After more than a decade of judicial intervention and legislative reforms, North Carolina's campaign finance laws resemble a crazy quilt - a patchwork of provisions pieced together from remnants and scraps. The law is a dizzying array of proscriptions, requirements, and exceptions, sometimes based on speaker identity and sometimes based on the content or context of the political message. This quilt is what remained after the Fourth Circuit's strained and confusing decision in North Carolina Right to Life, Inc. v. Leake, decided in 2008, immediately following the Supreme Court's landmark decision in McConnell v. FEC. This Comment evaluates and summarizes North Carolina's existing campaign finance regulations, provides a critical analysis of both the state of the law and of the Fourth Circuit's decision in North Carolina Right to Life, Inc. v. Leake, and offers a suggested analytical framework for future judicial review of campaign finance regulations.
Anna V. Stearns, Patch by Patch: North Carolina's Crazy Quilt of Campaign Finance Regulations, 40 Campbell L. Rev. 669 (2018).