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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin's Snuff Box to Citizens United (eBook)

ISBN13: 9780674745087
Published: October 2014
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: eBook (ePub)
Price: Out of print
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When Louis XVI presented Benjamin Franklin with a snuff box encrusted with diamonds and inset with the King s portrait, the gift troubled Americans: it threatened to corrupt Franklin by clouding his judgment or altering his attitude toward the French in subtle psychological ways. This broad understanding of political corruption rooted in ideals of civic virtue was a driving force at the Constitutional Convention. For two centuries the framers ideas about corruption flourished in the courts, even in the absence of clear rules governing voters, civil officers, and elected officials. Should a law that was passed by a state legislature be overturned because half of its members were bribed? What kinds of lobbying activity were corrupt, and what kinds were legal? When does an implicit promise count as bribery? In the 1970s the U.S. Supreme Court began to narrow the definition of corruption, and the meaning has since changed dramatically. No case makes that clearer than Citizens United." In 2010, one of the most consequential Court decisions in American political history gave wealthy corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion treated corruption as nothing more than explicit bribery, a narrow conception later echoed by Chief Justice Roberts in deciding "McCutcheon v. FEC" in 2014. With unlimited spending transforming American politics for the worse, warns Zephyr Teachout, Citizens United" and "McCutcheon" were not just bad law but bad history. If the American experiment in self-government is to have a future, then we must revive the traditional meaning of corruption and embrace an old ideal."

Other Jurisdictions , eBooks, USA
1. Four Snuff Boxes and a Horse
2. Changing the Frame
3. Removing Temptations
4. Yazoo
5. Is Bribery without a Remedy?
6. Railroad Ties
7. The Forgotten Law of Lobbying
8. The Gilded Age
9. Two Kinds of Sticks
10. The Jury Decides
11. Operation Gemstone
12. A West Virginia State of Mind
13. Citizens United
14. The New Snuff Boxes
15. Facts in Exile, Complacency, and Disdain
16. The Anticorruption Principle
Appendix 1: Anticorruption Constitutional Provisions
Appendix 2: Major Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Anticorruption Laws
Cases Cited
Further Reading