Ciara Torres-Spelliscy

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 Safeguarding Markets from Pernicious Pay to Play: A Model Explaining Why the SEC Regulates Money in Politics.

Articles by this author

"If the ruling stands, it could result in an unprecedented level of public disclosure about Trump’s businesses, something he has fiercely resisted." (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr) Views
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Encouraging Progress in Prying Open Trump’s Finances
Given the controversy-every-news-cycle of the Trump administration, it can be hard to recognize when something truly important happens. Such an event occurred July 25, when a federal district court ruled that a suit could move forward alleging President Trump is violating the Constitution because...
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"All of this is a legal problem for the Foundation, the 2016 Campaign and Trump, because the Foundation is not allowed to participate in any political campaign, even Trump’s own." (Photo: Flickr/GageSkidmore) Views
Friday, June 15, 2018
The Curious Campaign Role of Donald Trump’s Foundation
Nonprofit 101 is that a conventional charity cannot give money to a political campaign . But it’s possible the Donald J. Trump Foundation may have broken this cardinal rule not just once, but twice. And the fact that it happened twice could make a significant legal difference. The first time could...
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Saturday, June 02, 2018
Parkland High School Students Show Remarkable Political Savvy
On Valentine’s Day, 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Rather than grieve silently or out of public view, student leaders took hold of their own narrative by rejecting the common platitudes of “thoughts and prayers” that are typically offered after such...
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"The facts in Jesner v. Arab Bank could not have been more gut wrenching." (Photo: Michael Coghlan/cc/flickr) Views
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
While Few Notice, The Supreme Court Is Making Corporate Human Rights Abuses Easier
In our current news environment, any news that’s not about President Trump gets short shrift, even if it’s news emanating from the Supreme Court. On April 24, 2018, the Supreme Court decided the case of Jesner v. Arab Bank . The Court ruled that foreign corporations cannot be brought into U.S...
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Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Vet Them Now or Vet Them Later
One of the few “successes” of the Trump administration has been the rapid pace of nominations to the federal bench. When Trump took office last January, there were more than 100 judicial vacancies, including one on the Supreme Court. As of early November, Trump had put forward 58 names to fill...
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Thursday, March 09, 2017
The Worst $1 Million Trump Ever Saved
Donald Rumsfeld once famously said, “There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns.” If I’m being charitable, it looks like the Trump Administration may be...
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Monday, January 23, 2017
Watch Out For the Swamp Monster
As I write this, President Trump is starting his first full week in the White House. So I do not yet know – does anyone? – how he will change the way the federal government works. But I hope his instincts are different from those of the 115 th Congress, which tried on day one to gut its ethics...
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From left to right: Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and Mitch McConnell Views
Saturday, December 03, 2016
Three Men in a Room: The D.C. Edition
For years, New York’s dysfunctional state government has been derisively called “ Three Men in a Room .” The three men were the Governor, the New York State Senate Majority Leader and the New York State Assembly Speaker. The three have nearly unparalleled control of New York’s government. But as...
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Thursday, November 03, 2016
Utilities Cloud Solar Power in the Sunshine State
Corporations have a lot of tools to get their way. As I describe in my book Corporate Citizen? : they can back candidates, lobby legislatures, and even show-up at regulatory agencies with pre-written rules at the ready. Another tactic is passing industry-friendly ballot initiatives. That’s what is...
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Thursday, October 20, 2016
Breaking the Fourth Wall of Democracy
The third debate between between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was troubling. As many commentators said, Trump broke one of our last taboos by refusing to say he will accept the outcome of the American election. He has been flirting and winking at this position for a week as he told attendees at...
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