Law professor Richard L. Hasen [“More corruption, but less gridlock,” Outlook, Feb. 23] worries that political corruption would increase should the Supreme Court strike down the aggregate contribution limits at issue in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission . While this argument is popular among those who support strict limits on the funding of political speech, there is no evidence to support it. In fact, a majority of states have no such limits, and there is no evidence that these states are any more corrupt or less well-governed than states that do impose such limits.
If Americans really want to do something about government corruption — a worthy goal — we must move beyond failed campaign-finance “reforms.” Rather than restricting peaceful political activity by private citizens, we need to have a serious conversation about restoring meaningful constitutional limits on the government’s power to hand out favors.
Paul Sherman, Arlington
The author is a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, which submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission .