Penn State Law Faculty Workshop

Date 10/19/17 12:45pm to 2:00pm
Presenter(s) Robert Yablon, PhD
Location Reading Room, H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library Lewis Katz Building
Event URL

The next session of the Penn State Law Faculty Workshop series. On Thursday, October 19, Robert Yablon will present his paper Campaigns, Inc. Here’s an abstract:

Election campaigns have become the domain of a thriving industry of paid political service providers.  While leading scholars in other fields regard the rise of the campaign industry as a defining feature of our nation’s politics, the industry is strikingly absent from the legal literature.  This Article seeks to bring the campaign industry into election law discourse and contends that doing so has important practical and theoretical payoffs.

The Article begins by adding legal texture to existing accounts of the campaign industry’s development.  It contends that the industry emerged partly as an unintended consequence of efforts to reform political parties and campaign finance.  The Article then considers the industry’s repercussions.  For campaigners and political donors, campaign professionals can provide tremendously valuable services, but they can also generate substantial countervailing agency costs.  Widening the lens, the industry has significant systemic effects on the pool of candidates who seek office, on the nature of campaigning, on substantive policy decisions, and more.  Building on this descriptive account, the Article surveys potential public and private interventions that might address the campaign industry’s imperfections and drawbacks.  The Article concludes by exploring the industry’s implications for ongoing theoretical and policy debates about money in politics and the role of political parties.

Professor Yablon is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, and researches political and election law, constitutional law, federal courts, and statutory interpretation. He holds a JD from Yale Law School, a master's degree in social policy from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He clerked for Judge William Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.  He also worked in private practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.  He has been the principal author of dozens of appellate and trial-level briefs, and has argued in a number of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Lunch will be served starting at 12:45 p.m. in the Reading Room of the H. Laddie Montague, Jr. Law Library. The talk will begin at 1:00 p.m., with the discussion concluding by 2:00 p.m.

If you can attend, please RSVP to the following link, so that we can order an appropriate number of lunches: (If you don’t RSVP and find that you can attend, please do. But we encourage you to RSVP if you can!)

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