest, but oft-ignored ideals of the blogging genre–he invited this guest post precisely because he knows that I disagree with him, though only with respect to one small part of his analysis.

In June, 2009, Rick did something rather remarkable on this blog: he suggested that a Supreme Court Justice had made an inadvertent error in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co. Inc., radically changing its meaning. In blogging on the date of the decision in Caperton, involving constitutional standards dictating when a judge must recuse himself based on campaign contributions, Rick noted that “given the key distinction in campaign finance law between contributions and expenditures,” he “thought it was very curious that Justice Kennedy frames the issue at the beginning of the case as follows: ‘The basis for the motion was that the justice had received campaign contributions in an extraordinary amount from, and through the efforts of, the board chairman and principal officer of the corporation found liable for the damages.'”

Read the full article at electionlawblog.org.