President Donald Trump’s judicial appointees are coming to get reasonable campaign finance laws and kill them.
According to Law360’s tracker, 150 of Trump’s judicial nominees have been confirmed, including most notably two seats on the U.S. Supreme Court that are now occupied by Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. They are likely to make campaign finance law even more of a mess, or do away with it altogether.
As I describe in a recent law review article and in my forthcoming book “Political Brands,” Chief Justice John Roberts’ Supreme Court has been intolerant of campaign finance laws since its first term, and in the process has made mincemeat out the concept of corruption. But Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are likely even more hostile to laws that try to curb money in politics than their predecessors, Justices Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia.
For example, Justice Kennedy held open the possibility in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that bans on foreigners’ spending in U.S. elections could still be constitutional, stating in an aside that we “need not reach the question whether the Government has a compelling interest in preventing foreign individuals or associations from influencing our Nation’s political process.”
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