The U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled the matching funds provision of Arizona’s taxpayer-funded campaign finance system unconstitutional. This is a victory for Arizona and a victory for free speech. The Court rightly found that matching funds illegally discourages private candidates from raising and spending cash in elections.
The Court ruled that matching funds present a substantial burden to free speech rights. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote “the First Amendment embodies our choice as a nation that, when it comes to speech, the guiding principle is freedom—the unfettered exchange of ideas—not whatever the State may view as fair”.
It made no sense that as privately-funded candidates raised money for their campaigns, it triggered taxpayer subsidies for the opposing candidates. This was an experiment that failed, and now it has been ruled unconstitutional by the highest court in the land. Good riddance.
This ruling follows an Arizona Supreme Court ruling on Friday dealing with another big issue. The Court rejected the request of public interest attorneys to place an injunction on the AHCCCS enrollment freeze scheduled to take effect Friday. The justices understand that there is not sufficient funding to maintain one of the richest Medicaid programs in the country.Arizonahas gone above and beyond what is federally required and can no longer foot the bill. These tough times have prompted tough decisions, and it is encouraging to see that reflected in the court’s decision.”