Essay On Campaign Finance Reform

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Campaign finance reform has been a hot button issue these past few decades in the United States. What makes it different from other issues? James L. Buckley says that “What distinguishes the campaign finance issue from just about every other one being debated these days is that the two sides do not divide along conventional liberal/ conservative lines.” In the Supreme Court case, Citizens United v. FEC, campaign finance reform lessened slightly. The case was initially brought forth when the lobbying group, Citizens United, aired a film relating to, at the time, Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. The film was very critical of Clinton, and was said to be in violation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, Section 203. This section prohibits “electioneering …show more content…

“Under Justice Roberts’s test, Citizens’ desire to broadcast the film during an election cycle is irrelevant because this desire is a contextual factor that focuses on Citizens’ intent in producing the film” The intent may not have been to sway votes, so there is no reason the speech should be limited, as established here by a Duke Law student, Aaron Harmon. Some may disapprove of these types of contributions to campaigns, but this format helps bring more information to create informed voters. The decision was also very broad. Justice Kennedy, author of the opinion held that “This case cannot be resolved on a narrower ground without chilling political speech, speech that is central to the First Amendment ’s meaning and purpose.”(“CITIZENS UNITED”) Kennedy could have simply said that Citizens could show the film, but it wouldn’t establish much. By broadening the decision, they established a relevant precedent to get rid of unnecessary campaign finance

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