Scotus Friday roundup
Pretty good company to be in!
The Court’s decision on Wednesday in McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down the aggregate limits on contributions to political parties, political action committees, and candidates for federal office, continues to dominate coverage of, and commentary on, the Court. Yesterday this blog kicked off its symposium on the decision with a foreword from Ronald K.L. Collins and David Skover; that was followed by commentary from Richard Hasen, Burt Neuborne, Ilya Shapiro, and Paul Smith. Look for additional commentary today from Jan Witold Baran and Fred Wertheimer. Coverage of the decision comes from Chris Geidner at BuzzFeed, Sahil Kapur of Talking Points Memo (here and here), ISCOTUS (video), Adam Liptak of The New York Times, PJTV (which has a video interview with me on the case), and Steven Mazie at The Economist’s Democracy in America blog. Commentary on the McCutcheon decision comes from Dahlia Lithwick of Slate, Garrett Epps of The Atlantic, Beverly Mann at Angry Bear (here and here), and Michael Bobelian of Forbes.
So, if it is about using money to amplify and multiply one’s single vote by purchasing ads (whether directly or your candidate doing the buying) and the court is doing it’s best to boost one’s ability to do this by hampering Congress’ ability to pass campaign finance laws that will be liked by the Supremes…
Then maybe it is time to look for another way around this. Don’t go directly at it go at the other parts of the system that allow it to happen. Look for other means with existing current law.
Ads. Specifically the spending of money on ads. Ads are purchased through our media system. Our media system is overly consolidated to the point of no competition.
Anti Trust. Let’s push to bust up the media system, restoring competition (a libertarian/conservative meme) and make the buyer of ads job all the more arduous. Make them have to spend money in front of the money to buy the ads.
To extend it further, look for any place in the economy that decentralization in the private sector can take place. It has to happen if we are truly concerned about increasing the number of voices with access to government.
Either way, if not this there must be other aspects of the political campaign where existing laws can be applied to make the use of centralized money more difficult in achieving it’s goal. Secondary aspects that we are not seeing do to our focus on the primary: Laws that are part of the machine that are part of our regular consumer economy which if enforced will throw a wrench into the political economy,