Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, December 10, 2003  

McCain-Feingold Upheld

A sharply divided Supreme Court upheld key features of the nation's new law intended to lessen the influence of money in politics, ruling Wednesday that the government may ban unlimited donations to political parties....

Congress may regulate campaign money to prevent the real or perceived corruption of political candidates, a 5-4 majority of the court ruled. That goal and most of the rules Congress drafted to meet it outweigh limitations on the free speech of candidates and others in politics, the majority said.

You will not be shocked to learn that it was the the partisan four (Scalia, Rehnquist, Thomas, and Kennedy--who, along with O'Connor, voted for Bush in Gore v. Bush) opposed it. The ruling is 300-pages long, so details will trickle out as people begin to understand the implications. In short, though, it's a massive victory for those who want to regulate money in elections, and in demonstrating that the earlier "money is speech" ruling is not inviolable. It may be hurting Dems in the short run, but it will benefit voters over time. Among the provisions upheld: soft money bans are okay and bans on hit pieces before an election are okay (this was expected to be ruled unconsitutional). That last one in particular should be important in slowing the erosion of trust in our elected officials.

Break out the champagne.

posted by Jeff | 8:30 AM |
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