Money politics has long dominated American politics, but the scale of the problem has gotten much worse since the Supreme Court made its infamous 2010 ruling known as Citizens United. This is despite the fact that evidence is growing that small donors can fund political campaigns if they get some support such as through a voluntary public matching funds program. Now there is important related news out of the Campaign Legal Center by author Mo Pasternak:
In a huge win for reform advocates, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously confirmed the constitutionality of Seattle’s innovative public financing program.
The court found that the democracy voucher program is consistent with decades of legal precedent, first established in Buckley v. Valeo. The decision allows the program to continue and is good news for Seattle and for those looking to counteract the influence of wealthy donors and implement democracy vouchers.
The decision rested on the importance of self-government and the government’s interest in attacking corruption. Relying on Buckley, the court recognized that the program helps facilitate political speech and is consistent with the first Amendment. CLC argued the same points in an amicus brief filed along with the Brennan Center.