The Impact Of Modern Campaign Finance Laws On America

1701 Words Nov 1st, 2015 7 Pages
Campaign Finance
In 2011, two sociologists named Erik Olin Wright and Joel Rogers identified five core American values: freedom, prosperity, efficiency, fairness, and democracy (Wright and Rogers). America’s numerous ideals inevitably cause these values to come into conflict each other. Such conflict characterizes the debate over the implications of modern campaign finance laws in America. The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizen’s United v. FEC in 2010 undid former restrictions placed on how money can be spent on federal political campaigns. Prior restrictions like the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and its amendments in 1974, placed limitations on political donations by Political Action Committees (PACs), political parties, and even individuals. Originally these restrictions were put in place to deter corruption that could undermine the democracy inherent in US values and elections. The Supreme Court’s ruling in 2010 revolutionized the scene by declaring that independent expenditures are protected by the first amendment to the US Constitution. They further asserted that for all intents and purposes corporations are legally viewed synonymous with people in terms of political spending. The Supreme Court’s ruling emphasized equality and freedom, but at what cost? Critics, like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, suggest at the cost of democracy, and ultimately corporate interests diminishing freedom in the long run. As a result of this case, more money is now…
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