“Is Unlimited Spending On Political Speech A Protected Right?”

NPR posts the audio of the debate on political spending with Floyd Abrams, Nadine Strossen, Burt Neuborne, and Zephyr Teachout.

In these Oxford-style debates, the team that sways the most people by the end of the debate is declared the winner. One side took the position that political advocacy is exactly the kind of speech that the First Amendment is designed to protect, and that limiting spending means inhibiting expression. The other argued that spending is not the same as speech, and allowing unlimited spending gives some voices more power than others.

Before the debate, the audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia voted 33 percent in favor of the motion and 49 percent against, with 18 percent undecided. After the debate, 33 percent agreed with the motion, while 65 percent were against, making the team arguing against the motion the winner of this particular debate.


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