If Court Outlaws Public Campaign Matching Funds, Personal Wealth Should also be Banned from Campaigns

The United States Supreme Court is preparing to hear oral arguments in a landmark campaign finance case, in which a wealthy candidate who chose not to use public matching funds alleges those funds amounted to an illegal enhancement of his opponent’s speech. That assisted speech, the argument goes, was an unconstitutional government intrusion into the territory of his own free speech rights.

Observers say the right-leaning now convincingly corporatist Roberts Court appears likely to side with the wealthy candidate, and effectively outlaw any and all public assistance that would give the non-wealthy a hope of competing. If this is their verdict, the Court should add to its finding that no candidate can spend more than a nominal amount of personal wealth to expand his or her own speech beyond that of a less affluent opponent.

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