5 Dramatic Changes that will happen if the Liberals Replace Scalia-Campaign Finance Regulation

Campaign Finance Regulation


A liberal replacement for Scalia would probably work a sea of changes on campaign finance regulation. The 5-4 Citizens United decision in 2010, a target of liberal disdain for upholding corporations’ First Amendment rights to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns, would almost surely be overruled.

The court would also likely sweep away other precedents upholding unlimited “independent” campaign spending. This would gratify Democrats and to a large extent protect incumbent elected officials.

But it would be seen by many Republicans as designed to solidify the Democratic advantage that, they say, comes for free from campaign coverage and commentary the unregulated, predominantly liberal mainstream news media. Congress has exempted media corporations from restrictions on spending in support of candidates.

Efforts to limit political contributions and spending are extremely popular. Yet there is no serious evidence that campaign finance regulation has achieved or will achieve its goals of reducing the influence of money, opening up the political system, and lowering the cost of campaigns. Indeed, since the 1974 amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act, spending has risen sharply, the number of political action committees and the amount of PAC spending are up, and incumbents have increased both their reelection rate and the rate at which they outspend their challengers.

Efforts to limit contributions and spending have been based on faulty assumptions. Although it is often said that we spend too much on political campaigns, total spending for candidates for all offices is less than $10 per eligible voter every two years. Money is of much greater value to challengers than to incumbents, so higher spending opens up the political system to new people and ideas. Contrary to the assumption that large contributions are undemocratic is the reality that most challenges to the status quo and most working-class political movements have been financed by wealthy donors.

Our current campaign finance regulations favor incumbents, stifle grassroots activity, distort and constrict political debate, and infringe on traditional First Amendment freedoms. There is little reason to believe that still more regulation and public funding will yield positive results.

The framers of the Bill of Rights provided for the First Amendment to keep the government from attempting to limit political debate and criticism. We should recognize the wisdom of that decision and return to the system of campaign “regulation” that the Founders intended: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.”

  • Ardvark

    Kennedy is not and has never been a conservative. He spends his summers in Austria teaching. He believes strongly in European law and that was something that guided him in siding with liberals concerning the death penalty for teenagers! The republicans will sell the country out, seems this has been a long term plan that finally comes together! Can thank in part the ignorant social media driven young who are looking for free stuff and a belief in continued hedonism! Reality will be harsh for their little seldom use minds!

    • Carl Lewis

      Reality is that your beloved left hugging Democratic potus is king of “the free stuff” which actually has little to do with social media with possible exception of your free cell phones. The left has killed affordable health care for those of us who work for a living; instead, giving free care to some 11 million non-working stiffs. It puts people of your ilk up to spouting off about conservatives or Republicans having plans to destroy our values when it is YOU,the stiffs draining the treasury, noncontributing to anything. We, the people, will speak in November, and sweep you and yours into the dust bin where you have belonged for ever so long a time. Goodbye, and good riddance.

      • Ardvark

        How you decided that I support the left is beyond me, re read what I posted!