Challenge to Campaign Finance Reform

Dave Hardy offers some detail on a challenge to the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Act that’s heading before the Supreme Court.   Given that O’Conner was the swing vote the last time this came up, maybe the Supreme Court will be in the mood to overturn, or at least vastly weaken this law that never should have happened.  Both NRA and the ACLU have submitted briefs in favor of the plaintiff (and against the Government’s position in favor of the campaign finance reform law).  CNN also has some further analysis that quotes from NRA’s brief:

“Overturning these well-established laws would turn our elections into free-for-alls with massive corporate and union spending,” said David Arkush of Public Citizen, “and would make officeholders beholden to the deep pockets that promote them.”

On the other side are groups like the ACLU and the National Rifle Association, now best buddies in their call for nonprofit corporations to speak out.

“For like-minded individuals lacking great wealth, pooling their donations to fund a political message is, in a real sense, the only way for them to find meaningful voice in the marketplace of ideas,” the NRA said in a brief to the high court. “There is nothing pernicious, problematic or distorting about individuals banding together in this fashion to express shared political values and make themselves heard.”

Unfortunately George Soros and Michael Bloomberg are also joining NRA’s position, but ultimately I think this law is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech, so Soros and Bloomberg just happen to be on the right side of this debate.  I’ll gladly join them on this one.  If you want to read the actual briefs, I’ll steal the link from Hardy for here.

UPDATE: Given that this case was heard back in March arguing on narrow grounds, and that the Supreme Court has asked that it be re-briefed and reheard on broader grounds, we may soon see the Supreme Court overturn its own precedent, and nullify a large part of the McCain-Feingold Act.   This would certainly be welcome.

One thought on “Challenge to Campaign Finance Reform”

  1. The idea that restricting money to politicians to keep them more pure is right up there with keeping guns out of big cities to keep the violence down. We all know how well that’s working out in D.C. and Chicago.

    Better idea would be to let pols take money from anyone they want, as long as they publish the source on the internet, say within 24 hours. To illustrate the futility of that, just imagine the sudden proliferation of PACs with names like “The Sweetness And Light Group For Mom And Apple Pie”, wholly funded by, say, Mexican drug cartels.

    Of course if the pols had less money to spread around, and fewer opportunities to spread it, the price of a vote would drop. As someone said:”When politicians control buying and selling, the first things bought and sold are the politicians.”

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