Washington, D.C. — While the past year brought a wave of brand-new scandals to the halls of Congress and rogue agencies alike, for CREW’s voters, the biggest outrage was a familiar one: the unchecked flow of money into our elections. When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia signaled his readiness to make it even easier for the rich and powerful to buy elections, he showed himself to be out of touch with reality — and earned the title of 2013’s Scoundrel of the Year.
January marks the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision, and the same majority responsible for that decision may soon further weaken America’s campaign finance laws. In McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, the Court could strike down aggregate limits on contributions made directly to candidates. During oral arguments in October, Justice Scalia dismissed concern over the possibility that such a ruling would allow candidates to solicit donations of up to $3.5 million by saying, “I don’t think $3.5 million is a heck of a lot of money.”
Justice Scalia’s indifference to the ever-increasing sums of money pouring into elections, for which he earned Scoundrel of the Month honors in October 2013, perfectly illustrates the Court’s reckless approach to campaign finance law since Citizens United. As we enter an election year, average Americans will once again be the ones forced to live with the consequences of these justices’ actions.
“While anger over dark money usually focuses on the corporations and wealthy individuals trying to sway election results, the Supreme Court deserves its own share of the public’s scorn,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “By forcing its contrived interpretation of the First Amendment on the country, the Roberts Court has done untold damage to the integrity of our democracy.”
Nominations are already being accepted for January’s Scoundrel of the Month. People, entities, and agencies are all eligible. Submit your choices by Friday, January 24th. Voting will begin the following week.