First Amendment Wins in Arizona Campaign Finance Case

June 29, 2011 @

The Supreme Court continued its rollback of campaign finance “reforms” that have seriously infringed our First Amendment rights over the past 35 years.  The court, in a 5-4 ruling Monday, struck down as unconstitutional Arizona’s public financing system for state elections.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, issued in the final week of the court’s term, sealing the fate of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act.

The Arizona law challenged in Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett benefited candidates for state office who accept public financing.  The law allowed them to receive more taxpayer money in direct response to the campaign activities of privately financed candidates and independent groups.

A candidate got these additional matching funds if his or her initial funding was exceeded by the combined spending of a privately financed opponent and that of independent groups either opposing the candidate or supporting his or her privately financed opponent.

The result?  For every dollar spent by privately financed candidates on political speech and political activity above a certain low threshold, their publicly financed opponents received an additional dollar.

Read More at Human Events by Hans von Spakovsky, Human Events

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