plutocrats united campaign money the supreme court and the distortion of american elections

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Plutocrats United

Author : Richard L. Hasen
ISBN : 9780300216745
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 53. 35 MB
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Campaign financing is one of today’s most divisive political issues. The left asserts that the electoral process is rife with corruption. The right protests that the real aim of campaign limits is to suppress political activity and protect incumbents. Meanwhile, money flows freely on both sides. In Plutocrats United, Richard Hasen argues that both left and right avoid the key issue of the new Citizens United era: balancing political inequality with free speech. The Supreme Court has long held that corruption and its appearance are the only reasons to constitutionally restrict campaign funds. Progressives often agree but have a much broader view of corruption. Hasen argues for a new focus and way forward: if the government is to ensure robust political debate, the Supreme Court should allow limits on money in politics to prevent those with great economic power from distorting the political process.

The Supreme Court And Election Law

Author : Richard Hasen
ISBN : 9780814736913
Genre : Law
File Size : 86. 81 MB
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In the first comprehensive study of election law since the Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore, Richard L. Hasen rethinks the Court’s role in regulating elections. Drawing on the case files of the Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist courts, Hasen roots the Court’s intervention in political process cases to the landmark 1962 case, Baker v. Carr. The case opened the courts to a variety of election law disputes, to the point that the courts now control and direct major aspects of the American electoral process. The Supreme Court does have a crucial role to play in protecting a socially constructed “core” of political equality principles, contends Hasen, but it should leave contested questions of political equality to the political process itself. Under this standard, many of the Court’s most important election law cases from Baker to Bush have been wrongly decided.

Buying The Vote

Author : Robert E. Mutch
ISBN : 9780199340002
Genre : History
File Size : 39. 89 MB
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"Campaign finance reform has always been motivated by a definition of democracy that does not count corporations as citizens and holds that self-government works best by reducing political inequality. In the early years of the twentieth century, Congress recognized the strength of these principles by prohibiting corporations from making campaign contributions, passing a disclosure law, and setting limits on campaign expenditures. These reforms were not controversial at the time, but conservative opposition to them appeared in the 1970s. That opposition was well represented in the Supreme Court, which has rolled back reform by granting First Amendment rights to corporations and declaring the goal of reducing political inequality to be unconstitutional. Buying the Vote analyzes the rise and decline of campaign finance reform by tracking changes in the way presidential campaigns have been funded since the late nineteenth century, and changes in the debate over how to reform fundraising practices. A close examination of major Supreme Court decisions shows how the Court has fashioned a new and profoundly inegalitarian redefinition of American democracy"--

Capitalism V Democracy

Author : Timothy K. Kuhner
ISBN : 9780804791588
Genre : Law
File Size : 57. 27 MB
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As of the latest national elections, it costs approximately $1 billion to become president, $10 million to become a Senator, and $1 million to become a Member of the House. High-priced campaigns, an elite class of donors and spenders, superPACs, and increasing corporate political power have become the new normal in American politics. In Capitalism v. Democracy, Timothy Kuhner explains how these conditions have corrupted American democracy, turning it into a system of rule that favors the wealthy and marginalizes ordinary citizens. Kuhner maintains that these conditions have corrupted capitalism as well, routing economic competition through political channels and allowing politically powerful companies to evade market forces. The Supreme Court has brought about both forms of corruption by striking down campaign finance reforms that limited the role of money in politics. Exposing the extreme economic worldview that pollutes constitutional interpretation, Kuhner shows how the Court became the architect of American plutocracy. Capitalism v. Democracy offers the key to understanding why corporations are now citizens, money is political speech, limits on corporate spending are a form of censorship, democracy is a free market, and political equality and democratic integrity are unconstitutional constraints on money in politics. Supreme Court opinions have dictated these conditions in the name of the Constitution, as though the Constitution itself required the privatization of democracy. Kuhner explores the reasons behind these opinions, reveals that they form a blueprint for free market democracy, and demonstrates that this design corrupts both politics and markets. He argues that nothing short of a constitutional amendment can set the necessary boundaries between capitalism and democracy.

Campaign Finance

Author : Robert E. Mutch
ISBN : 9780190274719
Genre : History
File Size : 60. 62 MB
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In 2015, well over half of the money contributed to the presidential race came from roughly 350 families. The 100 biggest donors gave as much as 2 million small donors combined. Can we still say we live in a democracy if a few hundred rich families provide a disproportionate shares of campaign funds? Congress and the courts are divided on that question, with conservatives saying yes and liberals saying no. The debate is about the most fundamental of political questions: how we define democracy and how we want our democracy to work. The debate may ultimately be about political theory, but in practice it is conducted in terms of laws, regulations, and court decisions about super PACs, 527s, 501(c)(4)s, dark money, small donors, public funding, corporate contributions, the Federal Election Commission, and the IRS. Campaign Finance: What Everyone Needs to Know? explains those laws, regulations, and Supreme Court decisions, from Buckley v. Valeo to Citizens United, asking how they fit into the larger discussion about how we want our democracy to work.

Corruption In America

Author : Zephyr Teachout
ISBN : 9780674745087
Genre : Law
File Size : 24. 8 MB
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When Louis XVI gave Ben Franklin a diamond-encrusted snuffbox, the gift troubled Americans: it threatened to corrupt him by clouding his judgment. By contrast, in 2010 the Supreme Court gave corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections. Zephyr Teachout shows that Citizens United was both bad law and bad history.

Unfit For Democracy

Author : Stephen E. Gottlieb
ISBN : 9780814733011
Genre : Law
File Size : 42. 38 MB
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Asked if the country was governed by a republic or a monarchy, Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Since its founding, Americans have worked hard to nurture and protect their hard-won democracy. And yet few consider the role of constitutional law in America’s survival. In Unfit for Democracy, Stephen Gottlieb argues that constitutional law without a focus on the future of democratic government is incoherent—illogical and contradictory. Approaching the decisions of the Roberts Court from political science, historical, comparative, and legal perspectives, Gottlieb highlights the dangers the court presents by neglecting to interpret the law with an eye towards preserving democracy. A senior scholar of constitutional law, Gottlieb brings a pioneering will to his theoretical and comparative criticism of the Roberts Court. The Roberts Court decisions are not examined in a vacuum but instead viewed in light of constitutional politics in India, South Africa, emerging Eastern European nations, and others. While constitutional decisions abroad have contributed to both the breakdown and strengthening of democratic politics, decisions in the Roberts Court have aggravated the potential destabilizing factors in democratic governments. Ultimately, Unfit for Democracy calls for an interpretation of the Constitution that takes the future of democracy seriously. Gottlieb warns that the Roberts Court’s decisions have hurt ordinary Americans economically, politically, and in the criminal process. They have damaged the historic American melting pot, increased the risk of anti-democratic paramilitaries, and clouded the democratic future.

Why American Elections Are Flawed And How To Fix Them

Author : Pippa Norris
ISBN : 9781501712746
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 46. 91 MB
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The flaws in the American electoral process have become increasingly apparent in recent years. The contemporary tipping point in public awareness occurred during the 2000 election count, and concern deepened due to several major problems observed in the 2016 campaign, worsening party polarization, and corroding public trust in the legitimacy of the outcome. To gather evidence about the quality of elections around the world, in 2012 the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) was established as an independent research project based at Harvard and Sydney universities. The results show that experts rated American elections as the worst among all Western democracies. Without reform, these problems risk damaging the legitimacy of American elections—further weakening public confidence in political parties, Congress, and the U.S. government, depressing voter turnout, and exacerbating the risks of mass protests. Why American Elections Are Flawed describes several major challenges observed during the 2016 U.S. elections arising from deepening party polarization over basic voting procedures, the serious risks of hacking and weak cyber-security, the consequences of deregulating campaign spending, and lack of professional and impartial electoral management. Pippa Norris outlines the core concept and measure of electoral integrity, the key yardstick used to evaluate free and fair elections. Evidence from expert and mass surveys demonstrate the extent of problems in American elections. She shows how these challenges could be addressed through several practical steps designed to improve electoral procedures and practices. If implemented, the reforms will advance free and fair elections, and liberal democracy, at home and abroad.

The American Supreme Court Sixth Edition

Author : Robert G. McCloskey
ISBN : 9780226296920
Genre : History
File Size : 22. 48 MB
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For more than fifty years, Robert G. McCloskey’s classic work on the Supreme Court’s role in constructing the US Constitution has introduced generations of students to the workings of our nation’s highest court. As in prior editions, McCloskey’s original text remains unchanged. In his historical interpretation, he argues that the strength of the Court has always been its sensitivity to the changing political scene, as well as its reluctance to stray too far from the main currents of public sentiment. In this new edition, Sanford Levinson extends McCloskey’s magisterial treatment to address developments since the 2010 election, including the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act, the Affordable Care Act, and gay marriage. The best and most concise account of the Supreme Court and its place in American politics, McCloskey's wonderfully readable book is an essential guide to the past, present, and future prospects of this institution.

Unequal And Unrepresented

Author : Kay Lehman Schlozman
ISBN : 9781400890361
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 28. 69 MB
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How American political participation is increasingly being shaped by citizens who wield more resources The Declaration of Independence proclaims equality as a foundational American value. However, Unequal and Unrepresented finds that political voice in America is not only unequal but also unrepresentative. Those who are well educated and affluent carry megaphones. The less privileged speak in a whisper. Relying on three decades of research and an enormous wealth of information about politically active individuals and organizations, Kay Schlozman, Henry Brady, and Sidney Verba offer a concise synthesis and update of their groundbreaking work on political participation. The authors consider the many ways that citizens in American democracy can influence public outcomes through political voice: by voting, getting involved in campaigns, communicating directly with public officials, participating online or offline, acting alone and in organizations, and investing their time and money. Socioeconomic imbalances characterize every form of political voice, but the advantage to the advantaged is especially pronounced when it comes to any form of political expression--for example, lobbying legislators or making campaign donations—that relies on money as an input. With those at the top of the ladder increasingly able to spend lavishly in politics, political action anchored in financial investment weighs ever more heavily in what public officials hear. Citing real-life examples and examining inequalities from multiple perspectives, Unequal and Unrepresented shows how disparities in political voice endanger American democracy today.

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