AuthorCarstensen, Morgan Elizabeth
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFreedom of speech is one of our most valued rights; however, it is also one of the most contentious. Whether rightly or wrongly, the courts continuously try to find the balance between an individual’s right to speech and the functioning of society. It is this reason that one is not permitted to yell "fire" in a public place. Doing so could incite chaos, resulting in the destruction of property and personal harm. Freedom of speech, then, is often weighed against other rights to determine how strictly it should be protected. In regards to campaign finance, the argument goes that those with greater economic standing have a monopoly on speech. Therefore, it is in the interest of democratic equality that restrictions are set in place as to prevent any undue influences. While this might restrict the speech of a few, the benefit will be greater to many. In this paper I contest this notion, and instead present a positive relationship between money and speech and how embracing such a concept is ultimately more respectful of the individual right to freedom of speech. In order to do so, a brief legal history on campaign finance law will be detailed, following an in-depth analysis of key court cases, including Citizens United. The egalitarian justification for campaign finance reform will be included as a response to the Citizens case. Lastly, and most importantly, this paper will prove that money is a necessary component to speech, and to restrict it is to violate the protections guaranteed under the First Amendment.
Degree ProgramHonors College