Campaign Contributions Essay

4485 Words Jan 3rd, 2014 18 Pages
The slow evolution of federal campaign finance regulations, beginning with the Tillman Act in 1907, undercuts dramatic proclamations that Citizens United indicates a privileged where corporate interests trump the public interest and politicians do the will of the highest bidder. Corporations in the early twentieth century not only faced scattered and weak enforcement of the Tillman Act's contribution ban and thus no great deterrent to violating the ban, but also exploited glaring legal loopholes that allowed them to bankroll their favored campaigns with relative ease.

Even after the enactment of independent corporate expenditure restrictions, corporations faced minimal barriers to political spending on television or in
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Logically, it can be expected that if judicial campaign contributions continue to increase, the damage to the judicial system will grow as well (Ghosh, A. 2011).

While judicial solicitation bans are not a comprehensive solution to the problems associated with judicial campaign contributions, the bans serve as a safeguard against unchecked judicial quid pro quo and the appearance of judicial quid pro quo. Until our country stamps out the root risks to judicial impartiality and independence that stem from judicial elections, upholding the bans-perhaps by analyzing them under the Buckley framework-is an important step toward ensuring that court cases are not won by the parties with the deepest pockets (Ghosh, A. 2011).

Critics deplore campaign finance laws as barriers to the free exchange of ideas, similar to trade restrictions. In their view, the government should not be trusted, nor did the framers intend it to be trusted, to decide who can and cannot speak. Proponents, in contrast, focus on the particular dangers inherent in allowing unlimited corporate wealth to dominate the electoral process: the advantages corporations enjoy in amassing capital; the risk of corporate money corrupting, or at least unjustifiably influencing, the political process; and the marginalization of individual voters (Bingham, F. 2011).

Despite public dismay over the holding in Citizens United that corporations enjoy First Amendment protection commensurate with

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