The Business of Politics: Assessing the Impact of Corporate Power and Campaign Contributions on Judicial Decision-Making 公开

Stern, Jason Scott (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/dn39x2281?locale=zh
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Abstract

The Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission sparked a large debate about the growing influence of corporate spending in politics. While campaign contributions have increased significantly since Citizens United, I question how effective this spending is at influencing judicial decision-making. I predict that as corporations become more powerful politically they will naturally cause justices to rule favorably towards business group interests, making campaign contributions unnecessary. In this thesis, I explore the effects of corporate political power and campaign spending on judicial decision-making in State Supreme Courts. I introduce a new method by which to measure corporate political power, using the Bureau of Economic Analysis' Industry Specialization Index as a proxy for corporate political strength. After conducting a comparative analysis of cases from before and after Citizens United, my results demonstrate that, in the aggregate, justices are unresponsive to levels of corporate power and campaign spending, and that the Citizens United decision has not made justices more likely to favor business group interests.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

I. Introduction..............................................................................1

II. Literature Review......................................................................1

i. Measuring Corporate Political Power.......................................6

ii. A Brief History of Judicial Elections........................................9

iii. Judicial Selection Methods.................................................10

iv. Campaign Contributions in Judicial Elections..........................13

III. Theory..................................................................................16

IV. Hypothesis.............................................................................18

V. Data......................................................................................18

VI. Analysis.................................................................................25

i. Variable Summary Statistics.................................................26

ii. Hypothesis Testing............................................................31

iii. Post-Citizens United Analysis..............................................35

VIII. Discussion............................................................................40

IX. Potential for Future Research.....................................................43

X. Conclusion...............................................................................44

XI. References.............................................................................45

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