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Congress periodically engages in waves of "court-stripping," often to punish the courts for particular rulings on hot-button social issues.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett Articles

August 11, 2011

As Justice Stevens (ret.) observed in his dissent in Citizens United, the Roberts Court’s laissez-faire  approach to campaign finance regulation is premised on an exceedingly narrow (as Justice Stevens put it, “crabbed”) conception of the “corruption” interest that the Court has recognized previously: according to the Roberts Court, the only form of “corruption” that the Government has a legitimate interest in seeking to prevent through campaign finance regulation is quid pro quo corruption, i.e. the trading of cash for votes.

August 10, 2011

In a report recently released, the Center for Governmental Studies calls for a modified version of clean money to control the excessive spending and allow for additional competition. In fact, they've gone ahead and produced a full model bill, complete with language that has some rather grand goals.

July 21, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court, which has already ruled that corporations can spend all the money they want on political campaigns, dealt another huge blow to democracy in June when it struck down a campaign finance law in Arizona that was designed to level the playing field for candidates running against better-financed opponents.

July 14, 2011

In the continuing judicial erosion of public campaign finance laws, a federal judge has eliminated the matching funds provision in the Florida Election Campaign Finance Act. The ruling follows and models the June 27 Supreme Court decision declaring the matching funds provision of Arizona's Clean Elections law unconstitutional.

July 13, 2011

In striking down a provision of Arizona’s public financing system in June, the Supreme Court said the law was flawed because it indirectly caused privately funded candidates to support the political speech of their publicly funded opponents. According to the Court, one of the first principles of the First Amendment is that no one has to support political speech he or she disagrees with.

July 13, 2011

Last week, a campaign finance watchdog group blasted  Rep. Mike Simpson, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, for using his position to dole out major favors to big money campaign backers. Simpson's subcommittee rewarded agribusiness backers -- who have given his campaigns at least $643,000 -- with exemptions that weaken rules on greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

July 12, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last week invalidating certain grants to publicly funded candidates was regrettable. It will inhibit robust political debate in elections rather than promote it.

July 11, 2011

The nation is gearing up for yet another "most expensive election in history," the quadrennial exercise in which mind-numbing amounts of money pour into the political system. But this year promises more than just record spending--more money will be flowing from more players with more opportunities to hide the source.

June 27, 2011

The Supreme Court decision  striking down public matching funds in Arizona’s campaign finance system is a serious setback for American democracy. The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in Monday’s 5-to-4 decision  shows again the conservative majority’s contempt for campaign finance laws that aim to provide some balance to the unlimited amounts of money flooding the political system.

June 27, 2011

The US Supreme Court’s conservative majority continued its project of bartering off American democracy to the highest bidder  with a decision Monday that will make it dramatically harder to counter free-spending attack campaigns funded by billionaire donors and corporate spin machines.

June 27, 2011

Bert Brandenburg, JAS executive director, called the Supreme Court’s ruling Monday in a campaign public financing case from Arizona “disappointing, but not fatal for America’s courts.” See Gavel Grab for details.

June 27, 2011

JAS statement on McComish v. Bennett: Today's ruling is disappointing, but not fatal for America’s courts. State judicial elections are drowning in special-interest spending. Properly crafted public financing laws are more critical than ever, so that judges do not have to dial for dollars from major donors who may appear before them in court.”

June 27, 2011

 In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday declared unconstitutional a key provision of Arizona’s law for the public financing of campaigns. See Gavel Grab for more.

June 13, 2011

Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (formerly Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association): Whether a California law banning the sale or rental of violent video games to minors violates the First Amendment.

April 11, 2011

Eight of the current Supreme Court Justices are known for their zeal in questioning lawyers. That tendency was on display last week during the oral argument over the constitutionality of an Arizona law known as the Citizens Clean Elections Act, a law that attempts to do a little something about...

March 29, 2011

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices who have voted against campaign finance regulations in recent years seemed ready Monday to strike down an Arizona public-financing law that gives extra matching funds to candidates who run against well-off opponents. The Arizona case is the first campaign dispute to reach the court since...

March 28, 2011

The campaign finance wars return to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. Last year, the high court, by a 5-4 vote, overturned a century-old legal understanding that barred corporations from spending money on candidate elections. Now comes an attack from a different direction — a challenge to a public financing...

March 27, 2011

Washington - In the most important test of a campaign finance reform law since last year’s Citizens United decision, the US Supreme Court on Monday is set to examine the constitutionality of an Arizona statute that guarantees government money to certain political candidates in a dollar-for-dollar match of funds raised...

March 26, 2011

Phoenix and Denver— Following a wave of corruption scandals, Arizona's voters in 1998 embarked on an ambitious experiment in campaign funding aimed at diminishing the influence of special interests. The voters passed the Citizens Clean Elections Act, which allowed candidates to fund campaigns with money from the state — so...

March 25, 2011

In the first big campaign finance case since the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion last year in Citizens United v. FEC, the Court will hear arguments on Monday in McComish v. Bennett. McComish is a critical test for the Roberts Court. Will it tolerate, or will it kill off, Arizona's public...

March 25, 2011

In two consolidated cases on Monday, the Supreme Court will hear argument about an Arizona law that levels the playing field in state elections, by a public financing mechanism called triggered matching funds. These funds support, expand and promote political speech, carrying out a central purpose of the First Amendment....

March 25, 2011

ON Monday, the Supreme Court will consider its first campaign-finance challenge since Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the 2010 ruling that permits corporations and unions to spend as much as they wish to promote or defeat political candidates. Based on Citizens United, it might appear that the court would...

March 23, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in McComish v. Bennett, which seeks to throw out a provision of Arizona’s public finance election law. The case could undermine the courts in four states, where similar laws protect judicial candidates from the impact of special-interest money.

February 23, 2011

The Justice at Stake Campaign, warning that a “deluge of special interest money is eroding public trust in America’s courts,” is urging the Supreme Court to uphold a provision of many public campaign financing laws. An amicus brief filed by Justice at Stake with the Supreme Court this week addressed...

February 16, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court  should uphold an Arizona law that furnishes extra dollars to publicly financed candidates running against wealthy, privately funded opponents, a Justice at Stake partner group argues in a brief submitted to the high court. The Brennan Center for Justice recently submitted its brief in McComish v....



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