The Great Debate

Money speaks louder than words, but that doesn’t make it ‘speech’

By Deborah Hellman
January 20, 2015
A voter arrives to vote at the fire house due to storm damage at the regular polling station from Hurricane Sandy during the U.S. presidential election in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey

A voter arrives to vote at the fire house due to storm damage at the regular polling station from Hurricane Sandy during the presidential election in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, November 6, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

When it comes to money in politics, the Supreme Court lives in a different reality

By Trevor Potter
January 16, 2015

The sun shines through cloud cover above the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Citizens United gives freedom of speech back to the people

By Bradley A. Smith
January 16, 2015
Voters fill in their ballots at a polling place located in Shoaf's Wagon Wheel during the U.S. midterm elections in Salisbury

Voters at a polling place located in Shoaf’s Wagon Wheel in Salisbury, North Carolina, November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Chris Keane

Tycoon dough: The ultimate electoral martial art

By Lawrence Norden and Daniel Weiner
January 16, 2015
supreme-court-perspective

U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, May 20, 2009. REUTERS/Molly Riley

This is first article in the Reuters series on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, handed down Jan. 21, 2010. After five years, is anything the same in U.S. elections? You can read other pieces in the series here.

Democracy is drowning in a sea of dark money

By Fred Wertheimer
January 16, 2015
Voters fill in their ballots as they vote in the U.S. midterm elections at a polling place in Westminster, Colorado

Voters fill in their ballots in the midterm elections at a polling place in Westminster, Colorado, November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

from Stories I’d like to see:

Should Obamacare be derailed by a single sentence?

By Steven Brill
November 11, 2014

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Most disputes that end up at the U.S. Supreme Court are about the interpretation of the Constitution and statutes, not about facts. The press is mostly left to provide the basic background of the dispute and then quote each side’s lawyers. Little independent digging is required.

from Jim Gaines:

Clear-eyed dissent from Supreme Court’s ruling to allow Texas voter ID law

October 18, 2014

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Before dawn on Saturday morning, the Supreme Court issued a terse, unsigned ruling that, in effect, endorsed Texas’s voter-ID law, the most restrictive such law in the nation.

from Jim Gaines:

A constitutional amendment to take Big Money out of politics dies quietly

September 12, 2014

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This week the U.S. Senate considered a constitutional amendment that would have allowed Congress and state legislatures to limit the power of money in politics. The debate was not much covered in the media because the outcome was so predictable. But the party-line vote that killed it should not go unnoted.

What’s the 2014 election really about? Religious vs. women’s rights

By Bill Schneider
July 10, 2014

Demonstrators gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court for the "Not My Boss's Business" rally for women's health and rights in Washington

Religious rights versus women’s rights. That’s about as fundamental a clash as you can get in U.S. politics. It’s now at the core of the 2014 election campaign, with both parties girding for battle.

from Stories I’d like to see:

How much is contraception coverage and costly violations for BNP Paribas

By Steven Brill
July 8, 2014

justices

1. Does health insurance covering contraception actually cost anything?

In this article about a renewed fight at the U.S. Supreme Court just days after its decision about whether the owners of the Hobby Lobby retail chain had to buy insurance covering certain forms of contraception, the New York Times’ ace court reporter Adam Liptak wrote: