The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in McComish v. Bennett, a case which could have major implications for Fair Elections-style systems all over the country. All the major news outlets covered the hearing, along with newspapers in states where systems are already in place. And Public Campaign issued a press release yesterday calling for the court to uphold the Arizona Clean Elections law, a key provision of which is under scrutiny in the case.
Check out the coverage here:
Associated Press: "The law was enacted by voters in the aftermath of a public corruption scandal in Arizona in the 1990s. Four other states, Maine, New Mexico, North Carolina and Wisconsin, have similar "trigger" provisions that affect some political races, and could be vulnerable if the Supreme Court strikes down the Arizona provision. Another state, Connecticut, changed its law to eliminate its trigger after a federal appeals court struck it down."
New York Times: "There has been one change in personnel on the since Citizens United: Justice Kagan replaced Justice , who wrote the dissent in the case. On Monday, Justice Kagan was a particularly active questioner and seemed inclined to uphold the Arizona law."
Washington Post: '"The justices who have voted to strike down spending restrictions sharply questioned Bradley S. Phillips, a Los Angeles lawyer representing Arizona, after his opening statement that the law results “in more speech and more electoral competition and directly furthers the government’s compelling interest in combating real and apparent corruption in politics.”'
USA Today: "(Kagan) described the provision as an effective way to encourage candidates to join the public financing system because the extra funds help ensure they can run a competitive race."
FoxNews.com: "Justice Elena Kagan was the most aggressive defender of an Arizona law that provides matching dollars to publicly financed candidates who face privately backed opponents and third-party supporters that spend in excess of government limits."
Connecticut: "If the line of questioning at today's Supreme Court hearing is any indication, the justices appear to be headed for a 5-to-4 decision that strikes down Arizona's matching grant system--and that therefore forecloses Connecticut's ability to revive its own version of that law."
Maine: "But Alison Smith, with the nonprofit organization Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, said she hopes that major revisions will not be necessary. Smith said that the way Maine calculates campaign spending and therefore distributes matching funds is different from Arizona’s law, so she hopes an adverse ruling would be narrowly written to apply only to Arizona."
Arizona: "If the court decides matching funds do violate the Constitution, Arizona and several other states must either eliminate or overhaul their elections system."
Read the full Public Campaign press release here.