Volume 18, Issue 2: Law of Democracy

Articles

Boundary-Based Restrictions in Boundless Broadcast Media Markets: McConnell v. FEC's Underinclusive Overbreadth Analysis

The “brownout” provisions of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) caused controversy due to the broad restrictions they placed on broadcast ads mentioning the name of a candidate close to elections. These provisions were challenged on the grounds of being unconstitutionally overbroad, but the Supreme Court upheld them. This Article suggests that the Court did not fully acknowledge the impact of BCRA in its decision and should revisit these provisions. Read more about Boundary-Based Restrictions in Boundless Broadcast Media Markets: McConnell v. FEC's Underinclusive Overbreadth Analysis

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 240
  • Article

So There Are Campaign Contribution Limits That Are Too Low

Susan Lee

The Supreme Court uses intermediate scrutiny when analyzing the constitutionality of contribution limits, which means that limits must be “closely drawn” to a “sufficiently important interest.” While many believed that no contribution limit was too low due to the Supreme Court decision in Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Gov’t PAC, the Court’s decision in Randall v. Sorrell demonstrates that there actually is a limit to the limit. Read more about So There Are Campaign Contribution Limits That Are Too Low

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 266
  • Article

The Politics of Faith: Rethinking the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention

Churches and charitable organizations that receive special tax exemptions are banned from participating in political campaigns, and in 2006 the Internal Revenue Service began investigating violations of this restriction. This Article argues that religious congregations should have certain exemptions from this ban due to the unique qualities that separate faith communities from other charitable organizations. Read more about The Politics of Faith: Rethinking the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 298
  • Article

Defining "Partisan" Law Enforcement

Voting changes submitted under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, such as the mid-decade redistricting in Texas and the new photo identification requirement for voters in Georgia, have caused controversy regarding the misuse of the civil rights provision for partisan intentions. These recent partisan law enforcement allegations neglect to acknowledge that there has been no determination of what would constitute a “partisan” decision in the administration of Section 5. Read more about Defining "Partisan" Law Enforcement

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 324
  • Article

The Analysis and Mitigation of Electoral Errors: Theory, Practice, Policy

While errors are expected in the vote-counting process, electoral errors are both frequent and serious and question the validity of election results. This Article suggests various means to reduce the likelihood and consequences of errors. It defines methods for states to investigate the degree to which their voting processes are tainted. The Article then analyzes how to approach the four common types of error that arise and systemically maps out a process to rectify an election even if an electoral error cannot be prevented. Read more about The Analysis and Mitigation of Electoral Errors: Theory, Practice, Policy

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 350
  • Article

How Hard Can It Be: Do Citizens Think It Is Difficult to Register to Vote?

In the 2004 presidential election, the U.S. Census Bureau predicted that approximately 28% of the eligible electorate was not registered to vote, proving the conventional idea that the U.S. voter registration process can be an obstacle preventing some citizens from voting in elections. Recent reform efforts, such as the Help America Vote Act, intended to push states to make the registration process easier. Read more about How Hard Can It Be: Do Citizens Think It Is Difficult to Register to Vote?

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 382
  • Article

Does Local News Measure Up?

While there are many sources that Americans depend upon, local television news broadcast is the medium through which citizens get most of their news, including election information. In the 2004 election, Americans relying on this medium were found to have a more evenly divided partisanship than those who relied on Fox Network News or CNN, for instance, which raised questions regarding the content of political coverage and the extent of political bias in local news. Read more about Does Local News Measure Up?

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 410
  • Article

Does Power Grow out of the Barrel of a Modem? Some Thoughts on Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu's Who Controls The Internet?

In the early stages of Internet adoption, many believed that it would provide a haven that was untouchable by national governments. Who Controls the Internet? lends insight into how such belief is misguided, as it notes numerous occurrences when governments exercised control over Internet activities and access. The Article reviews this book and then argues that while national governments are able to exercise control, the Internet is still a powerful source for increasing the knowledge and individual freedoms of all citizens.  Read more about Does Power Grow out of the Barrel of a Modem? Some Thoughts on Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu's Who Controls The Internet?

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 432
  • Article

Notes

The Privatization of California Correctional Facilities: A Population-Based Approach

Kathryne TafollaYoung

California’s prison system contains an inmate population that is two times that for which it was intended. In addition to rising population numbers, the recidivism rates and costs of these inmates are rising. These three reasons have led to an examination of California’s prison facility approach, namely to explore the possibility of privatization. This Note discusses four system options and suggests that the most beneficial option would involve housing inmates by their characteristics or special needs. Read more about The Privatization of California Correctional Facilities: A Population-Based Approach

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 438
  • Note

Comments

Introduction

While voting is viewed as a necessary component of a democratic society, there is a wealth of debate regarding how to ensure access to it through regulation. The Articles in this symposium add to the discussion surrounding these debates and focus on campaign finance restrictions, the renewed Voting Rights Act, partisan redistricting, and the tough voter registration process. This Introduction provides an overview of the issues addressed in this issue of SLPR, highlighting the authors’ conclusions and suggestions for reform. Read more about Introduction

  • June 2007
  • 18 Stan.L.& Pol'y Rev. 234
  • Comment