Supreme Court’s campaign spending decision delivers blow to political process

Gregory P. Magarian

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn campaign spending limits for corporations “strikes a serious blow against efforts to stem the dominance of corporations in our political process,” says Gregory P. Magarian, J.D., constitutional and election law expert at Washington University in St. Louis. “The Court overruled a longstanding decision that had struck a sensible, carefully drawn balance between the self-interest of corporations and interests of integrity and fairness in the political process.“

According to Magarian, the decision advances an “unfortunate tendency” of the Court’s right-wing majority to advance the substantive political agenda of the conservative movement without regard to precedent or prudence.

“The Court’s decision will dramatically constrain the breadth and informative value of political debate by allowing a narrow range of economic interests to increase their already formidable dominance of political discourse,” he says.

“On a broader plane, today’s decision stands aside numerous other decisions of the present conservative majority that construe the Constitution as protecting the interests of wealthy and socially dominant people and entities from modest, democratically driven government reforms.”