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Law prof comments on Arizona's Clean Elections law


March 30, 2011

Paul Bender, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, was interviewed by KJZZ reporter Terry Ward during a March 28 Morning Edition segment.

The segment discussed the pending U.S. Supreme Court decision determining the constitutionality of Arizona’s Clean Election law. The case went before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, March 28, to determine if the matching funds’ provision of the law is in violation of free speech.

Bender explained that Arizona’s Clean Elections law is intended to provide public funding for people running for office in order to limit the amount of time they have to dedicate toward fundraising, and so the candidates won’t be beholden to those that donate money to their campaigns if elected. Bender also discussed in detail the reasoning behind the law’s challenge.

“Clean Elections funds people to enable them to engage in political speech--how that can be deemed to be a restriction on speech is a little hard for me to understand,” Bender said. “But that’s the argument, that if I’m not in Clean Elections and you fund my opponent, and every time I spend a dollar you give him a dollar to spend, that somehow invades my freedom of speech.”

To listen to the entire interview, click here.

Bender teaches courses on U.S. and Arizona constitutional law. He has written extensively about constitutional law, intellectual property and Indian law, and is co-author of the two-volume casebook/treatise, Political and Civil Rights in the United States. Bender has argued more than 20 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and actively participates in constitutional litigation in federal and state courts.

Staci McCabe, Staci.McCabe@asu.edu
(480) 965-8702
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law