Skip to comments.Leading Interfaith Organization Submits Amici Curiae; Urges Court To Uphold Campaign Reform Act
Posted on 08/06/2003 1:18:24 PM PDT by chance33_98
Nation's Leading Interfaith Organization Submits Amici Curiae; Urges Court To Uphold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
8/6/03 2:39:00 PM
To: National Desk
Contact: Kim Baldwin of The Interfaith Alliance, 202-639-6370, ext. 106; web: http://www.interfaithalliance.org
WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The Interfaith Alliance, the nation's leading interfaith organization, joined with five diverse religious organizations in submitting an Amici Curiae to uphold the constitutionality of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), a vital piece of legislation that will help restore public confidence in the political system and enable ordinary citizens to participate meaningfully in the democratic process.
There is a strong connection between campaign finance reform and faith. The core values of most major faith traditions emphasize the importance of fairness, honesty and integrity. These same values are the basis of the campaign finance reform movement. As people of faith and good will who work to promote social justice in our democratic society, The Interfaith Alliance believes it is imperative that the system by which we elect our officials be re-examined.
"Campaign finance reform is not simply a political issue, it is a moral concern," said the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of The Interfaith Alliance. "People of faith share a commitment to values -- values like honesty, justice, liberty, service and integrity -- that form the ethical core of all faith traditions, complement the values of our democracy and thus contribute to the common good."
Rev. Gaddy added, "There is a perception in this country that wealthy interest groups and individuals who give large donations to political campaigns control the decisions made by elected officials. Because of this, it is vital that we promote an open and honest campaign finance system that allows elected officials to represent their constituents and not their funders."
EXCERPT FROM AMICI
Argument -- Large Segments Of The Public, Including Significant Numbers of People of Faith, Lack CONFIDENCE In The pRE-bcra political process and campaign finance system Amici represent people of faith from more than 65 different religious traditions. They are concerned with the morality of government, the potential for corruption among our leaders, and the disillusionment and alienation that prevail among the electorate on the issue of campaign finance. Honesty, fairness for all, and integrity -- the very principles that BCRA seeks to return to our nation's political system -- are also three universal religious values that have informed some of the highest traditions of political participation and public service in our nation's history. A government that claims to represent the public interest but fails to reflect these values can have no moral legitimacy in the eyes of Americans of faith and will fail to inspire its citizens actively and conscientiously to participate in public affairs.
The ineffectiveness of the campaign finance system in place before enactment of the BCRA contributed significantly to this feeling of alienation among people of faith and other citizens. The perception that many elected officials had become beholden to particular interests that use large "soft money" contributions, so-called "issue ads," and coordinated expenditures to evade existing campaign finance regulations diminished public trust in the integrity and effectiveness of those regulations and led ordinary citizens to lose confidence in their ability to participate effectively in the political process. Congress enacted BCRA to counteract this pervasive and corrosive sentiment -- shared by clergy and people of faith - that ordinary citizens' votes and voices "count" less than those of powerful, monied interest groups.
Signatories of the Amici:
-- The Interfaith Alliance
-- The General Synod of the United Church of Christ
-- The Unitarian Universalist Association
-- NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
-- The Union of American Hebrew Congregations
-- The Central Conference of American Rabbis
In 2001, The Interfaith Alliance Foundation released "Call For Reform," a publication displaying the results of a Gallup/Interfaith Alliance Foundation poll on the opinions of people of faith and clergy on campaign finance reform. The poll can be found at: http://www.callforreform.org/resources/poll.htm
TO READ BRIEF: http://www.interfaithalliance.org/Files/OpenFile.cfm?id=4978
Founded in 1994, The Interfaith Alliance (TIA) is a non-partisan, clergy-led grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive and healing role of religion in the life of the nation and challenging those who manipulate religion to promote a narrow, divisive agenda. With more than 150,000 members drawn from over 65 faith traditions, 38 local Alliances and a national network of religious leaders, TIA promotes compassion, civility and mutual respect for human dignity in our increasingly diverse society.
That will take you to the subpage on documents filed in this case. Near the bottom is a category, "Amicus Curiae Briefs." Click on the name, "American Civil Rights Union." That will pop up the only brief in this case that was filed by a FReeper, namely yer own Congressman Billybob.
The Supreme Court files (www.supremecourtus.gov) unfortunately puts its files up in PDF format. I believe that Stanford Law School has put the documents up in HTML format. I hope someone more computer-literate person than I will post a link to that brief.