University of Chicago Law Professor David Strauss discusses how an ideal democracy would regulate its elections. Strauss argues that the problem with American campaign finance laws stems from a fundamental distinction that the Supreme Court made in Buckley v. Valeo– between equality and corruption. Buckley held that the only legitimate end of campaign finance reforms laws was to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption. However, equalizing candidates ability to be influential is not a legitimate interest of campaign finance reform. The Court held that “the concept that government may restrict the speech of some [in] order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment.”
Strauss says that this was the original sin of the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence. “Equalization” is precisely what campaign finance reform law should do.
It is a law lecture that is 57:55 min.