Supreme Court Seems Likely To Strike Down Arizona Campaign Finance Law

The Supreme Court Justices left little doubt on Monday regarding how they will decide the latest case on campaign finance. The case is a challenge to Arizona’s public election financing system, which provides additional funding to candidates who participate in the program when their opponents, or third party interest groups, spend more money attacking the candidate than the candidate received in public financing.

During the first half of the argument session today, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan attacked the lawyer for the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, asking him to explain how the law can be a violation of First Amendment free speech rights if the candidate who does not take public financing is the one choosing whether or not to make an expenditure. They implied that it was wrong to characterize the additional funds to the other side as a burden on the privately-financed candidate.

When the law’s defenders stepped up to the lectern, Chief Justice John Roberts quickly jumped in, asking whether the system might result in less political speech and pointing out that Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission’s web site says that their mission is to level the electoral playing field, a justification the Supreme Court has struck down in previous cases. Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito joined in, suggesting people might hold off putting out ads supporting a candidate if they knew their opponents would receive more money as a result.

While Justice Clarence Thomas did not speak (he has not spoken at oral argument for years), the other justices made it fairly clear how they felt about the law. A decision will be handed down by early June, likely striking down the law on a 5-4 vote.

About Jay Goodman Tamboli

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The World in 2:00 – November 25, 2015

The World in 2:00

The U.N. warns that political crisis in Burundi is dragging the country toward civil war.

DHS Releases Video On Refugee Vetting Process

Refugees wait for food deliveries at Syria's Yarmouk camp. February 26,2014. UN Photo/UNRWA.

“We can continue to ensure our own security, while doing our share to welcome refugees fleeing violence,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said.

Wednesday, November 25

● USPIRG releases 30th annual toy safety report

● 86,000 Syrian immigrants live in the U.S.

● Atheist “nativity” celebrates Bill of Rights

● Doctors endorse wider use of generic drugs

● Post office starts “Letters FROM Santa”

● Girls’ toy list: Barbie soars as Frozen fades

Pentagon: Russian Jet Was Flying Over Anti-Assad Rebel Area

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said that U.S. forces heard the Turks give ten warnings to the two Russian pilots to leave the airspace.

Tunisia Declares State Of Emergency After Bus Blast Kills Presidential Guards

Tunisian President has declared a month-long state of emergency after the bus explosion carrying presidential guards killed 12 and injuring at least 17. Sources say the attack may have been linked the Islamic State group (ISIS).

US-Led Coalition Against IS to ‘Continue as Planned’ After Turkish Border Dispute With Russia

A spokesman for the US-led military campaign against IS confirmed Turkish claims that the downed Russian warplane was given ten warnings over a period of five minutes.