Geof Stone on SCOTUS and Campaign Finance

The Supreme Court Has Given Us a Government Of, By, and For the 1 Percent
Geoffrey R. Stone
The Daily Beast
June 3, 2014

In case after case, the five conservative justices on the Supreme Court have held unconstitutional all efforts—state as well as federal—to restrain the corrosive influence of limitless individual and corporate expenditures and contributions in our electoral process. They do this in the name of free speech.

In their view, the First Amendment absolutely guarantees the wealthiest Americans the right to spend as much as they like to manipulate the American political system to their advantage. According to these justices, as long as the wealthiest Americans do not directly bribe politicians to vote in their favor, the Constitution demands the flow of money is beyond regulation and that the rest of us must simply let the chips fall where they may.

This conception of the First Amendment and of the American constitutional system is truly perverse. By defining “corruption” so narrowly, these justices have missed the central point of self-governance—our elected representatives are supposed to be responsive to the will of the majority.

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