Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Reconsider Buckley v. Valeo

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Sam Fedele     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 63147
Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is widely acknowledged by legal experts as a constitutional scholar of super-star prominence.  But in a November 15th speech made at a Federalist Society dinner he made an interesting misstep.  In defending the 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC he provided the rationale for overturning the landmark decision in Buckley v. Valeo. 

Reflecting on public criticism of the 5-4 decision in Citizens United he noted, "The question is whether speech that goes to the very heart of government should be limited to certain preferred corporations; namely, media corporations. Surely the idea that the First Amendment protects only certain privileged voices should be disturbing to anybody who believes in free speech."

Certainly, he says, we should not abide free speech protections for only certain privileged voices.  But this is exactly the dictate of Buckley v. Valeo.  This 1976 ruling decided that Congress could not limit the amount of money an individual could independently spend on elections because doing so would amount to a restriction of free speech, albeit only the free speech of the privileged class who can afford it!

An analysis of money spent on the 2012 federal elections shows that only 0.37% of contributors, a privileged few indeed, donated more than $200, but that this small group accounted for more than 67% of the total spent!  In fact, a "privileged few individuals" provided the bulk of 2012 super PAC funding, and Buckley enforced their right to do so.

If Alito believes his own words, then the Court should reconsider Buckley v. Valeo.  This decision enshrined privileged free speech by establishing a property requirement, one excluding those without expendable cash (47% of Americans by a recent CBO report).

Buckley's "money is speech" doctrine also puts space between members of the privileged class itself by creating a form of speech which scales with wealth.  The more money one has the more speech one has.  This rings Orwellian.  Some speakers are more equal than others.  And with the media focus of modern elections, political speech that effectively reaches the masses is reserved for the modern aristocracy alone.  So yes, Justice Alito, I agree with you, this is disturbing.


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It
Sam Fedele is a retired engineering manager who has concluded that the root cause problem underlying virtually every significant issue in modern America is the impact of big money on our electoral process. Sam has been involved in efforts to push (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Can Democracy Survive Citizens United v. FEC?

Reconsider Buckley v. Valeo

Declining Democracy

Stop The Money