Representation in Crisis: The Constitution, Interest Groups, and Political Parties

By David K. Ryden | Go to book overview

scornfully calling it a "one man-one minute" proposal contrary to Buckley. 89 While conceding the noble objective of equalizing the political debate, Scalia concluded that "establishing the restrictions upon speech" was something government "cannot be trusted to do." 90


CONCLUSION

Whether the consequences are as dire as Scalia predicts, the combined legislative and judicial efforts in campaign financing mark the boldest experiment to date with neopluralist strategies for ameliorating political inequality. FECA, with its judicial gloss, is an effort to erect a group-constituted system of financing elections. It aims at parity of group influence by regulating and controlling the volume of group voices in the public forum. Focusing on the aims, structures, strategies, and resources of political associations, Congress and the Court have created tiers of groups with differing sets of rights in the realm of influencing elections. They are formalizing what had informally comprised the second prong of the dual representative system, that of intermediate interest group representation. By monitoring and administering group spending, Congress and the Court are attempting to guarantee that group influence is sufficiently "representative" of the size and strength of the preferences held by group members.

The Court's distinct turn toward neopluralist constitutional jurisprudence was less attributable to the conscious pursuit of a well-balanced theory of representation than it was to political pressures to control the level of influence exercised by new collectivities. Is this neopluralist trend an adequate response to the challenges of representation and the pluralist dilemma? Analyzing the Court's neopluralist efforts from this perspective raises a host of questions. For example, if the ultimate goal is equality of influence, then the logical extension of these decisions is to apply them to other political resources. 91 Should we not also neutralize groups with advantages in organization, political expertise, access to the media, and prestige? Similarly, the goal of equal representation suggests that we look at other possible benchmarks of a group's representative character, such as organization and leadership, substantive interests, scope of agenda, decisionmaking procedures, member roles, and so on.

Once the law moves into neopluralist remedies, it is in danger of sliding down the slippery slope into a legal morass. 92 Legal

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