Elections United?, Vol. II
The 2010 Supreme Court Term is underway and already has featured some high-profile cases, but it’s a case from 2009 that’s getting the most attention these days. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010), in which the Court struck down a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-155 (2002) (commonly, the McCain-Feingold Act), prohibiting the broadcast by corporations and unions of election-focused information in the days before a presidential primary or election, has been the subject of renewed discussion (which never really fell off dramatically following its issuance early this year) leading up to the elections that are now less than a week away. Critics of the decision are worried that virtually unbridled corporate and union campaign spending will have adverse effects on the democratic process. (Other critics are so upset over the decision that they are considering an attempt to impeach the Chief Justice in response.) More recently, some observers (including critics of a new series of U.S. Chamber of Commerce campaign advertisements) have latched onto the less directly presented issue of foreign funding in American elections, a question I raised in my initial report on the case. At that time, a poll showed that two-thirds of the readers of this site favored exclusion of campaign donations from foreign corporations.
With the ongoing goal of gaining a better understanding of the rationale behind singling out foreign financial influences for exclusion from American campaigns and the proximity of the mid-term elections, I hope interested readers will review the earlier post (here), which fleshes out the issue in greater detail, vote in the poll embedded in that post, and then offer comments here.