Restoring Free Political Speech

[Commentary] The Supreme Court re-opens for business this week, and one of its first cases is a splendid opportunity to restore the First Amendment as a bulwark of free political speech.

The result in McCutcheon v. FEC will likely hang on whether Chief Justice John Roberts has the courage of his constitutional convictions and is willing to overturn the misbegotten logic of Buckley v. Valeo (1976). In Buckley, the Justices allowed Congress to limit contributions based on the fear of corruption or the appearance of corruption. In the case of contributions to a single candidate, there is at least in theory the risk of a political quid pro quo, though that fear turns out to have been exaggerated. There is little such risk of quid-pro-quo corruption if a donor spreads his donations among dozens of candidates.


Restoring Free Political Speech