David Schultz is an election law expert who teaches at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota law school. (He and I also co-authored my last book, a Law and Policy textbook.) When the Court handed down the McCutcheon decision, he took to his own blog to analyze it.
On one level the Supreme Court yet again issued a decision in which it examined one issue about American politics and elections–the role of money or the right of individuals to make political contributions–without adequately considering the broader impact of that decision on the actual performance of American democracy. The Court treats in isolation one aspect of our political democracy–the right of an individual to spend money–without considering other competing values and how they come together to form a more complete theory about government, politics, and elections. Yes individuals may have a right to expend for political purposes, and such an act may further an important value of free speech, but that is not the only act and value that must be furthered or considered in a democracy.
Someone once said that the problem with the contemporary Supreme Court is that none of the Justices ever held elective office–that we’d be better served if one of these brilliant jurists had ever had to run for county sheriff.
It may be time to sign on to the effort to amend the constitution.