The demons of a misinterpreted judicial review have corrupted the legislature, the courts, and our political process. In 2010, the Supreme Court struck down the McCain-Feingold Act as unconstitutional. The landmark Citizens United v Federal Elections Commission decision ruled that political spending is a form of free speech and corporations have license to contribute exorbitant amounts to politicians. Citizens United ensures denies the voices of citizens as representatives are beholden to outside interests rather than their constituency. I, Justice John B. Gibson, hold that the power of judicial review is too widely interpreted and, to keep government officials accountable, must be vested in the masses to rediscover some twinge of our once budding representative democracy.
‘Despite several attempts to regulate campaign finance, money increasingly dominates the U.S. Electoral process and is the main factor contributing to a candidates success’ Discuss (30 marks)
These laws were the perfect way for the state to make sure that the system is stable in the future. Just recently on April 2nd, the Supreme Court of the United States turned down the overall cap on monetary political donations. This is a classic case of the state adopting policies to ensure the stability of the system. Coping the scheme of citizens united the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision allows an individual to donate as much money as they please to federal candidates in a two year election cycle. Although federal law bans direct contributions to campaigners by corporations and business, super pacs allow money to get to the politicians without direct contact. But this law still allows wealthy individuals to support the candidates that will represent their needs and wants in the national government. This creates an unfair system aimed at helping the elites because they will have more money to donate therefore will have more of the campaigners attention. Justice Breyer realized the importance of this decision being turned down and was recorded writing “Where enough money calls the tune,” he wrote, “the general public will not be heard.” (New York Times).
The 2010 Supreme Court case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, created national discord with a new discourse over money’s role in politics; in the 5-4 verdict, the Supreme Court affirmed the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision, which considered limits on political spending the equivalent of limits on first amendment rights. Corporate lobbyists viewed the decision to allow unlimited political expenditures as a victory for the Constitution, while grassroots organizations foresaw the wealthiest corporations and individuals transforming American democracy into a corporatocracy. Unfortunately, the critics’ predictions materialized and crowded out any benefits to small donors. Because Citizens United allows unlimited, anonymous spending from corporations and wealthy interests, special interest groups exponentially increased electoral expenditures, holding politicians hostage to their wealthy donors’ interests and hijacking American democracy in the process. The corporate takeover of representative politics specifically manifested in negative advertising because campaigners believed in negativity’s efficacy in influencing the electorate (Gordon). Moreover, the allowance of external spending encourages candidates to perceive spending towards mudslinging as less attached, and thus harmful, to the candidate. The effect of Citizens United’s precedent is demonstrated in the
A potential judge’s campaign should be founded by the state rather than the public because if there is public founding for their campaigns, there would be a bias towards the donors, judges would be bought before they even come into office, and it is not fair to judge that get less support from donors. Some might say that restricting public funding is a violation of the 1st amendment, but having judicial branch that favors its donors would just be a step back for democracy, leading court cases to be resulting in unfair conclusions.
With this most recent party alignment we are experiencing, political institutions and agencies are having a more difficult time to addressing campaign finance regulations; thus, exposing loopholes and flaws in the system. Some of these lawsuits have been brought to the courts to dispute campaign regulations on a basis of constitutionality, such as infringing on 1st and 14th Amendment rights. This unfortunately allows the Supreme Court and its jurisprudence to try and make decisions based on their own interpretations regarding campaign finance.
During every election season in America, citizens show their concern about the substantial amount of money used by politicians in their campaigns for various positions. Seemingly, increased expenditure in politics is a tradition whose impacts have escalated as more parties enter the political scene. Many American citizens think that the United States political system would perhaps be more people-centered if little money was spent on campaigning. Particularly, many people think that election financing contributes to corruption in the American political system; they believe that money used in politics causes a widening of the gap between the rich and the poor in the country. In the recent campaigns, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump advocated for significant reforms in the campaign finance system. It is important for the electoral body to have an oversight on political party financing to secure the democratic process in the country and to ensure that the wealthy do not have an undue advantage over other people because they can finance candidates for various positions who will be indebted to them.
Political spending has been an important topic lately in regards to the latest election, where the current president of the US and also billionaire, Donald J. Trump, openly denied super pacs but still utilized smaller donations through his website. Whereas Hillary Clinton openly accepted very large super pacs of upwards of 192 million dollars. Either way, both candidates had to use a lot of their newly formed wealth or present wealth to fund their campaign, which raises the question of whether these donations and overwhelming amounts of political spending should be allowed. Many, including myself, would argue that although political spending may corrupt our politics, it is essential to keep it as it is part of the founding principles of this
In addition to nomination issues, there are campaign fund issues. As described by Paul Steinhauser and Robert Yoon’s article, “Cost to Win Congressional Election Skyrockets,” for CNN, the cost to win congressional elections is rising steeply. Steinhauser and Yoon explain that on average it costs $1.6 million to win a House seat, which, after accounting for inflation, is 344% more than in 1986. Steinhauser and Yoon also emphasize that in the House of Representatives, incumbents outspend their challengers by an average ratio of $3 for every $1 the challenger spends. Senate incumbents on average outspend their challengers by $3.5 million. The authors also explain that in 2012 outside groups spent $457 million on congressional elections. An outside group could be a group or individual, for example a PAC (Political Action Committee) or a wealthy individual. Ashley Parker relates her article, “Outside Money Drives a Deluge of Political Ads," in The New York Times to the influx in spending by outside groups. She explains that political spending for advertising is increasing rapidly compared to past elections. Parker also emphasizes that outside groups buy more advertisement time than the candidates themselves. She concludes her article by emphasizing that soon enough political advertisements are going to start airing on TV right after November elections, this is some two years before the next vote.
The Federal Election Campaign Act does not put many restrictions on the amount of money that can be donated. In 2014 the Supreme Court held a ruling against McCutcheon. After the ruling there was no more limit on how much an individual donor can donate to a candidate directly, to parties and political groups, and political committees. There needs to be more limitations on the amount of money any individual person or group of persons can donate to all aspects of the election and the candidates. Having no set limit allows for people to buy their way into politics, and allowing money to equal power will only make the government of the United States of America more corrupt each year.
Running a campaign is similar to running a financial institution because it consists of investors who expect to see profit in return. A campaign costs millions of dollars to ”[remind citizens] of their ultimate power—the vote [which is involved in campaigns]” (USHISTORY.ORG, 2016). Financial donations cause the “cost of American campaigns to increase [and has had] an important implication for strategy ” (Sides, et al, 2015, p. 83). The monetary aspects of financing campaigns have impacted the decisions of political candidates, and the representation of the people as a whole. The United States is heading in the wrong direction when tackling this issue of campaign finance; therefore, it is exemplified in the Supreme Court decisions in
Money dominates nearly every aspect of civilized society. The influence is has in politics could mean the difference between a family having food to eat, or passing legislation. It is the grease that greases the political machine. Thanks to modern technology, a candidate must raise a lot of money to be competitive in their campaign. Most of that funding goes to television, internet, and radio advertising which can decide the result of an election. Though money is crucial for a politician’s ability to get their message out to as many voters as possible, it has many unintended consequences. Candidates must pander to potential donors to get their
The decision making process of governmental officials directly correlates with the status of the United States of America. Often society provokes questions regarding the ethicality of political decisions, specifically in terms of campaign finance reform. Because of the vulnerability of our country to succumb to corruption, the monetary contributions to fund campaigns is a great concern to many Americans. Many citizens see unlimited spending as a corruption of our government, and therefore promote the regulation of expenditures. Inversely, it can be argued that funding and spending should not be restricted, and if a candidate can raise the money, he or she should be able to acquire it. It seems almost obvious that regulations aren’t
Corporate political campaign donations often attract scrutiny from watchdog organizations, as well as the American public. Many fear that the ability to raise and spend large amounts of money is abused, and put towards a more duplicitous effort of earning influence over votes from policy makers. The large price tag on elections deters substantial reform from taking place, and the issue is likely to persist for many years unless major legislation is passed.