Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Via Glenn Greenwald, Marc Ambinder has a pretty good explainer of the background to the Citizens United v. FEC campaign finance case that's currently before the Supreme Court. Ambinder is right that campaign finance "reform" has largely resulted only in a confusing patchwork of regulations that fail to moderate the influence money has in politics. The problem of course is the underlying reasoning at work in Buckley v. Valeo, where the Supreme Court held that money is the equivalent of speech and thus entitled to First Amendment protections. It's frankly impossible to overstate the corrosive influence this reasoning has had on politics in our country, but Ambinder is right that this precedent isn't about to be overturned anytime soon. Things will have to get much, much worse before they get any better.