Williams College to Host Ilya Shapiro and Daniel Weiner for Campaign Finance Debate

Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., October 24, 2016—Williams College will host Ilya Shapiro of the Cato Institute and Daniel Weiner of the Brennan Center for Justice for a debate on campaign finances on Thursday, Oct. 27. The debate will be preceded by a short talk with U.S. Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart. The event will take place at 8 p.m. in Griffin Hall, room 3. It is free and open to the public.

Shapiro and Weiner will address the following motion: “This Forum believes the Citizens United decision has not harmed American democracy.” The Citizens United decision comes from a Supreme Court Case in 2010, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It holds that political spending is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, and the government may not keep corporations or unions from spending money to support or denounce individual candidates in elections.

Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/adviser to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule-of-law issues and practiced at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. He is the co-author of Religious Liberties for Corporations? Hobby Lobby, the Affordable Care Act, and the Constitution (2014), and numerous other publications.

Weiner serves as senior counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, where his work focuses on money in politics. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Weiner served as senior counsel to Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub at the Federal Election Commission, including during her term as commission chair in 2013. In this role, Weiner assisted the commissioner with her duties in managing the agency, and advised her on a broad array of issues under the First Amendment, the Federal Election Campaign Act and the Administrative Procedure Act. Weiner was previously an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Jenner & Block, LLP, where he counseled a wide variety of clients and litigated cases at the trial and appellate levels, including as a member of the firm’s Election Law and Redistricting practice group. He also maintained an active pro bono practice focused particularly on LGBT rights.

This event is organized by the Williams Forum and is co-sponsored by the program in leadership studies, the Lecture Committee, the political science department, and Phi Beta.

For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map outside the driveway entrance to the Security Office located in Hopkins Hall on Main Street (Rte. 2), next to the Thompson Memorial Chapel, or call the Office of Communications (413) 597-4277. The map can also be found on the web at www.williams.edu/map