Supreme Court strikes down Arizona law aimed to level the campaign playing field

posted at 7:30 pm on June 27, 2011 by Tina Korbe

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.

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

Roberts is right, of course. As is frequently said, it’s not the government’s role to pick winners and losers. Nor are U.S. citizens (or political candidates) entitled to equal results.

As John Eastman, professor of law at Chapman University, explains, “Arizona lost this case when it acknowledged at oral argument that it was attempting to level the playing field, one of the mainstays of impermissible purposes in the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence.”

But, just as the Citizens United v. FERC decision only led to more determined attempts to regulate campaign finance, this Supreme Court decision is unlikely to settle the issue, either. “Reformers” who aim to limit the influence of money in politics have also tried to curtail political speech through both the legislature and the executive. Congress, for example, introduced (but failed to pass) the DISCLOSE Act, which would have reversed the Citizens United decision. On the executive front, President Barack Obama drafted an executive order to require would-be government contractors to disclose their political donations to be eligible for government business — but never issued it. Repeated attempts to more deeply regulate political speech in the future would come as no surprise.

 

 


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

“Aimed to level” should read “Aimed at leveling”

fossten on June 27, 2011 at 7:31 PM

“necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

That is NOT YOUR JOB!

CW on June 27, 2011 at 7:33 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

Some animals are obviously more equal than other animals.

Roy Rogers on June 27, 2011 at 7:35 PM

We’re doomed, folks. Doomed. Liberals won’t stop until they destroy this nation. It’s not even remotely in any way possible the job of SCOTUS or the govt or anyone else to make sure special interests don’t put a stranglehold on the system.

NOWHERE in the Constitution does it state that this is a goal of SCOTUS of the federal govt!!!

So why is Kagan allowed to even utter this nonsense without being ridiculed for months on national TV?!?!

TheBlueSite on June 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

“We have repeatedly held that leveling the playing field is not a legitimate government function,” Roberts said.

Please apply this to any affirmative action cases that come up in the future.

Wethal on June 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

The SEIU, UAW and AFL-CIO chokeholds come to mind.

Wethal on June 27, 2011 at 7:38 PM

So why is Kagan allowed to even utter this nonsense without being ridiculed for months on national TV?!?!

TheBlueSite on June 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Wanna bet that Crr would claim that Kagan is not an activist?

CW on June 27, 2011 at 7:40 PM

5-4 on this? Really? Those of you that pray really need to pray for the justices to hold on until Palin gets in the Senate flips to 60+ seats for the GOP (including RINOs).

SouthernGent on June 27, 2011 at 7:40 PM

TheBlueSite on June 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Show some respect or she’ll crack her wattle like a whip and you’ll be sorry.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2011 at 7:41 PM

This article made me want to see “Mall Cop” for some reason.

Bishop on June 27, 2011 at 7:43 PM

5-4 on this? Really?

SouthernGent on June 27, 2011 at 7:40 PM

That was my initial thought

CW on June 27, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Knox v. Service Employees Int’l Union, Local 1000

Issue(s): (1) May a State, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, condition employment on the payment of a special union assessment intended solely for political and ideological expenditures without first providing a notice that includes information about that assessment and provides an opportunity to object to its exaction? (2) May a State, consistent with the First and Fourteenth Amendments, condition continued public employment on the payment of union agency fees for purposes of financing political expenditures for ballot measures?

More election law fun next term. Cert granted in this case today. Ruling should come by next July, just in time for the fall campaigns.

Wethal on June 27, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Am I the only one who thinks Kagan and Dick Morris may have been separated at birth?

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

SouthernGent on June 27, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Oh I do pray for our conservative Judges daily. We have got to hold on and see to it a conservative is elected president if one or more Judges leaves or dies.
L

letget on June 27, 2011 at 7:45 PM

More election law fun next term. Cert granted in this case today. Ruling should come by next July, just in time for the fall campaigns.

Wethal on June 27, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Good, let’s take down greedy union organized crime by drying up their supply of money.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2011 at 7:45 PM

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2011 at 7:41 PM

I’m just gonna have to guess here…does wattle have something to do with her 14 chins??

TheBlueSite on June 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Thanks again George!

Sonosam on June 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

How did a law that moronic get passed in the first place?

pedestrian on June 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

When I first saw Kagan…I immediately thought she looked like British actor, David Mitchell. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought so:

http://totallylookslike.icanhascheezburger.com/2010/06/25/david-mitchell-british-actorcomedian-totally-looks-like-elena-kagan-pending-supreme-court-nominee/

TheBlueSite on June 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM

very good decision from the court. more please

unseen on June 27, 2011 at 7:51 PM

How did a law that moronic get passed in the first place?

pedestrian on June 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

By morons elected by morons.

darwin-t on June 27, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

This is flat out stupid.

Where in the hell did she get the idea that the government was created to “break the stranglehold of special interests”?

mankai on June 27, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Roberts opinion hints that the court is about to strike down mandatory union dues. See page 13. Juicilicious. The lib justices suffer an illness. The opinion is incoherent and ridiculous. A first grader could have made a better argument.

andy85719 on June 27, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Oh I do pray for our conservative Judges daily. We have got to hold on and see to it a conservative is elected president if one or more Judges leaves or dies.
L

letget on June 27, 2011 at 7:45 PM

May I be so bold as to ask you to extend your prayers to the current safety of these Justices as well? I put nothing past this administration or its adherents. Remember, they want to “transform” the country, no matter the means to get there.

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 7:54 PM

…and who determines what a “stranglehold” or what a “special interest” is anyway? Do these idiots understand how the law is supposed to work? You can’t make a ruling based overtly vague and undefinable concepts.

mankai on June 27, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Am I the only one who thinks Kagan and Dick Morris may have been separated at birth?

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Well now that you point it out

Pawlenty, the new Lunesta on June 27, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Obama’s picks for SCOTUS thus far are unacceptable. I mean, that’s bit from Kagan was just PATHETIC.

All the more reason to vote him and his party out of power in 2012. We can’t afford the brain-drain on the Supreme Court.

Murf76 on June 27, 2011 at 7:56 PM

How did a law that moronic get passed in the first place?

pedestrian on June 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Maybe after writing McCain-Feingold, McCain went home for awhile and got involved in local politics?

Wethal on June 27, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Obama is going to hold onto that executive order until it can be as effective as possible before it is deemed unconstitutional.

This is going to be all about timing the window of stopping political opponents.

Freddy on June 27, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Am I the only one who thinks Kagan and Dick Morris may have been separated at birth?

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Do you mean before they seperated Napolitano or after?

Freddy on June 27, 2011 at 8:01 PM

There is only one group of people I would consider any type of campaign finance laws at controlling, and those would be government protected, sponsored or otherwise supported groups. I am not talking about a company that does business with the Government, I am talking about government protected Unions, Government employee groups, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac type government sponsored entities, or General Motors while it is in the hands of the government. These entities should never have the power to use their finances to fund any type of election activity as they are only answerable to the government and should not have the power to buy off government officials with donations and in kind assistance.

astonerii on June 27, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Chief Justice John Roberts read the Court’s majority opinion, which was joined by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

This is why independents/swing voters MUST vote out Obama. Two of these five may not be around by 2016. And Ginsburg would be a nice conservative pick up, but I bet any amount of money that she retire by this fall so that Obama can be sure to appoint a young, liberal replacement.

BuckeyeSam on June 27, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Obama appointees on the court must be held at bay and his henchmen like Soros must be stopped in their tracks.

rplat on June 27, 2011 at 8:03 PM

“necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

That is NOT YOUR JOB!

CW on June 27, 2011 at 7:33 PM

What could possibly go wrong?

visions on June 27, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Kagan just continues to prove that she is unqualified for the SCOTUS by inserting her foot in her mouth and looking stupid.

ultracon on June 27, 2011 at 8:05 PM

OT: Hume bashing Bachmann on O.

andy85719 on June 27, 2011 at 8:08 PM

Am I the only one who thinks Kagan and Dick Morris may have been separated at birth?

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Wrong. She and Bert the Muppet were separated at birth.

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Bert

BuckeyeSam on June 27, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”
========================

Yes We Can,Progressive Supreme Social Justice’er!

canopfor on June 27, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Wrong. She and Bert the Muppet were separated at birth.

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Bert

BuckeyeSam on June 27, 2011 at 8:09 PM

That’s an insult to ole Bert, dontcha think?

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 8:11 PM

For someone who said they’d not be an activist on the bench, Kagan is sure proving otherwise.

I assume Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Breyers voted for the (I’m not going to be an activist on the bench) opinion as well?

capejasmine on June 27, 2011 at 8:14 PM

“We have repeatedly held that leveling the playing field is not a legitimate government function.”

Then explain affirmative action.

Washington Nearsider on June 27, 2011 at 8:15 PM

“We have repeatedly held that leveling the playing field is not a legitimate government function,”

Title IX? AA?

Washington Nearsider on June 27, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Roberts is right, of course.

Of course?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Do you mean before they seperated Napolitano or after?

Freddy on June 27, 2011 at 8:01 PM

No, I think Big Sis and Big Foot were separated at birth.

TXUS on June 27, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Kagan looks like she wants to catch a few flys with a 6 foot tongue.

Roy Rogers on June 27, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Kagan looks like she wants to catch a few flys with a 6 foot tongue.

Roy Rogers on June 27, 2011 at 8:36 PM

If she had a six-foot tongue, she wouldn’t be using it to catch flies… IYKWIMAITYD

Washington Nearsider on June 27, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Where in the hell did she get the idea that the government was created to “break the stranglehold of special interests”?

mankai on June 27, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Maybe she’s seen a certain POTUS’s super-duper-top-secret-classified writings from law school.

malclave on June 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government

Have you ever noticed that “special interests” are only evil if it not YOUR special interest?

JusDreamin on June 27, 2011 at 8:45 PM

So why is Kagan allowed to even utter this nonsense without being ridiculed for months on national TV?!?!

TheBlueSite on June 27, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Wanna bet that Crr would claim that Kagan is not an activist?

CW on June 27, 2011 at 7:40 PM

NO!

bluemarlin on June 27, 2011 at 8:46 PM

“Aimed to level” should read “Aimed at leveling”

fossten on June 27, 2011 at 7:31 PM

Great, another English major.

Get a life…

RMCS_USN on June 27, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Kagan reminds me of that Stacey Keach character in “Up In Smoke”

Roy Rogers on June 27, 2011 at 8:51 PM

Washington Nearsider – Foxtrot Alpha Skippy!

Roy Rogers on June 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

Where does it say that in the Constitution?

jnelchef on June 27, 2011 at 9:02 PM

A wicked society elects wicked politicians
who impose wicked laws enforced by a wicked government..

royzer on June 27, 2011 at 9:08 PM

…is it just me, or does Justice Kagan look like a cleaned-up Mama Cass?

…I’m just sayin’….

…I wonder if she can sing….

Puritan1648 on June 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Scalia’s not getting any younger.

C’mon November 2012!

Akzed on June 27, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

That’s not vigorous, that’s weak tea. Novelty is never necessary.

Akzed on June 27, 2011 at 9:15 PM

On the executive front, President Barack Obama drafted an executive order to require would-be government contractors to disclose their political donations to be eligible for government business — but never issued it. Repeated attempts to more deeply regulate political speech in the future would come as no surprise.

Clearly Barackito Obamalini will be as fascist as he can get away with for as long as he can get away with it.

HalJordan on June 27, 2011 at 9:18 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

Roberts is right, of course. As is frequently said, it’s not the government’s role to pick winners and losers. Nor are U.S. citizens (or political candidates) entitled to equal results.

I may not know blogging, but I know what I like. And here, Tina finds an opinion that I like. Very nice.

Jaibones on June 27, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

The Dean of Harvard Law (or was it Yale? I forget) is a complete idiot. The government is nothing but a cesspool of special interests and anything they fund is influenced by special interest. With publicly funded elections, not only does taxpayer money get diverted from other programs and to candidates they don’t even support, but the candidates will have less of a need to reach out to the voter (and private sector) in order to raise money. They will be more concerned with meeting government requirements to secure the cash.

Money in elections are not always fair, that is true and big money can be dangerous but bringing in tax payer money is not the answer. As long as we have one person, one vote, we are good. Proof of citizenship too.

Daemonocracy on June 27, 2011 at 9:31 PM

Great news from SCOTUS. Need more like this.

rightwingyahooo on June 27, 2011 at 9:44 PM

In the dissent, Kagan writes, it is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.” What? While special interest infiltrate the halls of power, The White House? You have got to be kidding me.

tom0508 on June 27, 2011 at 9:45 PM

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

What a brilliant legal mind this woman is.

xblade on June 27, 2011 at 9:50 PM

The Dean of Harvard Law (or was it Yale? I forget) is a complete idiot.

Daemonocracy on June 27, 2011 at 9:31 PM

What does that make you?

Not surprisingly, Justice Elena Kagan vigorously dissented, writing that Arizona’s matching-funds system is “necessary to break the stranglehold of special interests on our system of government.”

Ed, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t seem to find that precise quote in the opinion. Could you cite where you got it from?

Where does it say that in the Constitution?

jnelchef on June 27, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Jnelchef,

I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking here. If you’re asking for the Constitutional authority for campaign finance regulations, I’d point you to Article 1, section 4, which gives Congress the power to regulate “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives.”

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 9:50 PM

…is it just me, or does Justice Kagan look like a cleaned-up Mama Cass?

…I’m just sayin’….

…I wonder if she can sing….

Puritan1648 on June 27, 2011 at 9:12 PM

Check. Mostly the neck.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Of course?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 8:23 PM

Yes. Of course. In case you haven’t noticed, he is 10x the jurist compared to Kagan.

And considering we are talking about smart ones, what might we say about you considering you can’t even get the author of the blog post right?

stvnscott on June 27, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Ed, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t seem to find that precise quote in the opinion. Could you cite where you got it from?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 9:50 PM

That would be in the 7th paragraph of the linked National Journal article.

Glad to help.

I am smart! S-M-R-T!!!

stvnscott on June 27, 2011 at 10:11 PM

That would be in the 7th paragraph of the linked National Journal article.

Glad to help.

I am smart! S-M-R-T!!!

stvnscott on June 27, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Stvnscott,

If you’re so smart, would you mind answering the question I asked? Where is that precise quote in the opinion?

Thanks.

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Ed, correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t seem to find that precise quote in the opinion. Could you cite where you got it from?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Tina might be better suited to answer that.

I didn’t see the phrase in the PDF of the decision. National Journal and Newser both report that phrase in their articles. Tina links the former, so I’m assuming that’s where she got it from.

No idea on what Newser and National Journal based their reports.

malclave on June 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Tina might be better suited to answer that.

Right. I’m used to shallow, poorly reasoned posts on SCOTUS opinions from Ed. Apologies for the mix up.

I didn’t see the phrase in the PDF of the decision. National Journal and Newser both report that phrase in their articles. Tina links the former, so I’m assuming that’s where she got it from.

Hm. Looks like sloppy reporting.

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Right. I’m used to shallow, poorly reasoned posts on SCOTUS opinions from Ed. Apologies for the mix up.

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Well, you’re the expert on shallow and poor reasoning, I guess.

malclave on June 27, 2011 at 10:21 PM

Well, you’re the expert on shallow and poor reasoning, I guess.

malclave on June 27, 2011 at 10:21 PM

How so?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:23 PM

How so?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Well, for example, your definition of “credible witness”… a person who says what you want to hear, even though that person has no supporting evidence, has an obvious partisan interest, and is pretty much immune to questions about his claims.

malclave on June 27, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Well, for example, your definition of “credible witness”… a person who says what you want to hear, even though that person has no supporting evidence, has an obvious partisan interest, and is pretty much immune to questions about his claims.

malclave on June 27, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Where did I say that’s my definition of “credible witness”?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Where did I say that’s my definition of “credible witness”?

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:34 PM

Don’t recall the actual thread… the comments had turned to the accusations that Tea Party members had repeatedly yelled the “n-word” at some black congressmen who had been trying to provoke a response.

Anyway, if you like I will concede that you never specifically said you “define” it like that. However, from what I’ve seen of your comments over time here, I have no reason to believe you’re anything but a partisan hack, more than willing to use any stretch of logic or semantics to “prove” your point or to control a topic.

Heading out for the night… take care.

malclave on June 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Great, another English major.

Get a life…

RMCS_USN on June 27, 2011 at 8:49 PM

I’m not an English major. A 9th grader would know this.

Get a clue.

fossten on June 27, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Well, it looks like Kloppenburg won. I am absolutely confident in that fact, and there is a 0% chance that I will later be proven incorrect.

This post will never come back to bite me.

crr6 on April 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Looks like some mighty fine poor reasoning to me!

Freddy on June 27, 2011 at 11:42 PM

If you’re so smart, would you mind answering the question I asked? Where is that precise quote in the opinion?

Thanks.

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Hmmm… Apparently not a fan of The Simpsons. Too bad. Your IQ would probably benefit.

Are you really asking me to look this up for you? I thought law students at 2nd tier schools were supposed to be good at that. And stuff. Or something. Or smoking weed. I’m pretty sure it’s one of those. Yeah. Duh… What?!

stvnscott on June 28, 2011 at 12:57 AM

Kagan reminds me of that Stacey Keach character in “Up In Smoke”

Roy Rogers on June 27, 2011 at 8:51 PM

SGT Stedenko, FTW!

“Do you know who this is?”

“No, who is dis is?”

“This is SGT Stedenko!”

“Oh yeah, do you know who dis is?”

“…….No!?!”

“Bye-bye, Lard-***!”

I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking here. If you’re asking for the Constitutional authority for campaign finance regulations, I’d point you to Article 1, section 4, which gives Congress the power to regulate “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives.”

crr6 on June 27, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Nice try, wannabe. That authority finds its boundary at the mechanics of, wait for it, the times, places, and manner of HOLDING ELECTIONS. It has and can have nothing to say about the activities of campaigns for election. The principle reason for the free speech clause of the 1st Amendment is the protection of political speech, and case after case has accepted, even defined, that campaign contributions constitute political speech.

The only valid regulatory authority possible for Congress to impose regarding who may and may not exercise their freedom of political speech via campaign contributions, is where the contributing agency is itself a federal governmental entity.

Come back when you can’t stay so long.

Freelancer on June 28, 2011 at 12:58 AM

So, waddaya think of Kagan now, Graham, you Obama-sucking moron?

SKYFOX on June 28, 2011 at 8:00 AM

I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking here. If you’re asking for the Constitutional authority for campaign finance regulations, I’d point you to Article 1, section 4, which gives Congress the power to regulate “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives.”

Typical liberal thinking. The time, place and manner of holding an election means that the gov’t can regulate political speech and finance certain candidates to “level the playing field”.

It’s like you can read the constitution to say whatever your socialist ideology wants it to say or something. Imagine that.

It’s the same thinking that believes that growing your own tomatoes to eat is “interstate commerce”.

Monkeytoe on June 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Graham has absolutely no problem with Kagan’s argument. He agrees with it whole-heartedly.

The problem with our current system is that it is so complex, inefficient and inconsistent that it rewards the person who is good at subverting the system and punishes the person who just wants to comply with the system in order to accomplish other goals. So we wind up selecting a collection of con-artists, chiselers and border-line cheats, and the honest man has no place in Washington DC.

Any system of campaign finance control will wind up at this point. The only solution is to throw out every regulation, demand that the system be transparent, and let the people sort it out at the ballot box.

Haiku Guy on June 28, 2011 at 8:15 AM

On page 3 of Kagan’s dissent:

The First Amendment, the majority insists, requires us all to rely on the measures employed in the first State, even when they have failed tobreak the stranglehold of special interests on elected officials.

Thus, her reasoning is that “breaking the stranglhold of special interests” is a proper basis for this law. Of course, she doesn’t define “special interest”. Is it George Soros? The unions? American Citizens getting together to lobby the gov’t through the NRA? Or is only american citizens getting together to form businesses?

Which association of americans are the evil and dreaded “special interests” in this brilliant jurists mind? Who do we have the right to silence – or at least use gov’t funds to combat – because their percieved interests are so evil and bad?

Monkeytoe on June 28, 2011 at 8:21 AM

If you’re a Democrat in America, you live with the knowledge that you and your elected leaders must lie right through your teeth about every public policy position and every government appointee, so that the nation will only discover the truth when it’s too late to stop it.

If you’re a conservative in America, you live with the knowledge that they’ll only know you were right if they choose the liberal/Democrat option, instead, but then you will receive full and almost immediate vindication.

And so it has been with Kagan and the other fat, ugly and unwise O’Bozo Supreme Court appointee. Both have proven to bad liars and automatic, knee-jerk leftists on every one of their votes in the first year.

Jaibones on June 28, 2011 at 8:23 AM

From page 3-4 of Kagan’s dissent:

To prevent both corruption and the appearance of corrup-tion—and so to protect our democratic system of govern-ance—citizens have implemented reforms designed to curb the power of special interests.

Among these measures, public financing of elections has emerged as a potentially potent mechanism to preserve elected officials’ independence.

Again, she is “reasoning” (to use a very broad definition of that term) that this law is good because it combats “special interests”.

I would posit that the democrat party and GOP spending money to get their candidates elected are “special interests”. Emily’s List is a special interest. As is Planned Parenthood. Any environmental group spending money on a candidate is a special interest.

So, which special interests, exactly, are the wrong ones?

Monkeytoe on June 28, 2011 at 8:25 AM

I don’t necessarily disagree that “special interests” use their influence to get laws passed that benefit them to teh detriment of America generally – look at all the asinine laws that have been passed at teh Unions’ behest.

But there is simply no way to pick and chose which “special interests” are good ones that we won’t punish, and which are bad ones that we will punish without violating the first amendment.

Monkeytoe on June 28, 2011 at 8:27 AM

How did a law that moronic get passed in the first place?

pedestrian on June 27, 2011 at 7:49 PM

Supported by the large scale immigration of Californians and other nanny-state do-gooders into AZ, and coupled with RINO support.

AZ_Redneck on June 28, 2011 at 9:20 AM

So strange.

Supporters of public financing of campaigns never seem to mention the critical event that killed it.

When Senator Obama broke his first campaign promise, opting out of public financing — leaving Senator McCain legally bound to spend much, much less than Obama did — and then won the election… he killed public financing of campaigns.

ClintACK on June 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

So, which special interests, exactly, are the wrong ones?

Monkeytoe on June 28, 2011 at 8:25 AM

The ones which are more equal than the others, DUH.

Democrats, WINNING! May they win in 2012 just like Charlie Sheen was winning over the last three months. Hey, maybe we can get Ashton Kutcher to play the President for awhile. He’ll still be a moron, but he can’t do the show half as much damage as the last guy.

Freelancer on June 28, 2011 at 4:56 PM