Cross-posted from The Nation web site.
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a campaign finance case, Davis v. FEC. This Court has had a rather ominous track record on campaign finance reform since the appointment of Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, and the Court’s reactions to the argument do not bode well for those who care about limits on the role of money in politics.
The lawsuit concerns an obscure area of a major federal law enacted in 2003, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). But given the Court’s considerable hostility to rules on campaign finance, demonstrated by two recent, closely decided decisions on contribution limits in Vermont and issue advertising in campaigns, the argument was yet another important sign of where the Court is headed on campaign finance matters.
A two-time-losing federal “millionaire” Congressional candidate, New York businessman Jack Davis is challenging the so-called “Millionaire’s Amendment” section of BCRA, which relaxes various contribution limits for opponents of candidates who intend to spend more than $350,000 of their own money on a campaign for federal office…