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Money and Politics, 97 Columbia Law Review 2470 (1998)


Professor Fiss argues that only mandatory public financing of electoral campaigns can counteract the corrosive influence of money on politics. The greatest obstacle to an effective public funding scheme is the Supreme Court's decision in Buckley v. Valeo, which invalidated the ceiling on political expenditures enacted as part of the reform measure provoked by Watergate. Professor Fiss examines the Court's First Amendment rationale for that decision, and finds it wanting. According to him, the Court did not give proper heed to the constitutional principle which ought to have been controlling - namely, preserving the fullness of public debate-and thus, created a rule that interfered with the proper functioning of American democracy.

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