How to Restore the Power of the Vote

It's Time to Overrule the Supreme Court


| January 22, 2004


Does your vote matter? Jeff Milchen argues that a tiny fraction of rich Americans with the money to finance campaigns are unduly influencing the democratic process. He has a simple solution: overrule the Supreme Court. The case in question is the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo decision declaring that spending money to affect elections is protected under the First Amendment as a form of free speech.

Since Buckley, the Supreme Court has actually been moving closer to plutocracy: enabling larger and larger donations of 'hard money' to campaigns -- raised to $4000 per candidate per election cycle under the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). Milchen argues that this has been steadily disenfranchising the average American who has only votes and volunteer time to give. As Milchen writes: 'The remedy is daunting but simple: reversing the baseless and profoundly anti-democratic precedent of the Buckley ruling.'

Going back to Buckley is the best way, Milchen writes, for the average citizen to regain power. In overruling Buckley, the Supreme Court 'would allow rules that make the common-sense distinction between speech as the Constitution intends -- expressing one's opinion -- and using economic power to overwhelm the opinions of other citizens.'
-- Joel Stonington

Go there>> It's Time to Overrule the Supreme Court



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