The liberty of citizens in a democracy has two components – the negative liberty to be let alone and the positive liberty of self-government. Both are crucially important. The positive liberty of self-government must be balanced against the negative liberty of individuals to do as they choose. This important and familiar tension has been overlooked in the Supreme Court’s current campaign finance jurisprudence. While the Court has aggressively protected the individual’s interest in spending money to speak, without interference from the state, the Court has neglected the individual’s interest in deciding, along with others, that politics ought to be walled off from the market. Instead, the Supreme Court should safeguard not only the individual liberties of speech and action but also collective liberties of self-government.
Deborah Hellman, Resurrecting the Neglected Liberty of Self Government, 164 University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, 233–239 (2016).