« Justice Stevens Should Be Keeping a Closer Eye on His Clerks | Main | Michael Totten: Kosovo is Not an Islamist Beachhead »
June 27, 2008

Campaign Finance Reform Took A Hit Yesterday

In all the celebration of the Heller case, you may not have noticed another decision by the Supreme Court yesterday, Davis v. FEC.

In Davis the court declared the so-called “Millionaires Amendment” unconstitutional. This amendment to the McCain-Feingold bill created different and more generous contribution limits for candidates running against an opponent who donated $350,000 or more to their own campaign.

Writing for the majority, Justice Alito pointed out that life isn’t fair and it’s not for Congress to try and change that.

"Different candidates have different strengths. Some are wealthy; others have wealthy supporters who are willing to make large contributions. Some are celebrities. Some have the benefit of a well-known family name," Justice Alito wrote, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and justices Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas. "Leveling electoral opportunities means making and implementing judgments about which strengths should be permitted to contribute to the outcome of the election. The Constitution, however, confers upon voters, not the Congress, the power to choose the members of the House ... and it is dangerous business to use the election laws to influence the voters' choices."

While the decision didn’t overturn the entire McCain-Feingold scheme (this section was added on the floor and wasn’t part of the original bill), some see an opening to challenge the entire system, including bans on corporate and union donations.

...the ruling may undercut a key feature of federal election law since 1974: a ban on corporate and union spending on federal campaigns. "The only justifications for those laws are based on an idea of political equality," (election law specialist, Richard Hasen of Loyola Law School) said. "I think the writing is on the wall."

One can only hope.

Overturning the campaign finance scheme as it’s existed since the 70’s would probably favor Democrats thanks to the money unions would throw into campaigns but the principle of people being able to participate in the political process without government restrictions is more important. As long as there are sufficient reporting and disclosures methods, it seems citizens should be free to donate as much as they want to whomever they want.

Amusingly, the candidate who brought the suit challenging the amendment has spent $3 million on two House runs and lost both. Sure money helps, but it doesn’t buy victory.


digg this
posted by DrewM. at 11:56 AM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
FenelonSpoke: "Posted by: J.J. Sefton at October 19, 2017 07:19 A ..."

J.J. Sefton: " 27 Lots of alcohol which is pissing wifey off. ..."

Village Idiot's Apprentice : "La NOOD ..."

J.J. Sefton: " 26 Both of you are true mensches. Posted by: Ma ..."

JAS: "I don't like this term "Sexual Assault." What are ..."

Vic We Have No Party: "26  And that goes for you, too, Vic. I don't ..."

Mary Poppins' Practically Perfect Piercing: "I've said it before, J.J., but you do yeoman servi ..."

J.J. Sefton: " 21 "Mostly hat. All prattle" Very well done, CBD. ..."

creeper: "Hay, Salty. Good to see you. Hpoe you're doing as ..."

Molly k.: "15 Well, that's a heck of a picture to wake up to! ..."

J.J. Sefton: " Her hat is cultural appropriation nyet? ..."

Monty Hall on Let's Make a Border Deal: "So, would you like Door Number Two or the Wall beh ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64