Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Elections 2012 - #3030 - Supreme Court Strikes Down Arizona Law Aimed to Level the Campaign - Hot Air

The United States Supreme Court today struck down an Arizona law that would have given publicly financed candidates for political office additional subsidies for every dollar that privately financed opponents raised over state spending limits. According to The National Journal:  The decision was not a surprise, given the justices’ skeptical questioning of the Arizona law’s legal underpinnings during oral arguments earlier this year. But to campaign finance reformers, it represents the latest step in what they fear is the gradual unwinding of a regulatory system that dates back to the Watergate scandals of the 1970s.  Chief Justice John Roberts read the Court’s majority opinion, which was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. The majority concluded that the “substantial burden” the Arizona law places on the First Amendment rights of candidates and independent spending groups who opt out of public financing outweighs any interest in helping candidates combat better-funded opposition. “We have repeatedly held that leveling the playing field is not a legitimate government function,” Roberts said.  Read more.......

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