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Vermont Politicians React to Campaign Finance Laws Ruling

Many people around the country are angry at the ruling from the nation's highest court.
Many people around the country including some top Vermont politicians are angry at a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
On Wednesday, that court struck down limits on contributions to political candidates.  The decision was split, conservative justices striking down the limits and more liberal ones wanting to uphold them.

"It allows more money to come into the political system unregulated," Vermont Law School Professor Cheryl Hanna said.

In a 5-to 4 ruling, the court eliminated limits on how much people can donate to political campaigns in a single election season.
Cheryl Hanna says the court didn't buy the reasoning for the limits.

"They weren't in any way preventing corruption what they were doing were limiting the ability of people to use their money in the political process," Hanna said.

While some argued this was a win for free speech, many top Vermont politicians blasted the ruling.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said, "Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government."

In Vermont, a campaign finance law recently went into effect.
While it includes limits, there was a catch.

"We said that would only go into effect if, depending on how the Supreme Court ruled," State Rep. Donna Sweaney said.

While people can spend as much as they want, there is still a $5,200 dollar limit for how much you can give to one candidate.
Hanna says the court says one way to improve money and politics is for voters to know who is donating and where the money is going.

"The entire court is in favor of more transparency which of course Congress has not been willing to do," according to Cheryl Hanna.

Sen. Sanders has already proposed changes to election laws; those include requiring disclosure of donors or creating public-financing for campaigns.

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