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Saturday, August 04, 2012

Lessig on Dingell's Effort to Reverse Citizen's United

Representative John Dingell (D-MI), the longest-sitting member of Congress, introduced a bill Thursday… with at least ten co-sponsors, [the] Restoring Confidence in Our Democracy Act, [which] would ban corporations and unions from making independent political expenditures. It would also subject Super PACs to the same contribution limits that exist with other PACs. Dingell intends the bill to provide "the factual record which details the negative effects of increased spending in our elections." Dingell's bill, however, is effectively two bills -- one that would require the Court to reverse itself, if indeed the new law were upheld, and the other that would not require the Court to reverse itself but would instead give the Court a chance to address a kind of corruption that so far the Supreme Court has ignored. It is unlikely (in the extreme) that the Court is going to reverse itself. But if framed properly, Dingell's bill could well map a way for Congress to staunch the corrupting influence of Super PAC spending without forcing the Court to eat its Citizens United words.

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