You are here

CAC Represents Preeminent Scholars, Details the Framers’ Obsession with Fighting Corruption, and Explains Why Supreme Court Should Uphold Arizona’s Campaign Finance Law

February 22, 2011

CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra: “The Framers’ obsession with fighting corruption – evident in the text, history and structure of our Constitution – provides strong support for Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, which, like the Constitution, is designed to prevent corruption.”

Washington, DC – In the most important campaign finance case sinceCitizens United, Constitutional Accountability Center has filed a brief in AZ Free Enterprise Club/McComish v. Bennett – a case in which the Court will determine whether Arizona’s public-financing program established by the Clean Elections Act is constitutional.  CAC filed the brief on behalf of four of the nation’s preeminent experts on America’s constitutional democracy –Professors Bruce Ackerman of Yale University, Lawrence Lessig of Harvard University, Zephyr Teachout of Fordham University, and Adam Winkler of UCLA.  
 
Read CAC’s brief in AZ Free Enterprise Club/McComish here.
 
CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra said, “The Framers’ obsession with fighting corruption – evident in the text, history and structure of our Constitution – provides strong support for Arizona’s Clean Elections Act, which, like the Constitution, is designed to prevent corruption. “
 
Drawing from the work of Professors Ackerman, Lessig, Teachout, and Winkler, the brief demonstrates that the Framers crafted innovative, overlapping constitutional provisions designed to combat corruption and the appearance of corruption.  Similarly, the Arizona law is a pragmatic, workable system of public campaign financing that deters political corruption by diminishing candidates’ dependence on private contributors, reducing opportunities for individual corruption, and restoring public trust in government. 
  
Wydra added, “Contrary to some readings of Citizens United, the First Amendment allows government regulation of more than just political bribery – the Constitution also encourages measures, like public financing, aimed at preventing government officials from losing touch with the people and becoming too dependent on outside forces such as private financial supporters.  Given the critical protections against corruption in the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court should have no trouble upholding Arizona’s well crafted law with the same anti-corruption objectives.” 
 
The Court is scheduled to hear oral argument on March 28, 2011.
 
#
 
Resources:
 
Brief amici curiae by CAC on behalf of Professors Bruce Ackerman, Lawrence Lessig, Zephyr Teachout, and Adam Winkler: http://theusconstitution.org/cases/briefs/ariz-free-enterprise-clubmccomish-v-bennett/supreme-court-amicus-brief-mccomish-v
 
Citizens United and Corporate Personhood: The Problem Isn’t the Constitution, It’s the Court,” Elizabeth Wydra, January 25, 2011:http://theusconstitution.org/text-history/2700
 
##