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

Comments? Story tips? Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more? Subscribe to Utne magazine

Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $40.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $45 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!

Facebook Instagram Twitter