John Mccain Feingold Act Case Study

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John McCain the senior senator from Arizona was one of the leading proponents supporting campaign finance reform. However, not everyone else in Washington agreed with him. He began to see how murky the waters of politics were becoming with the influence of money in the process of elections. McCain got together with Ross Feingold and drafted the McCain-Feingold Act to try to curb the corruption that was beginning to turn Washington into a free for all. Prior to this act politics and the influx of mass amounts of money supporting candidates for office had become widespread, and yet nobody wanted to tackle this gross issue. McCain-Feingold set to prohibit corporations from spending money on broadcast electioneering communication during the time …show more content…
This case did not deal with speech; however it dealt with the question to whether or not a non-profit corporation had the right to show a documentary, this would place the case under the issue of freedom of the press. However the court did not use the Freedom of the Press Clause instead it applied the First Amendment right of free speech to Citizens United a non-profit organization. The majority found that corporations have a voice and have a vested interest in informing the electorate. The majority found that the government’s regulation or censorship to control thought “to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear” Concluding that the “First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.” The majority found the restriction of though unlawful and applied this to corporations. With a broad interpretation of who citizens were, the majority finds that limiting the speech of corporations is suppressing a important outlet of communication. By allowing that "Factions should be checked by permitting them all to speak, and by entrusting the people to judge what is true and what is false.” To regulate or censor speech the majority found that the government would deprive the people of “information, knowledge and opinion vital to its function" and would by the suppression of speech prevent the electorate to be educated “on which persons or entities are …show more content…
Austin banned independent expenditures by corporations for the purpose of political speech. Citizens reexamined those previously discussed precedent cases. The majority in Citizens found that Austin went too far in censoring free speech of an association of citizen’s right to engage in political speech. The majority felt Austin went too far in banning speech even though it was by a corporation. These associations of citizens, that were referred to as corporations, Justice Kennedy felt were “the most significant segments of the economy." Citizens overruled Austin and felt it was not judged on reason. The majority failed to make clear the difference between "corporate speech about the general issues on the one hand and corporate speech specifically advocating the election or defeat of a candidate on the other" this clear distinction was what brought about Congress 's laws and the previous statues which address corporate speech as having two different aspects. Stevens and the 3 other justices who dissented found that corporations interest conflicted with the interest of eligible voters, and therefore could not be able bodies citizens who deserved free speech if these corporations could be run by foreign interests. Justice Stevens believed that "Corporate speech is a derivative speech, speech by proxy." and that the “Unregulated corporate

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