Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




Paul Watanabe


Rajini Srikanth

Subject Categories

American Politics | Political Science


The Citizens United v. FEC 2010 Supreme Court case confirmed that it was legal for individuals, corporations, unions, and other groups to make unlimited independent political expenditures. Since this ruling, super PACs have played a significant role in national elections in the United States as there are no legal limits on the size of donations they can accept or political expenditures they can make. Due to the growing influence of money in politics, campaign finance reform has become a major issue for 2016 presidential candidates. Conversation about the influence of money in politics has erupted from all ends of the political spectrum sparking a dialogue among Americans about the need for reform. This research explores three proposed alternatives to reforming the current political system after the Citizens United v. FEC decision. Among the proposed alternatives are propositions for constitutional amendments, citizen funded elections, and laws to take away the lobbying power of corporations and special interest groups. This thesis provides an analysis of the proposed alternatives to Citizens United regarding the feasibility, practicality, and sustainability of each proposed course of action with the common goal of eliminating the corrupting force of unlimited and unrestrained money in the political system.