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Managed SpeechThe Roberts Court's First Amendment$
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Gregory P. Magarian

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190466794

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190466794.001.0001

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Keeping Money out of Elections

Keeping Money out of Elections

Government Leveling and Labor Speech

(p.193) Chapter 8 Keeping Money out of Elections
Managed Speech

Gregory P. Magarian

Oxford University Press

This chapter covers another group of Roberts Court campaign finance decisions that, contrary to this Court’s signature decision in Citizens United, restrict the flow of money into politics. These decisions strike down government efforts to increase the resources available for underfinanced candidates, and they stifle public employee unions’ efforts to collect and spend agency fees from non-members. In only one, very narrow decision does the Court actually uphold a government restriction on electoral money. Concluding the book’s discussion of speech disputes in the electoral process, this chapter explains that the Roberts Court lets wealthy, powerful institutions and individuals, who share a strong interest in maintaining existing political distributions of wealth and power, dominate electoral debates. The Court lets those powerful speakers crowd out lesser-funded speakers with a stronger inclination to challenge existing distributions.

Keywords:   U.S. Supreme Court, Roberts Court, First Amendment, free speech, electoral process, public election financing, public employee unions, political equality, judicial elections

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