Monday, April 7, 2014
WASHINGTON -- On its present course, the Supreme Court will ultimately overrule its 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo, the landmark case upholding campaign finance "reform" legislation. It can't come too soon, because Buckley expressly ignored the First Amendment's injunction that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." Instead of free speech, we now have regulated speech that has ensnarled elections in a web of bizarre and opaque rules. Last week, in McCutcheon et al. v. Federal Election Commission, the court began edging away from Buckley by striking down one of its limits on free speech. The details are less important than the court's direction.