05 April, 2014

Breyer’s dangerous dissent in McCutcheon (the campaign finance case)

Breyer’s dangerous dissent in <em>McCutcheon</em> (the campaign finance case):

In any event, Breyer adds that “corruption,” by which he means
individuals engaging in too much freedom of speech via campaign
donations, ”derails the essential speech-to-government-action tie. Where
enough money calls the tune, the general public will not be heard.
Insofar as corruption cuts the link between political thought and
political action, a free marketplace of political ideas loses its

The danger of this argument is that analogous reasoning could be used to censor major media corporations such as the New York Times,
Hollywood, and so on, to wit: ”When Hollywood spends billions of
dollars each year advancing a liberal agenda, the general public will
not be heard.  Instead of a free marketplace of ideas, we get a
marketplace in which major Hollywood moguls have hundreds of thousands
of times the ‘speech power’ of the average American.”

 And given that
almost everyone deems it appropriate to regulate the economic
marketplace to counter inefficiencies and unfairness, why should the
much-less-efficient (because it’s much more costly for an individual to
make an error in his economic life than to have a mistaken ideology)
 marketplace of ideas be exempt from harsh regulation?