Supreme Court strikes down Arizona campaign finance law
A conservative 5-4 majority of justices on Monday said the Arizona law violated free speech.
June 27th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

Supreme Court strikes down Arizona campaign finance law

The United States Supreme Court has tossed out an Arizona law that provides extra taxpayer-funded support for office seekers who have been outspent by privately funded opponents or by independent political groups.

A conservative 5-4 majority of justices on Monday said the law violated free speech, concluding the state was trying to "level the playing field" through a public finance system.

Arizona lawmakers had argued there was a compelling state interest in equalizing resources among competing candidates and interest groups.

The cases are McComish v. Bennett (10-239) and Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett (10-238). Read more about the case on CNN's Political Ticker.

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Filed under: Courts • Justice
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Scottish Mama

    Only the rich can afford a seat in government?

    June 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Keith Ward

    Only the rich can buy Supreme Court justices.

    June 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Well, I'm not all that sure I would want my tax dollars being spent on a candidate that I diametrically oppose, just because he doesn't have as much campaign money as some other candidate....
    I'm glad I don't live in Arizona.

    June 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Machine

    How would you like your tax dollars spent on a candidate that has absolutely no chance in winning.

    June 27, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • V for ... whatever..

      They already are. Each candidate decides whether they are going to take the public financing or private, but they can't do both. If a candidate's private financing falls short of the public money then they usually take the public money. Depends on which is more. Either way we get screwed.

      June 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric

    Why doesn't the Supreme Court just declare that only corporations and the rich can vote in any election? We're certainly moving in that direction, and if they did that it would save a lot of time. So, for example, only corporations with assets over $1 million or rich with assets over $10 million can have any say in anything that happens in our country.

    The public financing law in Arizona was one of a very few in the country that worked against special interests and prevented the rich and powerful from buying elections and elected officials. If you had enough support (votes) behind you, you could take public financing and wouldn't have to spend months fundraising (translation: getting legally bribed) and could focus on running a campaign instead.

    June 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    If you are going to go to war against money, you've got a big revolution against you, and you'll probably get your a$$ whipped.

    June 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I meant, "revolution ahead of you."
    Sorry. Tired.
    Had to make money today so I could play the game.

    June 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      Today?! I have to work every day.. It's a dog's life, eh joey? 😉

      June 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy

    I find that Mondays generally suck more than the other days of the least for me!

    June 27, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. V for ... whatever..

    Nothing shady about this ruling.. The first amendment was absolutely designed to ensure that running for president would be a lopsided uphill battle against big corporations. That's exactly what I think of when I hear free speech. One day a candidate is going to come along and play the corporations like they played us by taking their money under one promise and turn around and backstab them. Where's a crazy sniper when you need one?

    June 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. V for ... whatever..

    I also love how our government buildings look like they belong on Mount Olympus and we worship marble statues of men. Wasn't this foretold somewhere?.. Oh yes.. Exodus.. Try and disguise your ways all you want, but it takes more than marble buildings to be godly.

    June 27, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |