Role of the supreme court in election operations

Role of the Supreme Court in Election Operations

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Voting is an important rite of passage for Americans. Without the participation of the people, the government would fail. This is why it is important to make the voting process as easy and fair as possible. Ballot counting and campaign funding are two areas of election operations in which the courts have ruled on process and fairness issues. For instance, when an election dispute occurs regarding ballot counting, the courts are responsible for ensuring the due process rights of voters, that is, ensuring that all votes are counted. Also, since in many ways money is what gets a candidate electedvia impressive advertisement and the ability to visit several states and communitiesthe courts also have intervened to determine the fairest course of action in regulating campaign contributions and electoral practices by the states.

The McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Bill in 2002 prohibits all soft money from a political campaign. Soft money is a contribution to a national political party as a whole that somehow finds its way to funding that party’s candidate for president. It can be from corporations, labor unions, or wealthy individuals. Hard money is a contribution directly to the candidate’s campaign that is regulated through the Federal Elections Commission and that includes the name of the contributor and the amount donated. Since soft money contributions are not intended for a specific candidate, the money is not regulated and persists as an unchecked source of money.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review the case summary of Bush v. Gore in your course text, Landmark Supreme Court Cases: The Most Influential Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the full case located in the LexisNexis Academic database. Consider how the Supreme Court resolved the ballot counting issue in this case. Also, think about how the Supreme Court applied the right to constitutional “due process” to contested election vote disputes in this case.
  • Review the case summary of Buckley v. Valeo in your course text, Landmark Supreme Court Cases: The Most Influential Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the full case located in the LexisNexis Academic database. Reflect on how the Supreme Court resolved the campaign funding issue in this case.
  • Review the article “Free Speech, Political Equality, and Campaign Finance Reform: A Paradox for Democracy?” Consider the issues surrounding campaign finance reform, political equality, and free speech.
  • Reflect on the role of the Supreme Court in resolving ballot counting disputes and the pre-election funding of candidates.
  • Consider how the Supreme Court applies the right to constitutional “due process” to contested election vote disputes.
  • Think about the degree to which Supreme Court decisions related to campaign finance influence First Amendment rights.

 

The assignment: (2–3 pages)

 

  • Explain the role of the Supreme Court in resolving the following issues: ballot counting and the pre-election funding of candidates. Use specific examples to illustrate your explanation.
  • Explain how the Supreme Court applies the right to constitutional “due process” to contested election vote disputes. Be specific.
  • Explain the degree to which Supreme Court decisions related to campaign finance influence First Amendment rights. Be specific.

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