Stetson University

Ciara Torres-Spelliscy - In the News

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Associate Professor of Law

A.B., Harvard University
J.D., Columbia School of Law

Courses:
Election Law, Constitutional Law I and II, Corporate Governance in a Global Market, Business Entities



Authored Pieces

"My One Minute of Campaign Finance Fame," Truth Out, Oct. 19, 2014.

"Erasing History One forgotten Political Expenditure at a Time," The Progressive, Sept. 5, 2014.

"Quid Pro Whoa: The New Soft Money," Brennan Center Blog, Aug. 1, 2014.

"Stop Hiding the Ball on Corporate Political Activity," Brennan Center Blog, July 2, 2014.

"Frankenstein Inc. Brought to You by Hobby Lobby," The Hill, July 7, 2014.

"America as One Big Private Gift Shop," Brennan Center Blog, June 6, 2014.

"Give Sponge Bob an Inch...," Brennan Center Blog, May 6, 2014.

"The Light Hiding Under McCutcheon's Bushel: Transparency," Huffington Post, Apr. 30, 2014.

"The Bullet Democracy Dodged," Brennan Center Blog, Apr. 21, 2014.

"Supreme Goldfish," ACS Law Blog, Apr. 4, 2014.

"How Far Can the IRS Go in Regulating Political Ads by Nonprofits?," Huffington Post, Feb. 25, 2014.

"From 'American Hustle' to the Super PAC Hustle," Moyers & Company, Feb. 7, 2014.

"Four Years After Citizens United: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," Brennan Center Blog, Jan. 17, 2014.

"To Gut Conflict Minerals Rule Trade Associations Turn to First Amendment," Al Jazeera America, Jan. 18, 2014.

"Blagojevich Tries to Blow Up Corruption," Brennan Center Blog, Jan. 9, 2014.

"Shareholders in the Dark about 'Dark Money,'" L.A. Times, Oct. 30, 2013.

"Interest Groups Will Spend to Influence Politicians," Room for Debate, New York Times, October 6, 2013.

"Unstoppable Campaign Fundraiser," Brennan Center Blog, Oct. 3, 2013.

"Justices Should Think of Quarter Pounders in Latest Money in Politics Case," Moyers & Company, Sept. 25, 2013.

"Blood on Your Handset," Slate, Sept. 20, 2013.

"Scandal Built for Two," Brennan Center Blog, Sept. 9, 2013.

"Dueling Over Nonprofit Disclosure," Brennan Center Blog, Aug. 19, 2013.

"The Walking Dead Supreme Court," Huffington Post, July 2, 2013.

"The SEC and Dark Political Money," Sunlight Foundation Blog, June 17, 2013.

"Democracy's Masquerade Ball," The Hill, June 4, 2013.

"Somebody Give Bill Gates and Drew Faust a Copy of Citizens Disunited," Guernica Magazine, May 21, 2013.

"Bring Political Cash Out of the Shadows," Tampa Bay Times, May 13, 2013.

"Will the Supreme Court Get Back that Loving Feeling?," Guernica Magazine, Jan. 31, 2013.

"An Amuse-Bouche: a Short, Pithy Introduction to the U.S. Supreme Court," Judicature, Nov.-Dec. 2012.

"What a Waste of Corporate Money," Jurist, Dec. 3, 2012.

"The Jobless Could Swing the Election-if They're Actually Registered to Vote," The Atlantic, Sept. 13, 2012.

"Protect Democracy from Corporate Cash Tsunami," USA Today, July 19, 2012.


"Brinks Trucks in the Campaign," American Constitution Society Blog, July 16, 2012.

"The John Roberts Head Fake," Guernica Magazine, July 4, 2012.

"America Doesn't Need Another CREEP," Guernica Magazine, May 9, 2012.


"FCC Brings Sunlight to Elections, But the SEC Needs to Help, Too," Huffington Post, Apr. 27, 2012.


"Could Connecticut Be the First to Get Serious about Shareholders Rights Post-Citizens United?," Huffington Post and AOL News, Mar. 25, 2012.


"Could the SEC Please Give Democracy a Hand?," Thomson Reuters News and Insight, Jan. 9, 2012.

"Double Barrel Blast From Big Sky Country: Montana Rejects Citizens United," Huffington Post and AOL News, Jan. 3, 2012.

"American Corporate Political Transparency is 44 Years Behind the UK," Concurring Opinions, Nov. 16, 2011.

"OWS Meets Citizens United," Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal.com, Oct. 18, 2011.

"A Growing Consensus on What to Do About Citizens United," Huffington Post and Wall Street Journal.com, Sept. 25, 2011.

"Give Shareholders Say on Corporate Money," Roll Call, Aug. 4, 2011.

"11 Reasons Why We Need the Shareholder Protection Act," Business Ethics Magazine, July 13, 2011.

"Spider-Man, Stephen Colbert and the Shareholder Protection Act," The Hill, July 12, 2011 (co-authored with Lisa Gilbert).

"Did Marge have a Bake Sale or did Monty Burns Write a Check?," The Oregonian, Apr. 16, 2011.

"Citizens Get United," The Advocate, Mar. 24, 2011.

"We Can't Rely Only on Whistle-Blowers," Roll Call, Mar. 17, 2011.

"Trust but Verify...," The Hill, Mar. 1, 2011.

"New York's Race to the Bottom," New York Times, Nov. 4, 2010.

"Citizens United: Waking a Sleeping Giant," Business Ethics and Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Oct. 21, 2010.

"The Apocryphal Midterm Election," Huffington Post and Wall St. Journal.com, Oct. 19, 2010.

"Calling on Corporate Law to Defend Democracy: A Response to Lawrence Lessig on Citizens United," Boston Review, September/October 2010.

"Of Knighthood and Nights in the Lincoln Bedroom," San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 18, 2010 (co-authored with R. Warren Langley).

"Target's PAC Donation a Wake-up Call for Reform," Salon.com, Aug. 17, 2010.

"Why Can 41 Senators Crush the Popular Will to Temper Money in Politics?," The Hill, July 28, 2010.

"The Ivy League, the Court and Diversity," The Seminal, July 1, 2010.

"Kagan and 'Citizens United,'" New York Law Journal, June 4, 2010.

"Which Checkbook?," The Hill, May 20, 2010.

"The Black Box of Corporate Money," The Hill, Apr. 30, 2010.

"Book Brief: Posner's The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy," Just Books, Apr. 22, 2010.

"Shareholder Consent is Key in Political Spending," Roll Call, Mar. 16, 2010.

"To Fix the Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision, Copy the Brits," U.S. News and World Report, Mar. 9, 2010.

"Corporate Campaigning," Forbes, Jan. 28, 2010.

"A Bad Call on Campaign Finance," CNN.com, Jan. 21, 2010.

"State Lawmakers' First Step Must Be Basic Reform," Albany Times Union, Jan. 13, 2010.

"A Bench That Looks Like America: Diversity Among Appointed State Court Judges," American Bar Association Judges Journal, Fall 2009.

"Shareholders Should Hear About Political Spending," Business Week, Nov. 2, 2009.

"Keep My Investments Out of Politics," Forbes, Sept. 3, 2009.

"Is Your 401(k) Used to Influence Congress?," Roll Call, Aug. 6, 2009.

"How About Some Diversity in Courts that Aren't Supreme?," Salon.com, May 27, 2009.

"Sexism & the Supreme Court Nominee," Huffington Post, May 26, 2009.

"We Are Not AIG," HuffingtonPost.com, May 13, 2009.

"Contribution Limits Don't Hamper Electoral Competition," American Constitution Society Blog, May 11, 2009.

"Illinois Has Much to Teach Pa," Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 25, 2009.

"Approaching the Whites-Only Bench," TheRoot.com, Feb. 25, 2009.

"Nomination Process Scants Diversity," New York Law Journal, Jan. 27, 2009.

"Supreme Court Justices Should Know by Now - Money is Not Speech," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 8, 2008.

"When Money Talks, Do Voters Lose?," New York Times, Jan. 26, 2007.

Quoted in the Press:

"How Mitch McConnell is Bending Every Last Campaign Finance Rule," The Nation, Oct. 21, 2014.

"End the Flood of Dark Money in Politics," CNN, Sept. 11, 2014.

"Torres-Spelliscy on Parallels Between Establishment Clause & Campaign Finance Jurisprudence," Legal Theory Blog, Aug. 4, 2014.

"Tuesday Round-Up," SCOTUS Blog, July 8, 2014.

"SCOTUS Decision Says Religion is an OK Reason to Deny Contraception to Employees," WMNF, June 30, 2014.

"Friday Round-Up," SCOTUS Blog, June 20, 2014.

"The Policy Implications of Campaign Contributions," Judicature, May/June 2014.

"Pay-to-Play Laws Celebrate 20th Anniversary," NPR's All Things Considered, Apr. 25, 2014.

"Monday Round-Up," SCOTUS Blog, Apr. 7, 2014.

"Florida Bar Task Force Examines 'Concerning' Minority Judge Numbers," WFSU, Mar. 11, 2014.

"Money in Politics: Legal Experts Contemplate the Four Years Since Citizens United," WMNF, Feb. 28, 2014.

"The Billionaires' Boys Club" Slate, Feb. 1, 2014.

"Can Elections Be Fair with Corporate Donations?" DNA TV on Fusion, Jan. 14, 2014.

"Conflict Minerals," DNA TV on Fusion, Jan. 9, 2014.

“Corporate Campaign Contributions Issue Falls off SEC Regulatory Agenda,” Al Jazeera America, Dec. 6, 2013.

“Political Corporate Contributions Won’t Be Aired in Daylight,” The Daily Beast, Dec. 5, 2013.

"Campaign Finance at the Supreme Court," Bay New 9, Nov. 26, 2013.

"Monday Round-Up," SCOTUS Blog, Oct. 7, 2013.

"The Hidden Danger in the Supreme Court's 'McCutcheon' Case," The Nation, Oct. 7, 2013.

"The Meaning of a Five Dollar Dress," Plan B Nation, Boston Globe, Sept. 21, 2013.

"Monday Round-Up," SCOTUS Blog, July 8, 2013.

"Governors' Groups Rely Increasingly on 'Dark Money' Affiliates," Center for Public Integrity, April 4, 2013.

"An Inclusive Judiciary Is a Work in Progress," New York Law Journal, Jan. 22, 2013.

"Lawyer Cited for Blasting Justin Timberlake Wins Case with Florida Supreme Court," Tampa Bay Times, Dec. 14, 2012.

"How Outside Money was Poured into Governors' Races," NBC News, Dec. 12, 2012.

"After a $6-Billion Campaign Bill, It's Time for a Price Check on Democracy," The Globe and Mail, Nov. 6, 2012.

"Mystery Firm is Election's Top Corporate Donor at $5.3 Million," NBC News and Center for Public Integrity, Nov. 2, 2012.

"Negative Fallout," The Register-Guard, Nov. 4, 2012.

"Super PACs, Nonprofits Favored Romney Over Obama," Center for Public Integrity and Open Secrets Blog, Oct. 30, 2012.

"Pennsylvania Governor Benefited from Untraceable $1.5 Million Donation," Center for Public Integrity, Oct. 18, 2012.

"Cash from Wisconsin Rocked Pennsylvania Governor's Race," Wisconsin Watch, Oct. 18, 2012.

"Citizens United Decision Affecting States' Uniqueness, Speakers at UM Say," Missoulian, Sept. 29, 2012.

"'Secret Money' Taking Over Campaign Funds," USA Today, Sept. 1, 2012.

"Never Mind Super PACs: How Big Business Is Buying the Election," The Nation, Aug. 30, 2012.

"What Do They Want in Return?" Fox
, Aug. 29, 2012.

"Flood of Secret Campaign Cash: It's Not All Citizens United,
" Pro Publica, Aug. 23, 2012.

"Super PACs Can't Give $1 Million to a Congressman But This One Did," Mother Jones, July 26, 2012.


"Million-dollar Donation in Indiana Race May Skirt Limits on Corporate Giving," iWatch News, July 26, 2012.

"RGA's Indiana Shell Game," Huffington Post, July 26, 2012.

"Take Focus Off the Court," Salon.com, June 27, 2012.


"In the Dark," Journal Gazette, May 20, 2012. 


"State Legislatures May Be Next Battleground for Post-Citizens United Shareholder Protection Proposals," ThinkProgress, Mar. 27, 2012.


"Advocates: Malloy Plan 'Betrays Spirit' of Reforms," Connecticut Mirror, Mar. 26, 2012.


"Connecticut Legislators Set Focus on Campaign Finance Reform," New Haven Register, Mar. 26, 2012.

"Time to Revive Democracy in the U.S.: Tell Shareholders How Their Dollars Are Used in Politics," The Nonprofit Quarterly, Jan. 11, 2012.

"The Controversy over Florida's Election Law Changes and Corporate Political Donations," WMNF, Jan. 6, 2012.

"No Voting After Church?," The Root, Jan. 5, 2012.

"Florida Early Voting Limits Could Negatively Affect Blacks, Latinos," Huffington Post, Jan. 4, 2012.

"Elections Expert: New Florida Law Could Affect Church Efforts to Get Out the Vote," Florida Independent, Nov. 14, 2011.

"Florida's New Voting Law May Impact Minorities," WMNF, Nov. 11, 2011.

"The Counter-Reformation," Huffington Post, Sept. 27, 2011.

"A Blockbuster Case Yields an Unexpected Result," New York Times, Sept. 19, 2011.

"Congressional Democrats Seek Corporate Disclosure Post-Citizens United," Huffington Post, July 13, 2011.

"Citizens United: The Shareholders Strike Back," Mother Jones, June 1, 2011.

"Transparency v. Free Speech," National Journal, May 22, 2011.

"All Things Considered," National Public Radio, May 13, 2011.

"For Public Financing Reform, All Eyes on New York State," Huffington Post, March 19, 2011.

"Analyst: N.M. Has Weak Campaign Finance Laws," The New Mexican, Mar. 1, 2011.

"Brennan Center Steps Up Calls for Campaign Finance Reform," Capitol Tonight, Jan. 20, 2011.

"A Cautionary Tale of Corporate Political Spending Emerges in Minnesota," ABA Journal, Oct. 22, 2010,

"For Your Ears Only/Newsweek On Air," WNYC, Oct. 9, 2010.

"The Invisible Rivers of Campaign Money," The Take Away, NPR, Oct. 1, 2010.

"30 Issues: Money & Politics - LLC Loophole," Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC, Sept. 24, 2010.

"Cuomo Accepts Millions of Dollars from Obscure Business Entities," WNYC, Aug.18, 2010.

"Incoming Justice Kagan Celebrates Her Confirmation With Obama," NY1, Aug. 6, 2010.

"For Your Ears Only/Newsweek On Air," WNYC, July 2, 2010.

"Live Commentary on the Kagan Nomination Hearings," NY1, June 29-30, 2010.

"Lawmakers Seek Greater Disclosure of Political Ads," NHPR, May 27, 2010.

"Still Struggling Despite Stepped-Up Efforts, State Has Few Minorities in Pool of Prospective Judges," Connecticut Law Tribune, May 3, 2010.

"Obama Voices Concerns Over Corporate Influence," L.A. Times, May 1, 2010.

"DISCLOSE Act Introduced To Respond To Citizens United Ruling," National Law Journal, Apr. 29, 2010.

"Campaign Donations: Access or Ideology?," Fox Business, Apr. 22, 2010.

"States Act to Revise Judicial Selection," USA Today, Mar. 31, 2010.

"Supreme Court Ruling Changes Campaign Landscape for Big Business," Fox Business, Feb. 12, 2010.

"How Corporations Secretly Move Millions to Fund Political Ads," The Raw Story, Feb. 4, 2010.

"NYC May Provide New Model After Supreme Court Campaign-Finance Ruling," WNYC, Jan. 21, 2010.

"The Big Question: Will Corporate Money Change Campaigns?," The Hill, Jan. 21, 2010.

"State of the State," WBAI Evening News, Jan. 6, 2010.

"Election Spending: Reformers on Flood Watch," National Journal, Nov. 7, 2009.

"Sonia Sotomayor's Nomination Draws Focus to the Gains of Minority and Female Judges Nationwide," Christian Science Monitor, July 24, 2009.

"Pruning a Jungle," The Economist, Apr. 23, 2009.

"Making the Judiciary Look More like America," NPR's The Takeaway, Feb. 27, 2009.

"Think Tank Finds Diversity Still Lacking on Bench in Md," Daily Record, Feb. 2, 2009.

"Opportunity is Knocking for Legal Diversity," Providence Journal, Jan. 27, 2009.

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