The majority of Americans, regardless of political view, support Congressional efforts to limit the effect of the Supreme Court’s recent decision on campaign contributions. Last month, the Supreme Court held that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections. The Supreme Court reasoned that the First Amendment prohibits the regulation of speech of individuals and extended that logic to corporations.
The decision seemingly favored Republicans, who traditionally receive more money from corporate donors. But a recent poll indicates strong bi-partisan support for Congressional attempts to limit the Supreme Court’s decision. Eight of ten individuals polled said they opposed the court’s ruling, with 85% of Democrats and 76% of Republicans in opposition. In addition, 72% of all individuals polled supported Congressional action to curb the decision by reinstating contribution limits.
While the country is still subject to enormous partisan division on most issues, the poll indicates most Americans would support President’s Obama’s criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision. In reaction to the poll, Senator Schumer, who is leading effort to limit the decision, said "If there’s one thing that Americans from the left, right and center can all agree on, it’s that they don’t want more special interests in our politics . . ."
The currently proposed legislation would limit corporate contributions from companies with foreign ownership or federal contracting ties. The proposal also seeks to require corporations to inform shareholders about political spending and require corporate executives to appear in advertising funded by the company.
The pending legislation adds just another chapter to this ripe drama. Critics of the Supreme Court decision have derided the court for violating the separation of powers–by overturning campaign finance legislation. Limiting the decision after the Court’s ruling just adds more spice to the pot. In addition, the Court’s decision is curious given public sentiment, and the fact the Court has recently shown express deference to public opinion on issues.
What do you think, did the Court violate the separation of powers doctrine? If Congress passes limiting legislation, will the Court strike it down?