December 19, 2022

ACS Book Talk: Dollars for Life


The American Constitution Society hosted a conversation with Mary Zeigler, Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law and author of Dollars for Life: The Anti-Abortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment. The author was in conversation with Lindsay Langholz, ACS Senior Director of Policy and Program.

Legal historian Mary Ziegler traces how the anti-abortion movement helped to forge and later upend the alliance between conservative Christianity and big business—two things so closely identified with the contemporary GOP that we hardly notice the strangeness of the pairing. Beginning with the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Buckley v. Valeo, right-to-lifers fought to gain political power by changing how campaign spending--and the First Amendment--work. The anti-abortion movement helped to revolutionize the rules of money in U.S. politics and persuaded conservative voters to fixate on the federal courts. Ziegler offers a surprising new view of the slow drift to extremes in American politics--and explains how it had everything to do with the strange intersection of right-to-life politics and campaign spending.

You can purchase Dollars for Life here, or at your local bookseller.