Public Finance Ruling: Advocacy Groups React

Advocates of strong campaign finance reform predicted that in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona Free Enterprise Club v. Bennett, public financing systems that meet constitutional standards still can thrive. “The reform movement to create new public financing systems nationally and at the state and local level will go forward without interruption,” […]

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Supreme Court Voids AZ Public Financing Provision

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. Under the provision, publicly funded candidates get additional dollars, called matching or “trigger” funds, when privately financed candidates or independent groups spend more. The provision violates the First Amendment, the Supreme Court […]

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Thursday Gavel Grab Briefs

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell wrote a Washington Post op-ed responding to remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder and entitled, “Guantanamo is the place to try terrorists.” A blog post about the two leaders “battling over terror trials” was published by Main Justice. Former U.S. Attorney John […]

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Crossfire in AZ Over Public Financing Law

First, Arizona legislators agreed to ask voters whether to get rid of public financing of elections for statewide and legislative posts. Next, backers of public financing filed a lawsuit to block that 2012 vote on a constitutional amendment, according to an East Valley Tribune article. The proposed constitutional amendment does not specifically repeal existing Arizona […]

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Friday Gavel Grab Posts

In these other dispatches about fair and impartial courts: Ronald Dworkin, a constitutional law scholar teaching at New York University, has written a commentary about the McComish v. Bennett public financing case before the Supreme Court. Entitled “More Bad Arguments: The Roberts Court & Money in Politics,” it is in the New York Review of […]

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A New Strategy for Judicial Election Reform

Two legal scholars, saying that “judicial elections are here to stay,” are laying out a case for incremental rather than sweeping reform. Incremental change offers a more realistic option for reform in an era when state courts have been inundated with campaign cash and voters nonetheless have consistently rejected proposals to eliminate judicial elections and […]

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