Is it time for a constitutional amendment ending Super PACs?

Take a look at the incestuous staffing of any super PAC, and consider whether you think it operates truly independently — and whether it bolsters your faith in democracy.

This is infuriating, yet I can’t bring myself to support a constitutional amendment. That quixotic enterprise would detract from more practical efforts to tighten rules — stricter limits on coordination between candidates and super PACs, for example — even under existing interpretations. And at bottom, the fault with the current arrangement lies not in the First Amendment but in the Supreme Court’s interpretation thereof.

A federal appellate judge made this clear in a concurring opinion last year in a case involving New York City’s campaign finance law. The high court, Guido Calabresi argued, has erred in finding that the government has no legitimate interest in ensuring that the voices of the wealthy do not drown out others in political debate.

If not, he asked, why is it legal to bar rich individuals from paying others to vote for their favored candidates?