KC Johnson

Week of March 16

March 16: Reform & Rights-Related Liberalism

  • Donald Critchow and Cynthia Stachecki, “The Equal Rights Amendment Reconsidered: Politics, Policy, and Social Mobilization in a Democracy,” Journal of Policy History
  • Julian Zelizer, “Seeds of Cynicism: The Struggle over Campaign Finance, 1956-1974,” Journal of Policy History

Watergate-era new laws:

Federal Campaign Act Amendments (1974 and later), which established limitations on campaign contributions, a public financing system for presidential elections, and an independent agency to administer and enforce the election laws.

Congressional Ethics Code (1977 and later), which set standards of conduct and limited congressional outside earned income, honoraria fees, and gifts.

Ethics in Government Act (1978) which required financial disclosure by high government officials in all three branches of the federal government, restricted contacts between former high level executive branch employees and their former agencies, and established a government office to monitor compliance with the law.

Special Prosecutor Provision of the Ethics in Government Act (1978 and later), which established a mechanism for appointing independent counsel to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing by high government officials.

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (1977), which prohibited American companies from bribing foreign officials, politicians, or political parties.

Freedom of Information Act Amendments (1974 and later), which strengthened the Freedom of Information Act, increasing public access to government papers.

The Government in the Sunshine Act (1976), which mandated opening meetings of all multi-member government agencies to the public.

House and Senate Open Meeting Rules (1973 and 1975, respectively), which opened all congressional committee meetings to the public absent a recorded vote to close them.

FBI Domestic Security Investigation Guidelines (1976 and later), which restricted political intelligence-gathering activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (1978), which regulated electronic surveillance conducted within the United States for foreign intelligence purposes.

Intelligence Authorization Act (1980), which required the Executive Branch to keep the House and Senate Intelligence Committees “fully and currently informed” of all U.S. intelligence activities.

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