Published: Sept. 27, 2005

Professor Priest is the University of Colorado School of Law 2005 Scholar in Residence.  He is also the John M. Olin Professor of Law and Economics at Yale Law School where he teaches courses on Capitalism, Insurance Policy, Products Liability, Antitrust, Torts, Regulated Industries and, most recently, a seminar on Economic Development. In his lecture, Professor Priest discussed about various constraints of voters’ participation in our rigidly-structured, electoral process and saw potential in campaign contributions in enabling voters to fully express their intensity of their political preferences.  Through his comparison of the electoral process and the market system, he mentions the one of the failures of electoral process is attributed to its equally weighed one-vote-per- citizen, where vote of a passionate voter is equal to that of an indifferent voter, whereas in a market system, goods are provided to those who value it.In support of the First Amendment tradition for citizens to express political values to the fullest extent possible, Professor Priest believes that campaign contributions can be used to guide the candidates on what issues are important and also allow citizens who feel intensely about politics do so intensely, which in all will enhance the political process into a more vibrant one.