How to Restore the Power of the Vote

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

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It’s Time to Overrule the Supreme Court

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