In early 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Citizens United, which prevents the federal government from suppressing speech by businesses and other groups. The decision freed up so-called “super PACs,” which are widely regarded as having had a pernicious influence on the last several political cycles.
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John Samples directs Cato's Center for Representative Government, which studies campaign finance regulation, delegation of legislative authority, term limits, and the political culture of limited government and the civic virtues necessary for liberty. He is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Samples is the author of The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History (forthcoming) and The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform.
Rick Santorum had a somewhat super Tuesday on February 7th. He won all three Republican presidential primaries, thereby reviving a campaign that had failed to follow up on his victory in Iowa. Santorum could become the sole alternative to Romney for the Republican nomination. If that happens, he could become the GOP nominee in 2012. Should libertarians vote for him?
The war in Libya is starting to be a political mess for the Obama administration. Speaker John Boehner has sent the White House a letter demanding some justification for the war in light of the War Powers Resolution (but not, unfortunately, in light of Article I of the Constitution).
War is commonly defined as “a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states or nations.” By that definition, the United States and its allies have been at war with Libya since late last week. “At my direction,” President Obama told Congress, “U.S. military forces commenced operations” in Libya.
Three months ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down its landmark First Amendment decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The court decided that Congress may not prohibit funding of political speech by corporations, labor unions, and nonprofit groups. Congress promised a quick response to that decision. That response—the DISCLOSE Act—has one good feature—and several bad ones.