Ciara Torres-Spelliscy


Ciara Torres-Spelliscy is a Brennan Center Fellow and an Associate Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law. She is the author of the book, Corporate Citizen? An Argument for the Separation of Corporation and State (Carolina Academic Press 2016) and of Safeguarding Markets from Pernicious Pay to Play: A Model Explaining Why the SEC Regulates Money in Politics. Prior to joining Stetson’s faculty, she was Counsel in the Democracy Program of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. She was an associate at Arnold & Porter LLP and a staffer for Senator Richard Durbin. Professor Torres-Spelliscy has testified before Congress, and has helped draft legislation and Supreme Court briefs. As well as publishing in the Montana Law Review, University of San Francisco Law Review and the NYU Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, and chapters in books, she has been published in the New York Times, New York Law Journal, Boston Review, Business Week, Forbes, The Atlantic, USA Today, The Hill, Huffington Post, Judicature, Salon, and In 2013, Professor Torres-Spelliscy was named as a member of the Lawyers of Color's "50 Under 50" list of minority law professors  making an impact in legal education.  She is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Institute on Money in State Politics.



Corporate Citizen? An Argument for the Separation of Corporation and State (2016)
Transparent Elections after Citizens United (2011)
Writing Reform: A Guide to Drafting State & Local Campaign Finance Laws (2010 Revised Edition)
Corporate Campaign Spending: Giving Shareholders a Voice (2010)
Improving Judicial Diversity (2008) (with co-authors Monique Chase and Emma Greenman), republished by Thompson West Reuters in Women and the Law (2009)
Electoral Competition and Low Contribution Limits (2009) (with co-authors Kahlil Williams and Dr. Thomas Stratmann)
Corporate Political Spending & Shareholders’ Rights: Why the U.S. Should Adopt the British Approach (2010)

Law Review Articles

Hiding Behind the Tax Code, __ Nexus Chapman's J. of L. & Pub. Pol'y __ (2011).
Housing in the Heartland: An Examination of the Hollman v. Cisneros Consent Decree, 17 Nat'l Black L.J. 98-123 (2003)
What Albany Could Learn from New York City: A Model of Meaningful Campaign Finance Reform in Action, 1 Albany Gov't L.R. 194 (2008, co-author with Ari Weisbard) 

Commentary and Analysis

"Did Marge Have a Bake Sale or Did Monty Burns Write a Check?" The Oregonian, April 16, 2011.

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

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

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

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

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

The Apocryphal Midterm Election,” Huffington Post and Wall St., Oct. 19, 2010.

"Calling on Corporate Law to Defend Democracy," 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,", 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, April 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, (3/16/2010)

"To Fix the Supreme Court's Citizens United Decision, Copy the Brits," U.S. News and World Report (3/09/2010)

"Corporate Campaigning," Forbes (01/28/2010)

"A Bad Call on Campaign Finance," CNN (01/21/2010)

"State Lawmakers' First Step Must Be Basic Reform," Albany Times Union (01/13/2010)

"Election Spending: Reformers On Flood Watch," National Journal (11/07/2009)

"Shareholders Should Hear About Political Spending," BusinessWeek (10/22/2009)

"Keep My Investments Out Of Politics," Forbes (09/03/2009) 

"Is Your 401(k) Used to Influence Congress?," Roll Call (08/06/2009) 

"How About Some Diversity in Courts that Aren't Supreme?," (05/27/2009)

"Sexism & the Supreme Court Nominee," Huffington Post (05/26/2009)

"Approaching the Whites-Only Bench," (02/25/2009) 

"Nomination Process Scants Diversity," New York Law Journal (01/27/2009)

Selected Public and Media Appearances

  • "Transparency v. Free Speech," National Journal, May 22, 2011.
  • "All Things Considered," NPR, May 13, 2011.
  • University of San Francisco Law School Symposium, "Democracy Inc.," Feb. 25, 2011.
  • "Brennan Center Steps Up Calls for Campaign Finance Reform," Capitol Tonight, Jan. 20, 2011.
  • Chapman Law School Symposium, Citizens Divided on Citizens United, Oct. 22, 2010.
  • Georgia State University College of Law Symposium, Citizens United: An Intersection of Laws, Nov. 12, 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 Elena 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.
  • National Public Radio, The Takeaway, February 2009, New York, NY
  • Justice at Stake, Summer Workshop 2009, Washington DC
  • American Constitution Society Panel, Diversifying Our Courts, August 2009, National Press Club, Washington DC
  • Risk Management & Corporate Governance Conference 2009 at Loyola University Chicago, October 2, 2009.
  • Harvard Law School, Obama and Article III Judges, October 2009, Cambridge, MA
  • League of Women Voters, Diversifying the Bench in Kansas, October 2009, Topeka, KS
  • WNYC, "NYC May Provide New Model After Supreme Court Campaign-Finance Ruling", January 2010
  • WBAI Evening News, "State of the State", January 2010