Building a democracy where the strength of our voices doesn’t depend upon the size of our wallets, and where people of all incomes and backgrounds can effectively run for office and lobby our elected representatives, requires keeping Judge Neil Gorsuch of the United States Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court Created Our Racially Biased Big-Money System
Limits on how much billionaire candidates can spend trying to buy elected office;
Bans on direct corporate spending on elections, in the famous Citizens United case;
Caps on the amount a single wealthy donor can give to all candidates, parties, and political committees (PACs) combined.
Despite the fact that our democracy is based on equal citizenship and the principle of one person, one vote, the Supreme Court says the people and our elected representatives are not allowed to limit big money in order to give us all an equal voice over the decisions and policies that affect our lives.
This is part of the Supreme Court’s broader “color-blind” ideology that gutted the Voting Rights Act and sees no problem with discriminatory voter ID requirements.
The Court is at a Crossroads on Money in Politics
The Roberts Court’s worst money-in-politics rulings were 5-to-4 decisions.
The Supreme Court is now split 4-to-4 on this and many other issues.
With an open-minded ninth justice, we could end Super PACs, get corporate money back out of our elections, and prevent billionaires from trying to buy elected office.
But with a justice more concerned with protecting the privileges of
the donor class than the rights of voters, we’ll see attacks on the few remaining protections we have left, like contribution limits and the ban on corporations giving directly to candidates.
Large donors, on the whole, have different priorities than do people of color and the public at large, and are less progressive on key economic issues such as creating jobs and ensuring affordable college.
Elected officials who are disproportionately white and more responsive to the white donor class than to ordinary voters produce public policies and practices that are skewed against people of color on issues from housing policy to mass incarceration to fair wages.