Campaign Finance

Supreme Court Strikes Down Major Campaign Finance Restriction

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In a divided opinion issued this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a federal limit capping the total amount of money an individual may give to political candidates and parties during a two year period. "Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in his controlling opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, "but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects."

The case arose when Shaun McCutcheon, a wealthy donor to the Republican Party, challenged the aggregate contribution limits for violating his constitutional right to speak freely about politics. Today, the Supreme Court agreed with McCutcheon's main claims.

While "combatting corruption" is a permissible reason to regulate campaign spending, Chief Justice Roberts declared, "the aggregate limits do little, if anything, to address that concern, while seriously restricting participation in the democratic process. The aggregate limits are therefore invalid under the First Amendment."

The Court's opinion in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission is available here.

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  1. Excellent news.

  2. So Soros can make unlimited donations, but some excuse will be found to limit the Koch bros?

    1. Well, yeah. Soros backs good causes and the Kochs don’t.

      Translation:It’s OK when we do it.

      http://www.reviewjournal.com/o…..ochs-don-t

      1. Is cancer research evil?

        1. It’s all about the intentions of those making the contribution.

          1. Is cancer research evil?

            It is when financed by an evil means like extortion.

      2. Mr. Soros doesn’t fit the mold of the Koch brothers. He funds entities that will tax him at a higher rate and will regulate his industry, which gives him a greater advantage. When industries are regulated for fairness, the truly gifted are at an advantage. When industry is unregulated, any thieving, unscrupulous financial thug can make money, as we witnessed in the recent financial crash.

        What is this I don’t even

        1. What is this I don’t even

          Scripture.

        2. Kinda scary.

        3. I started to write something then I re-read that and wait what?

        4. where is this from?

          1. Letter to Editor – Las Vegas Review-Journal a few days before the SCOTUS ruling.
            http://www.reviewjournal.com/o…..ochs-don-t

            One of the better “It’s OK when we do it” letters I’ve seen.

      3. Yes, they support horrible evil things like gay marriage, public television, ballet, and medical research.

  3. Obamacare is repugnant to anyone who loves liberty but Roberts was OK with that one.

    1. But I will agree that this particular ruling is a positive one. This will at least make the bribes more open and honest, unlike they way they are now, in back rooms and under the table.

      1. Yeah, Robert’s decision on Obamacare was so blatantly wrong requiring the twisting of the law like a pretzel, but every now and again he makes a reasonable, logical decision as well. With the supreme court tending to bend over backwards to justify any law that gets put before them, we have to accept the wins when we get them.

  4. The Kochtopus wins again.

    1. Its tentacles are everywhere!

      1. groping, fondling, and dare I say – exploring?

    2. They’re #59 on the list. What of #s 1-58?

      http://www.americanthinker.com….._list.html

      1. Without looking I will go with a preponderance of Unions? Especially the pub-sec kind?

    3. Are you implying that limiting money for for political campaigns will make things more “fair”? The only people who would be hurt by such a law are those not already in the gov’t. Limiting the amount of money that candidates receive will limit the viability of any third party from ever getting into office. Politicians love campaign finance reform: it sounds good to the uneducated, and it ensures their parties are the ones that remain in power.

      1. Your dislike for the Koch brothers led me to assert my first statement.

  5. Just when I think there is no hope…

    1. How about the following words, probably penned by one of Roberts’ clerks, in the second paragraph of the opinion?

      “The right to participate in democracy through political contributions is protected by the First Amendment, but that right is not absolute. Our cases have held that Congress may regulate campaign contributions to protect against corruption or the appearance of corruption.”

      1. Yeah, those statist fucks, if actually following the First Amendment, would have struck down any and all limitations on how much money you could choose to spend on political speech.

        1. The corruption part is a different issue. While allowing people, singularly and collectively, to spend money on campaigns, is something that really shouldn’t be limited much under the First Amendment, limiting what politicians can accept absolutely is kosher.

          I note for the record that politicians are quite openly and frequently bribed with ridiculously high-paying jobs from regulated companies after they leave office. Limiting that in some way would run far less afoul of the Constitution than all of this campaign finance business, which has never worked in the slightest, anyway.

          1. Excellent point.

          2. If the feds didn’t regulate the light bulbs we use, the toilets we use the cars we drive, the intoxicants that are allowed… Reduce the value of buying a politician and lets politicians will be bought. Restrain government, never the people.

          3. There’s no need to limit it because there’s already a mechanism in place to end the corruption. You prosecute the hell out of every crooked politician and you establish draconian sentencing guidelines for those found misusing their position.

            1. There’s no need to limit it because there’s already a mechanism in place to end the corruption. You prosecute the hell out of every crooked politician and you establish draconian sentencing guidelines for those found misusing their position.

              I’ve already proposed that every politician who runs for re-election must stand before a jury of his constituents. Any guilty finding of misuse of office results in the government seizing 100% of the guilty party’s assets, a lifetime ban on holding public office and (if this isn’t in direct violation of the Constitution) a 10 year exile.

              1. Yes, but you’d have to have the same corrupt people pass the law you are proposing.

          4. The Pro Libertate Act of 2014: After leaving office, no Congressman shall accept any money for any reason whatsoever, on penalty of death.

          5. Yes. The people have rights. The government does not, the government is instead granted limited powers, and there is absolutely no provision disallowing further limitations on those powers.

            You can either limit the rights of the people OR the powers of the government to effect the change. Limit the politician from accepting the money/job.

            1. My first choice, of course, would be to limit government so much that personal corruption wouldn’t matter so much. However, until that golden day, we need more limits on politicians, who are by and large, scum. That’s not cynicism or an over-generalization. That’s a completely true and widely recognized fact.

              I’m in favor of every check and limit we can place on people in government, whether elected or appointed. Term limits, periods where former government officials can’t work for regulated industries, etc. All good.

              1. Shock collars.

        2. If only the words “Congress shall make no law” were written in plain English rather than that crazy dialect only understood by white slave owners in the late 18th century.

          1. I hear you, but one problem with that argument is that the First Amendment has never been absolute. There have been exceptions from the beginning, not the least of which is the fact that the First Amendment only limited the federal government until the early 20th century.

            1. Pro, come on. The language itself admits of no exceptions.

              Sure, the courts, without the power being conferred upon them to do so, have seen fit to declare that the FA is not absolute and that the exercise of the liberties therein protected is subject to balancing tests of their creation.

              1. There were many in the founding generation, the generation succeeding as well as the Civil War generation who did not subscribe to the notion that the FA did not apply to the states.

                Remember, the federal constitution guarantees a republican form of government for the peeps in all of the states. Only cognitive dissonance makes free speech restrictions compatible with a republican form of governance.

                1. I think it’s mostly a moot point, since the state constitutions all had speech protections (pretty sure about that, but don’t quote me).

                  We’ve never had total freedom of speech. For instance, I doubt seriously that perjury was allowed in federal courts.

          2. There have always been restrictions on free speech. The most obvious being the “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” exception, where the person yelling can be criminally liable for his words. I don’t think such liability is disputed.

            Harder cases are when one publicly advocates violence and others actually carry out said violence (or at least used to be hard; recent terrorism cases are I believe trending too much against the 1st Amendment). Courts have historically struggled to find the line between legitimate political speech and public safety.

            Also, the government is free to make laws that generally restrict speech — by requiring permits to have a protest/march, etc. — as long as such laws are applied fairly and without an intent to target one group.

            One could argue whether “corruption” is a proper reason to restrict speech. I personally don’t think it is as there are better ways to fight corruption but the political and legal consensus seems to indicate the opposite.

            1. The most obvious being the “yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater” exception

              Which was overturned in 1969. The exception was limiteded the scope of banned speech to that which would be directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action.

              1. Thanks. I was, admittedly, too lazy to find that standard. The layman’s definition is a bit easier for people to understand and still applies to a person yelling in a crowded theater (the lawless action being people trampling each other to death).

            2. The Ethics of Liberty, Chapter 15: “Human Rights” as Property Rights

              . . . In short, a person does not have a “right to freedom of speech”; what he does have is the right to hire a hall and address the people who enter the premises. He does not have a “right to freedom of the press”; what he does have is the right to write or publish a pamphlet, and to sell that pamphlet to those who are willing to buy it (or to give it away to those who are willing to accept it). Thus, what he has in each of these cases is property rights, including the right of free contract and transfer which form a part of such rights of ownership. There is no extra “right of free speech” or free press beyond the property rights that a person may have in any given case. 1/3

            3. Furthermore, couching the analysis in terns of a “right to free speech” instead of property rights leads to confusion and the weakening of the very concept of rights. The most famous example is Justice Holmes’s contention that no one has the right to shout “Fire” falsely in a crowded theater, and therefore that the right to freedom of speech cannot be absolute, but must be weakened and tempered by considerations of “public policy.”3 And yet, if we analyze the problem in terms of property rights we will see that no weakening of the absoluteness of rights is necessary.4 2/3

            4. For, logically, the shouter is either a patron or the theater owner. If he is the theater owner, he is violating the property rights of the patrons in quiet enjoyment of the performance, for which he took their money in the first place. If he is another patron, then he is violating both the property right of the patrons to watching the performance and the property right of the owner, for he is violating the terms of his being there. For those terms surely include not violating the owner’s property by disrupting the performance he is putting on. In either case, he may be prosecuted as a violator of property rights; therefore, when we concentrate on the property rights involved, we see that the Holmes case implies no need for the law to weaken the absolute nature of rights. . .

              3/3

              1. George Mason wrote that the inalienable rights of Men were Life, Liberty and Property. I believe that Jefferson’s edit of his words in this place was unfortunate, to say the least.

      2. “That right is not absolute.” Why? Because you SAY SO?

        1. It’s not absolute, but not in the way he’s saying. Restrictions on perjury, fraud, etc. have been allowed for a long time, but those aren’t political speech, which is very frequently viewed as at the top of the protection ladder.

          1. Political speech receives the most protection, by far, even in civil cases.

            Oddly, though, the government (in concert with the courts) always seems to believe certain “disagreeable” political speech is not deserving of protection (most recently, the Age of Terror (TM)).

  6. It struck down the total limit, which I didn’t know existed, but left the $1,000 per campaign limit?

    Good decision but it is a shame it didn’t kill the $1000 limit. If telling me that I can only spend so much contributing to all campaigns violates my free speech rights, then telling me I can only give $1000 to a particular campaign does the same. Would have been nice if they would have killed the whole damn system.

    1. $2300 per candidate was the old rule.

    2. Justice Thomas would appear to agree, in large measure. He would overrule Buckley.

      1. I don’t see how you can reconcile this with Buckley other than by saying “the Court just liked it that way”. You can’t reconcile the two with any consistent principles.

        1. “Principles”? HAHAHAHAHAHA

        2. Principals trump principles.

          1. Victoria trumps marital fidelity?

        3. Roberts never overrules anything, generally. He just blows enormous exceptions into precedent…. which just serves to confuse everybody.

  7. Oh the gnashing of teeth will be epic for this one.

    1. Indeed! Get the popcorn ready!

    2. We’re going to need a bigger sponge (for all the yummy, salty tears).

  8. I’ll make a prediction. Money will play an even bigger role in our supposed democratic elections, and nobody’s actual speech will be any more or less suppressed than it was before.

    1. It really doesn’t matter with unlimited PAC donations.

    2. I’ll make a prediction. Tony will keep on posting inanities devoid of logic and reason while remaining willfully ignorant of all things related to economics and liberty.

    3. The best way to combat political corruption is to restrain government not speech. If there is no reason to buy a politician, the market for politicians will decline rapidly.

      1. No, no, no, no! You see, we have a government of, by, and for the people! The government is us!

        Except the government has been hijacked by the corporations!

        The best way to combat political corruption is to give more power to the government (us) so it can control the corporations that control it!

        And if that doesn’t work, it’s only because we didn’t give enough power to government! So we give more power to the government!

        And if that doesn’t work, it’s only because we didn’t give enough power to government! So we give more power to the government!

        And if that doesn’t work, it’s only because we didn’t give enough power to government! So we give more power to the government!

        Keep doing the same thing over and over and over and eventually you’ll get different results!

        1. The only question is how long will it take until it’s nothing but government all the way through to the delicious tootsie roll center? How many licks will it take?

      2. What does funding campaigns have to do with speaking?

        1. How do campaigns speak their message to voters without funding?

          1. Why should the very wealthy get more speech than everyone else?

            1. Why shouldn’t the very wealthy be allowed to spend their own money as they please? It’s their money.

              1. This is where Tony stomps his feet and yells “not fair!”

                1. This is where Tony stomps his feet and yells “not fair!”

                  Reminds me of my four year old.

                2. I can show you a place where libertarians were all jerking off to the idea that they are the fairest of all.

                  1. Libertarians support liberty and justice. Fairness is for children.

              2. They should as long as it doesn’t subvert the law and/or democratic institutions.

                1. How does funding a candidate so they can speak their message to voters subvert the law and/or democratic institutions?

                  1. Using violence against people who speak “too much” is perfectly compatible with democracy. Or something.

                  2. Why would wealthy donors spend all that money if they didn’t think they’d get something out of it?

                    If money has the effect of influencing the outcomes of elections, then those with more money have more influence, which is not in the spirit of democracy, but of oligarchy.

                    If money does not have that effect, then why are people spending it?

                    1. Why would wealthy donors spend all that money if they didn’t think they’d get something out of it?

                      I’m not a wealthy donor. You’re asking the wrong guy.

                      If money has the effect of influencing the outcomes of elections, then those with more money have more influence, which is not in the spirit of democracy, but of oligarchy.

                      Funny how progressives insist that money determines the outcome of elections, until their guy with more funding loses.

                      If money does not have that effect, then why are people spending it?

                      Ask someone who has given money to a campaign.

                    2. So you’re not thinking this through to its obvious conclusions, you’re just being a blind, dumb dogmatist. It must be a day of the week.

                    3. Scroll down to my 10:47 comment.

                    4. What if candidate has a message that conflicts with the Republican-Democrat duopoly, but doesn’t have a huge party base like the major parties do?

                      How can that person raise enough funds to compete without the backing of wealthy donors?

                      They can’t.

                      If they are forced to raise millions or billions of dollars in thousand dollar drips and drabs, it is simply impossible for them to compete.

                      That’s the purpose of limiting campaign contributions.

                      What was that about not thinking things through to their obvious conclusions?

                    5. For the children of course.

                    6. Re: Tony,

                      Why would wealthy donors spend all that money if they didn’t think they’d get something out of it?

                      The same question should be asked to you about wealthy proggie donors.

                      If money has the effect of influencing the outcomes of elections, then those with more money have more influence, which is not in the spirit of democracy, but of oligarchy.

                      Who told you we live in a democracy?

                    7. “If money has the effect of influencing the outcomes of elections, then those with more money have more influence, which is not in the spirit of democracy, but of oligarchy.”

                      I think there is no difference in the influence gained from speech related spending compared with influence from handing out tax money as government spending. Of course, only one is guaranteed by the bill of rights.

                      Tell you what, I’ll agree to limits on campaign spending when you agree to the same per-person limit on entitlements received.

                    8. Why would citizens vote if they don’t get something for it?

                2. Tony:

                  What does funding campaigns have to do with speaking?…as it doesn’t subvert the law and/or democratic institutions.

                  Public Agrees With Court: Campaign Money Is “Free Speech”

                  Put that in your democracy pipe and smoke it.

                3. We are a republic. Democracy is tyranny of the majority.

            2. People with more resources have more resources to exercise their freedoms with. You cannot legislate that fact out of existence without restricting freedom itself. If that violates your sensitivities, be less sensitive.

              1. Without realizing it you’re making a case for strong limitations on campaign contributions. Yes, the rich will always have more influence. But that is contrary to the point of democracy, which is that everyone, ideally, has an equal say in the makeup of government. So the only option is to take direct action to try to limit the extra advantage (knowing full well it can never be totally eliminated).

                The natural trajectory of a capitalist economy is toward plutocracy, up to and including control of government by the wealthiest few. The only thing that has ever stood in the way of this process is strong, activist legislation.

                But this is all falling on deaf ears. You people are born to defend the process that leads to plutocracy. You have no reason to exist otherwise, however much you talk in slogans about freedom.

                1. The natural trajectory of a capitalist economy is toward plutocracy, up to and including control of government by the wealthiest few. The only thing that has ever stood in the way of this process is strong, activist legislation.

                  See my 10:59 comment.

                  1. Not everything in the goddamn universe is about how evil government is. This is actually about how much power corporate and private interests can have over government. Which for some reason you guys think is not something worth paying attention to at all.

                    1. Corporate and private interests do not have power over government.

                      They have influence. Not power.

                      There you go being all distinction-challenged again.

                    2. Do you ever stick to the fucking point?

                    3. It’s hard to stick to a point when you are speaking rubbish.

                      Corporations do not have power over government. They have influence. They cannot force politicians to do things. The politicians can always tell them to screw. So it takes two.

                      It wouldn’t matter what influence corporations had over politicians if government was limited in what it did.

                      The only reason why corporations want to influence politicians is because it is the politicians who wield power. Not the corporations.

                      Giving more power to politicians gives power to the corporations that influence them.

                      If you want to take power away from corporations, you must take power away from the politicians whom they influence.

                    4. where can I ‘rec’ this? Turn it green!

                    5. “They have influence. Not power”

                      This 1000 times. Think of it this way. The rich are spending their money to persuade millions of non rich people who vote. That means the non rich actually have the power because the rich are spending their money on THEM.

                      There’s Soros and Buffet. There’s the Koch brothers. They are all spending money but someone is going to LOSE. Which means losing his own money. Is that unfair or unjust?

                    6. 1. Corporate and private interests have no power. Only government has power.

                      2. When given the choice between limiting government or limiting the rights of the people to solve the same problem, why do YOU, Tony, prefer to limit the people?

                    7. This is actually about how much power corporate and private interests can have over government.

                      It might be worth noting that few billionaires drop a lot of coin on the mayoral elections for, say, Akron Ohio. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s that the corporate and private interests are attracted to the power of a super-state, not the other way around?

                2. Lol. Yes, the wealthy will get the gears of power, unless we give much, much more power to the government.

                  Also, since elections are decided by votes, everybody has an equal say in the outcome, as long as he votes. Campaign spending != votes. If it did, Linda McMahon would be a 2 term senator and Mitt Romney would be president.

                  Also, democracy pretty much sucks. You’re not going to find much favor for elevating democracy above liberty. Democracy is a process, not a result, and not a principle.

                3. But that is contrary to the point of democracy, which is that everyone, ideally, has an equal say in the makeup of government.

                  Can you point out where in the Constitution this “democracy” is? How many votes do the rich get in comparison to the poor?

                  1. Can you point out where in the Constitution this “democracy” is?

                    Um, no, but…The Constitution of the United States, Article IV, Section 4 states:

                    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

                  2. Same place the word “capitalism” appears.

                    1. Capitalism is people trading freely. It’s what happens when people are free. The Constitution guarantees this freedom.

                4. The natural trajectory of a capitalist economy is toward plutocracy

                  No, that’s a result of your activist government, which the wealthy leverage to disadvantage the poor and middle class. And you applaud them every step of the way. The Fed and the regulatory leviathan screw poor people over and further entrench the already wealthy at every turn, and you have no problem with that.

                5. Re: Tony,

                  Without realizing it you’re making a case for strong limitations on campaign contributions.

                  In my case, I have always advocated for NO campaign contributions. And no campaigns. And no government.

                  Yes, the rich will always have more influence.

                  As long as there’s government, then yes.

                  But that is contrary to the point of democracy, which is that everyone, ideally, has an equal say in the makeup of government.

                  That’s a fallacy. It would mean either everybody’s wants and desires are considered equally, which ipso facto means a logistical nightmare, or it would mean NO government because everybody’s wants and desires are different and so cannot be taken equally. That is the reason NO government on this Earth is purely democratic – it’s representative only.

                  The natural trajectory of a capitalist economy is toward plutocracy,

                  The Conflator-In-Chief seems not to understand the difference between economic activity and politics.

                6. “So the only option is to take direct action to try to limit the extra advantage (knowing full well it can never be totally eliminated).”

                  Which means you cannot have free speech. Democracy matters not if fundamental liberty is forsaken. Democracy is the lesser value. Furthermore, the more restrictions you place on speech, the less relatively poorer groups can speak concentrating power into the hands of political insiders. You are defending bureaucratic oligarchy and the silencing of the actual voice of the people.

                7. Tony said:

                  Without realizing it you’re making a case for strong limitations on campaign contributions. Yes, the rich will always have more influence. But that is contrary to the point of democracy, which is that everyone, ideally, has an equal say in the makeup of government.

                  But earlier, he said:

                  as long as it doesn’t subvert the law and/or democratic institutions.

                  In order to prevent subversion of our highest democratic institution and law, i.e. the US Constitution and the role of the Supreme Court as it defines, you are now free to begin the process of repealing the first amendment.

                  Good luck with that.

                  Of course, out of consistency with your previous statements, your position should be that, while you don’t like the first amendment, and how it’s being interpreted, you’re an adult, and you’ll go along with it. After all, democracy.

                  So, you can listen to your own advice, stop whining, and start going along to get along.

                8. If you donate a lot of money do you then get to vote more than once in the election?

              2. My guess is that Tony would read Harrison Bergeron as a training manual.

            3. Why should Jon Stewart get more speech than everyone else? Guess what, not everything is equal. So what?

              1. Faced with a rational response to his appeals to emotion, *poof* Tony disappears.

            4. they don’t. anyone is free to give their money to electoral candidates and political parties.

            5. Because they can afford it, dumbass.

              -jcr

        2. If I can’t hear you, have you actually spoken?

          1. If a man speaks in a forest, and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?

        3. What does funding campaigns have to do with speaking?

          Other questions that most humans don’t need answers to:

          What does breathing have to do with living?

      3. You don’t understand. According to progressives, when liberty and government power conflict, liberty must necessarily yield.

    4. Beg that question!

    5. Re: Tony,

      I’ll make a prediction. Money will play an even bigger role in our supposed democratic elections, and nobody’s actual speech will be any more or less suppressed than it was before.

      I’ll make a different prediction:

      Proggies like yourself will continue to bitch and moan about how money will play an even bigger role in politics while at the same time not saying anything about how the big-money enablers on the left (Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Labor, Big Unions) continue to shovel money to their favorite proggie candidates just like before.

    6. I’ll make a prediction: you will continue to advocate more power be placed in the hands of a system that you at the same time claim is bought by the rich.

  9. Allow me to present the proglodyte response:

    AAAARRGLEBLAAAARRGLE – KKKKORPORATIONS – KKKOCHTOPUS – MICROWAVES!!1!1!!

    1. Don’t forget COLOR TVs.

      1. + 1 custom kitchen delivery

  10. I like the throwaway line about protected speech also including speech people hate. That’s the whole point of the First Amendment, you know. To protect minority viewpoints that the majority would rather not hear. While words of gleeful agreement are also protected, nobody much tries to use government force to stop those words.

    I’m not sure people fully realize exactly how undemocratic the First Amendment is. It’s about protecting freedom all the way down to the individual level, regardless of what everyone else may think. That’s not always true in practice, but it’s truer here than anywhere else in the world.

    1. Free speech is a product of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was as much as anything a reaction to the religious wars of the reformation. It is an attempt to get people to tolerate each other and get politics out of every aspect of life. It restricts the government for sure. But it hopes to do more than that. It hopes that by telling people they can’t get the sheriff to go down and lock someone up because they hold an unpopular view that people will be more tolerant and learn to live with one another.

      The French Revolution and all of the resulting isms (Fascism, Progressivism, Communism) was a reaction against that. And the reaction was more than just saying the government can and should determine what speech is acceptable, it was also the reinsertion of politics into all aspects of life. You shouldn’t just be tolerant of that guy who lives down the street and thinks crazy things. His politics determines your entire relationship with him.

      1. Extraordinarily well said. Kudos, I’m keeping this.

          1. “….reinsertion of politics into all aspects of life. You shouldn’t just be tolerant of that guy who lives down the street and thinks crazy things. His politics determines your entire relationship with him.”

            Exactly what happened in Venezuela with Chavez.

            1. And in Soviet Russia and a lot of other places.

        1. agreed – ties up some important historical points in nice, easy to read format.

      2. I’ve never thought of it in these terms, but it makes sense.

    2. Except in Virginia beach

  11. The purpose of limiting contributions is to eliminate the chances of a fringe party getting the backing of a rich person and then having the ability to spread their message.

    Forcing candidates to become perpetual fund raisers keeps fringe parties on the fringe, thus cementing the Republican-Democrat duopoly.

    1. So a public financing scheme would work best then?

      1. No. Public financing is using force to compel tax payers to finance candidates whether they agree with them or not.

        Eliminating contributions limits is the only just solution.

      2. yes, obviously a public financing scheme set up exclusively by the two major parties will give lots of chances to third parties. are you delusional?

        1. You must be new here, or you didn’t see you were talking to Tony.

      3. Why don’t we ask John McCain about public financing? It seemed to work so well for him, when he was running against Barack Obama…

  12. “combatting corruption” is a permissible reason to regulate campaign spending, Chief Justice Roberts declared, “the aggregate limits do little, if anything, to address that concern”

    Hey Roberts! How about doinging something about corruption by finding most of leviathan’s activities unconstitutional?

    1. yes it seems ironic, and sad, that they will tout the constitution when convenient and rape it and piss on it in the same day.
      the fed gov needs to be slashed using the 10th in the strictest most anti-fed meaning possible
      if the government is not defending our god given rights, it is not doing its job
      if a fed-gov agency is getting money for any purpose other than protecting individual rights, it needs to be abolished
      i think the debt will balance out in a year if we did that

  13. Move to Amend! MOVE TO AMEND!!!!

    I’m going to have to block my liberal friends on Facebook for a while, because I’m going to see nothing but that crap for a while. It’s already started.

    1. Serious question: do many of you really have liberal/proggie friends on FB that spout a bunch of politics on there? Occasionally, I’ll see a pro-teachers union comment and I’ll occasionally make an anti-cop comment on a police abuse case but for the most part all I see is people posting what they made for dinner, the occasional sports rant and a bunch of nostalgia.

      So either I need to get a broader group of friends or you people need to better filter who the fuck you associate with online.

      1. I have a few. I’ve blocked most of them.

      2. I have a few. Unfortunately. A couple of them stopped after I kept smacking them down every time they posted progderp.

      3. I block my more visibly political FB “friends”.

        The last time I mentioned something about the nanny state, it got a little vicious.

      4. I had a bunch until BINDERS FULL OF WOMEN happened. Now it’s all sports and babies.

      5. I have one that’s a committed democratic socialist and active in the College Democrats.

        But she only occasionally posts about something political, although when she does its derptastic.

      6. do many of you really have liberal/proggie friends on FB that spout a bunch of politics on there?

        1. I don’t have the face thingy.
        2. I don’t have any liberal friends.
        3. I don’t have any friends.
        4. The wife has the face thingy, has liberal friends and spends hours arguing politics with them (particularly with an old highschool friend of mine, who’s now a lawyer).

        1. Too many, I’m afraid. They mostly post quotes and slogans and have ThinkProgress come up with their arguments for them. Also a lot of fake news (Fox News reports Sarah Palin thinks the Bible was written in English!) that they seem to think is real.

    2. I like how FB will now allow you to block the source of someone’s share, instead of having to block the person altogether.

  14. Well, that’s it. Our great experiment in democracy is over. Since all team blue politicians and potential candidates have taken a selfless vow of poverty, now only Kochtopus bagger puppets will be elected.

    1. Yes, it’s quite bizarre how they run around acting like the Republicans are the only ones getting billions in election money. Um, no, that’s totally wrong. And, in fact, the Democrats frequently get more when they’re in power. Wonder why that is?

  15. FTA: While “combatting corruption” is a permissible reason to regulate campaign spending,

    Were those Root’s words or Roberts’ words? Because whoever’s they are, all I can say is g fuck yourself. There’s no permissible reason to regulate how I spend my own personal money.

    1. You people are sick with dogma.

      What if you use it to hire a hit man?

      1. derp.

      2. And you are sick with the irrational. I don’t care how histrionic you progs get about it, campaign donations do not violate your rights.

        Conspiracy to commit murder is obviously something else entirely.

        1. But, but, but imposing liberty on society is the same thing as murder!

        2. Conspiracy to commit murder is obviously something else entirely.

          Unless it’s the government doing it, which is totally ok.

          Which is why only the government should have guns.

      3. Re: Tony,

        What if you use it [your own money] to hire a hit man?

        I’m going to use my money to hire a logic tutor for you.

      4. Murder is still illegal, Tony.

    2. “The government has a strong interest, no less critical to our democratic system, in combatting corruption and its appearance,” Roberts wrote. “We have, however, held that this interest must be limited to a specific kind of corruption ? quid pro quo corruption ? in order to ensure that the government’s efforts do not have the effect of restricting the First Amendment right of citizens to choose who shall govern them.”

    3. It’s not even actual corruption, it’s to combat the “appearance of corruption”.

      And since that is an entirely subjective view, it’s essentially putting our liberties subject to the whims of the majority or the judges.

    4. There’s no permissible reason to regulate how I spend my own personal money.

      Going to have to call BS on that one. It is totally permissible to outlaw buying votes, bribes, kickbacks, etc.

      1. As long as we have a secret ballot, I would totally take money from any and all candidates to vote for them. And then vote from whoever the hell I pleased.

  16. This should be fun.

    * [new] I”m not a violent person but (9+ / 0-)
    I’d like to slap some Supreme Court justices. Or else force-fed them money until they choke.

    Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women’s lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

    by anastasia p on Wed Apr 02, 2014 at 07:57:00 AM PDT

    DELICIOUS

    1. I dunno. I can’t get all happy about those kinds of comments. They depress me, especially considering how many people believe that crap.

    2. Come and see the tolerance and democratic principles inherent in the system!

      1. Tolerance is being intolerant of those who don’t agree those who are obviously right about everything.

  17. The horror.

    The HORROR.

  18. The real problem with the “appearance of corruption” argument is that it’s totally unquantifiable.

  19. I said the other day that Sandra Day O’Conner is the most influential justice of my life time. This decision is a good example of what I am talking about. It is results driven and rests on no solid rational foundation and sets no significant precedent outside of these facts. That is classic O’Conner.

    Either Buckley was correctly decided or not. If it was, then fighting corruption is a legitimate government end that justifies restrictions on campaign contributions. If the government can do that, who the hell is Roberts to say that the aggregate limit doesn’t further that end? I don’t see how it furthers that end any less than the per campaign limit. If the assumption is the government needs to limit how much rich people can give to campaigns to keep elections clean, then they should be able to keep someone from getting a lot of influence by giving to a lot of candidates. If I give $2000 to every single Republican running for the House, I will have bought myself a lot more influence than I would if I gave that lump sum to a single member.

    1. On the other hand, if limiting campaign corruption isn’t a legitimate reason to restrict free speech, then both the per campaign limit and the total limit have to go and Buckley along with it. Roberts does neither in this case. He just doesn’t like the aggregate limit for whatever reason and and constructed a justification to do so. Since he didn’t touch Buckley, the decision doesn’t rest on any kind of rational foundation and sets no significant precedent or give any real guidance to future courts looking at this issue beyond “Chief Justice Roberts doesn’t like aggregate campaign limits”.

      It is a good result as far as it goes. It is, however, a sorry ass example of appellate judging.

      1. Compelling reason is just part of the test, narrow tailoring is the other.

        1. You miss the point. If controlling is a compelling reason, then there should be a reason why limits on individual campaigns is narrowly tailored and permissible but aggregate limits are not beyond well Roberts likes one and not the other. There isn’t any reason why one is different than the other. If Roberts wants to reaffirm Buckley, that is his right. But if he wanted to do that, he should have let the aggregate limits stand.

          Instead of a consistent decision that sets a real precedent, we have a results driven one that does nothing but decide this case.

          1. From reading the syllabus, it seems Robert’s argument for striking down the aggregate limits was partly based on the validity of the individual limits. He argued that the only reason for the first is to prevent a bypass of the second, but that the government had not shown that it was the least restrictive means to do that.

            1. He says that the aggregate limits don’t further the government’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption or the appearance of it. And that is just bunk. If I give the limit to every successful candidate running for Congress, I am going to buy myself a lot of influence. More influence than giving the same amount to one guy.

              Roberts’ distinction rests on the assumption that giving some money to a lot of candidates doesn’t create the same problems that giving a lot of money to one candidate does. And that is a totally artificial distinction he dreamed up because he wanted this result but didn’t want to kill Buckley.

              1. Does this then give more power to parties and special interest groups over individual candidates?

              2. I don’t think the distinction is artificial. It makes sense even to me. He might disagree as to where Congress set the limit, but he thinks there is such a limit that delineates corrupt from non-corrupt influence, and that Congress is at least legislating along justifiable lines.

    2. I don’t think that’s true. If $2,000 is chump change to each of them, then you would’ve bought yourself more influence by giving it all to 1. And I bet Roberts had exactly that in mind: that below a certain amount to an individual, money is not corrupting, and only individuals can be corrupted in a quid pro quo manner. That is, the influence that you could buy with the distributed donations is not a corrupt influence, but a legitimate interest.

    3. Can I get a definition of “corruption”?

      My guess is it is similar to pornography – I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.

    1. Well what else can they do when they’ve all taken vows of poverty, while anarchists and baggers have their pockets lined with cash by big oil and the Koctopus?

  20. The Montana nativists will undoubtedly commence even greater weeping and wailing over the notion of a state awash in “outside money” poisoning Montana’s elections. Garments will be rent.

    Having the governor hand Baucus’ seat to an anointed Democratic heir in a blatant attempt to imbue him with all the advantages of incumbency is perfectly hunky dory, but allowing those well poisoning outside-influence peddlers from Americans for Prosperity to run ads is a grotesque abuse of the Democratic process.

    1. And I am sure Bachus or his idiot heir never accept any tainted non Montana money.

  21. OK, serious time.

    Limiting corruption of our congressional scumfucks is obviously a nice goal. Equally obvious is that campaign contribution limitations have failed miserably at mitigating corruption, since Congress is already pretty much at level TOTAL CORRUPT. So…what would work? Obviously, a smaller government would have fewer goodies to disperse, and that would be nice, but a flying pony that shits money would be nice too.

    Anyone have any ideas? My only one is to commission mobs of altruistic perverts and have them periodically storm Capitol Hill and rape the most crooked Congress scum. But I’m open to other suggestions.

    1. Nothing. Limited government is the only thing that would work. Politicians can get the death penalty for being corrupt in China, and yet corruption is rampant.

      1. agreed. rent seeking and regulatory capture are inevitable. absent a flat out bribe, you disperse and limit power. i am convinced it is the only way.

      2. Also agreed. So then the question is, how do you get and keep limited government? As is pointed out here constantly, and correctly, government is force. Whoever ultimately controls government will have an incentive to use force for their own personal gain. That is true all the way down to the guy in the voting booth. And special interests will always be more involved in their own little corner of government power than the population at large, allowing them to capture this or that agency without much fanfare.

        I honestly don’t see a structural or programmatic way out of it. I think it ultimately comes down the character and values of the electorate. If voters demand, really and truly demand, that politicians follow the Constitution, and are well-informed enough to know when they aren’t following it, then the system can work. People also have to be willing to forego using government to get hand-outs for themselves. But all of that requires that a substantial majority share and live by a similar moral code. If that isn’t true, you get something a lot like what we have now.

        If there is another solution I’d love to hear it. From my point of view, though, it requires the long and hard work of trying to fundamentally shift the culture of a majority of voters. Anything else is a small and tenuous victory, at best.

        1. “I note one proposal to make this Congress a two-house body. Excellent ? the more impediments to legislation the better. But, instead of following tradition, I suggest one house of legislators, another whose single duty is to repeal laws. Let the legislators pass laws only with a two-thirds majority… while the repealers are able to cancel any law through a mere one-third minority. Preposterous? Think about it. If a bill is so poor that it cannot command two-thirds of your consents, is it not likely that it would make a poor law? And if a law is disliked by as many as one-third is it not likely that you would be better off without it?”

          -Heinlein, from The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress

          The only possible way to limit government is to create an incentive to repeal crappy legislation and regulation.

          Otherwise the cumulative effect of reacting to consequences of shitty rules with more rules can only be a totalitarian state.

          1. Or an amendment sunsetting ALL laws after x (7-10?) years…no blanket votes to renew.

            1. The provision in the constitution requiring that military funding be limited to two years at a time was intended to stop the federal government from having a standing army. How did that work out?

                1. Military funding sunsets every two years.

                  1. But it doesn’t, they simply pass a new budget. They didn’t foresee the ability to pass a new budget?

                    My plan (actually my wife’s) keeps the fuckers too busy keeping their old laws to make new ones. It also creates a mandatory opportunity to unfuck the bad ones.

                    (Side note: the two year military funding provision is, in a very large part, why military acquisition is so grossly inefficient/expensive)

                    1. My plan (actually my wife’s) keeps the fuckers too busy keeping their old laws to make new ones.

                      That is the exact reason they would use to repeal the no blanket vote provision.

      3. OK, but how can you get limited gov’t? Seems you could get it only by bribing politicians or voters. That’s a great catch.

    2. I think unlimited campaign contributions would help. What the contribution limits did was make it impossible for outsiders to run against incumbents. Before the limits, someone could get pissed off at the local Congress creature, get a few rich and equally pissed off people to bank roll him and try to run the guy out of office. The limitations prevent that. It doesn’t matter how pissed off you are or how right you are, you can’t run for office if you don’t have the connections and know how to attract a bunch of limited contributions from a ton of people. Only political insiders can do that.

      The result of this is that Congressional campaigns are an insiders game played almost exclusively by professional politicians. This prevents anyone who wants to reform the system from running and ensures that incumbents are only held accountable if they are indicted or do something so stupid even our system can’t save them.

    3. So…what would work?

      My .02:

      The only reason these scumbags accept any money is for the purposes of maintaining power, IOW getting reelected. To fix it, you take away their ability to get reelected.

      A single term of 4-6 years for Representative and a single term of 8-10 years for a Senator. During that period, there are votes of confidence, as a minimum every two years, where the Congressman can be removed from office with a 2/3 negative vote. The vote of confidence will keep the scumbag loyal to his constituency but he is only running against his record and therefore requires no funding.

      IMHO, we need to eliminate the career politician.

      1. IMHO, we need to eliminate the career politician.

        Why only the career politician?

  22. As someone who spent the morning at a fundraiser. The idea that you can “buy” an election or member of congress is just flawed. it’s just idiotic. they spent their time running for fundraiser to fundraiser b/c of the stupid limits.

    1. That is right. And only someone who is a political connected insider can do that. This is why such an alarming number of the members of our political class are idiot sons and daughters of politicians. They were born insiders. A lot more of them are former staffers.

      I haven’t looked but a good percentage of our Congress is made up of idiot sons and daughters and former hill rats, few of whom have ever made an honest dollar in their life or had a job outside politics.

      And we wonder why these people are so stupid and our laws so idiotic.

    2. If we’re going to have limits to prevent corruption, put the limits on the spending side. Does a candidate spending millions on TV ads not corrupt objective news reporting?

  23. I am one hundred per cent in favor of the FBI working around the clock to get politicians to agree, on video, to trade a specific vote for cash in order to toss them in prison.

    I am not so keen on the tendency of Congress to flagrantly hobble political upstarts by imposing limits on their ability to raise money to campaign against incumbents.

    1. Much of government, at every level, is about creating barriers to entry for competition.

      1. Why is it so hard to get morons to understand that government is above all a creature of the powerful? Oh right, it’s because they’re morons.

        1. But I’ve been told it’s supposed to be easy to get morons to agree to stuff.

        2. Much of government is simply legitimized theft and coercion. Not morally correct, not justified, not for the good of humanity, just theft and coercion cloaked in “but that’s how it’s done.”

          Whether or not government can theoretically work without widespread abuse of power and corruption, the practical reality of this government is that people are stealing money from others for no useful purpose except to steal. And they’re using force to compel people to do things, regardless of whether that compulsion is necessary or justified, even in theory.

    2. Agreed.

  24. I wish Progs would just realize that without the 1st Amendment, they might not be able to write letters to cancer patients whose stories embarrass Obama wishing they would die.

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..-liberals/

  25. ‘m in favor of every check and limit we can place on people in government, whether elected or appointed. Term limits, periods where former government officials can’t work for regulated industries, etc. All good.

    All elected officials should be required by law to post all their financial transactions to an open database.

    1. While in office and for three years thereafter, all of their financial holdings, acquisitions, and divestments are solely and exclusively managed by a randomly selected specialist who is not compensated by the politician or the government.

  26. NPR already has the vapors.

  27. To some degree liberals upset about these kinds of decisions remind me of the ‘libertarians’ here who oppose immigration. Just as the latter say ‘well, of course freedom of movement and contract are important, but given the welfare state we can not have just open borders or the government will grow,’ the former say ‘well, of course free speech is important, but given the existence of superpacs run by a few large donors we have to restrict it, or the government will be under their sway.’

    Interestingly, the latter stance, is common among Republicans and many here, while the former is rare among both.

    1. They are only comparable if you don’t recognize borders. Immigration is only a “freedom of movement” issue if you don’t recognize any special status to national borders.

      If you do and think that nations have a right to control them and people who live within them have a right to determine who on the outside gets in, then immigration is in no way a “freedom of movement” issue anymore than Canada saying I can’t vote in their elections is a franchise issue. Everyone has the right to vote don’t they? Well then who is Canada to tell me I can’t vote if I happen to be up there?

      1. Do you favor restrictions on goods or capital moving across borders? If not, whey would the movement of labor be different?

        1. Whether I favor it or not is not the issue. The issue is can governments legitimately restrict such movement. And the answer to that is clearly yes because saying no denies governments the right to control their borders. Whether that is a good idea or not is a different issue. Something can be within the legitimate power of government and still be a stupid thing to do. Thus, you can think immigration restrictions are bad policy and also think they do not infringe on the right to move freely.

          1. Governments have powers, people have rights. One of those rights is to move freely to peaceably contract and associate, and I submit governments have no legitimate power to prevent that, just as I submit that restrictions on peaceable trade or movement of capital would violate the individual rights of those trading or moving.

            1. You are just begging the question. If governments have sovereignty, then people have rights visa vie their own governments not others. Therefore, Mexicans have no more right of movement with regard to US territory than I have a right to vote in Mexico.

              Claiming immigration is about the “right to movement” is to claim that the Constitution restricts the US government’s power to act against foreigners in the same way it restricts its power over its citizens. And that is saying the government has no sovereignty, at least over its borders.

              The Constitution protects my rights against the US government meaning the US government can’t tell me what borders I can cross. The Constitution does not protect someone in Mexico from the US government and thus the US government can tell them, at least with regard to the US border.

    2. What sayeth you about the intellectual sophistry known as “the FA is not absolute”?

      1. My question is for Bo.

      2. I would like to see it be ‘absoluter’ but cases like fraud or defamation are tricky in my opinion.

        1. I would like to see it be ‘absoluter’ but cases like fraud or defamation are tricky in my opinion.

          Fraud and defamation could be taken care of in court. “Congress shall make no law,” is absolute.

          1. Courts enforce laws, defamation has long been subject to First Amendment review.

            1. So you are saying that the first is not absolute when it says “shall make no law?” Where is the weasel word?

              1. The weasel word must be in the term ‘freedom of speech,’ which at the time of the Ratification did not seem to apply to things like obscene speech, defamatory speech, etc.

                1. did not seem to apply to things like obscene speech, defamatory speech, etc.

                  Then maybe they should have put those things, obscene, defamatory, etc. into the amendment. They did not. So reading the 1st, I see no way you can argue that there are exceptions.

                  1. That is certainly a way to read it, but one the courts have pretty roundly rejected in favor of taking the term ‘freedom of speech’ as a term of art as understood when it was written.

                    1. But I am not asking a court, the mendacious entities that they are, I am asking you if you think it is absolute.

                    2. The judicial system fails to limit government in that it fails to recognize the judicial system as government.

              2. Fraud and defamation both arise out of common law (disputes among free individuals where ‘the law’ is merely precedents that judges find useful/applicable) – NOT civil law.

                The First Amendment does not protect someone from actually harming someone else. And in a fraud/defamation suit, it is the HARM that is adjudicated not the speech.

  28. I wish I could assume that the next step here would be increasing the size of Congress by ten-fold overnight. A House of 4000 critters would reduce district size, make it easier for challengers to actually challenge, and dramatically reduce the ROI of political spending (ie donations to critters themselves) by big donors.

    1. I’ve had that very same thought.

  29. Related:
    The Late P Brooks|4.2.14 @ 11:28AM|#
    “I am one hundred per cent in favor of the FBI working around the clock to get politicians to agree, on video, to trade a specific vote for cash in order to toss them in prison.”

    So:
    “Leland Yee’s lawyer, in his first public response Monday to the charges against the now-suspended state senator, questioned the time and money the government spent on a three-year investigation”
    http://www.sfgate.com/default/…..364035.php

    Yeah, the FBI ought to be, what, chasing down black and brown kids with a joint in their pockets?

  30. Whether or not government can theoretically work without widespread abuse of power and corruption, the practical reality of this government is that people are stealing money from others for no useful purpose except to steal. And they’re using force to compel people to do things, regardless of whether that compulsion is necessary or justified, even in theory.

    “Say, here’s an idea. Why not steal from the rich, and just keep it?”

  31. Plan A

    1) Remove all pension benefits from any and all government jobs.
    2) Only one term for any person for any job.
    3) Limit government to only constitutional activities (I volunteer for this job).

    In case plan A does not work.

    Plan B

    1) Shoot them all.
    2) Rinse (literally) and repeat.

    1. bshep19,

      If you enact Plan A,3 then you wouldn’t have to worry about the rest.

  32. we’ve had all these limits on campaign contributions and spending for decades. Is there a shred of evidence that they’ve done anything to reduce corruption? Doubtful. Each presidential administration is more corrupt than the last. Congress is completely corrupt. Even the SCOTUS is corrupt and they don’t take a dime (that we know of, cough Robert cough). Seems to me that corruption has increased exponentially with the size and power of government.

    And if start talking about the “appearance of corruption” then that has done nothing but gone UP UP UP since Watergate, too. The whole fucking government is corrupt. It appears to be nothing but corrupt. These regulations have done nothing to stop that.

    The system that’s been created has made it so all politicians do is run around trying to sell influence for cash. That’s corrupt as fuck!

  33. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail
    ?????
    ?????????????? ? w?w?w.?w?o?rk?b?a?rr.c?o??m

  34. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail
    ?????
    ?????????????? ? w?w?w.?w?o?rk?b?a?rr.c?o??m

  35. Great, now we have to look forward to more inane babble about “CITIZINZ UNITED!!!!!!11!!!!11!! OMGZ DEMOCRASIE IZ NOT 4 SAYLE!!!111!!111!!!!!” and other assorted bullshit from the lefties. Oh joy…

  36. Reason always trots out polls as justification for doing anything…drug reform, Obamacare, etc. Like it always wants to respond to the people’s wishes.

    “A Gallup poll conducted in June found that 8 in ten Americans, if given the opportunity, would vote to limit the amount of money candidates for the Senate and the House of Representatives could raise and spend on their election campaigns.”

    That’s even more than Americans who want Obamacare repealed. So much for polls, eh?

    1. I don’t think they consider polls justification for anything. Just a useful way to get a sense of how likely a thing is to happen in the current political reality. They may not be very useful for that either, but I hardly think that Reason supports or “justifies” any policy based on how well it polls.

    2. According to this Gallup poll: Public Agrees With Court: Campaign Money Is “Free Speech”

      If people want to limit campaign funding and spending, but also define it as free speech, then this implies that the public wants to repeal the first amendment.

      Good luck.

      1. From the poll you cite:

        “More specifically, 61% of Americans think the government should be able to limit the amount of money individuals can contribute to candidates and 76% think it should be able to limit the amount corporations or unions can give.”

        And, by the way, your poll is dated 2010, the one I cited came from June 2013.

      2. By the way, I might add that one would not need to repeal the first amendment. One would need to change the make-up of the court. It may be rare that the SC reverses itself, but it has done so in the past. Elections have consequences.

  37. From the dissent: “The re?sult, as I said at the outset, is a decision that substitutes judges’ understandings of how the political process works for the understanding of Congress; that fails to recognize the difference between influence resting upon public opinion and influence bought by money…”

    the question i have is why anyone feels any kind of allegance to this banana republic.

    1. Because a republic with bananas is far better than a republic without bananas.

  38. american socialist:

    the question i have is why anyone feels any kind of allegance to this banana republic.

    That’s a good question to consider in all situations.

  39. The assumption of those who oppose this seems to be that the money is ill-gotten. That may well be, but, if so, this is not the way to come at the problem.

    1. “theirs is not the way to come at the problem” seems clearer

    2. The people who oppose this feel that all accumulations of wealth (by people with opposing political viewpoints) is ill-gotten.

      The rich are only rich because they haven’t paid their fair share. Had they paid their fair share then they wouldn’t be rich. Therefore, being rich is evidence of not paying your fair share. Unless you’re a progressive. Then it’s OK.

      Progressive Lady Justice wears no blindfold.

  40. Ahh yes. I can see it now. By allowing more money to follow into elections, corruption will simply be eliminated. Why didn’t we think of this before?

  41. The FEC should have claimed “national security”.
    Since all logic, reason, and legal argumentation crumple when those magic words are uttered, the FEC may have won the case in a heartbeat

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