The Great Debate

Soros: Big money can’t buy elections – influence is something else

February 10, 2015
An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator holds a sign as others gather during a national day of action "Occupy the Courts" in New York

A demonstrator holds a sign as others gather in Foley Square during a national day of action “Occupy the Courts” in New York, January 20, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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.