Skip to comments.Justices Raise Doubts on Campaign Finance
Posted on 04/26/2007 4:26:47 AM PDT by shrinkermd
WASHINGTON, April 25 The Supreme Court put defenders of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law on the defensive on Wednesday in a spirited argument that suggested the court could soon open a significant loophole in the measure.
At issue is a major provision of the five-year-old law that bars corporations and labor unions from paying for advertisements that mention the name of a candidate for federal office and that are broadcast 60 days before an election or 30 days before a primary. By a 5-to-4 vote in December 2003, the court held that the provision, on its face, passed First Amendment muster.
But a new majority may view more expansively the Constitutions protection of political messages as free speech, and invite a flood of advertising paid for by corporations and unions as the 2008 elections move into high gear.
The argument on Wednesday was over whether, despite the 2003 blanket endorsement, the law would be constitutional if applied to three specific ads that an anti-abortion group sought to broadcast before the 2004 Senate election in Wisconsin.
The ads, sponsored by Wisconsin Right to Life Inc., mentioned the states two senators, both Democrats: Russell D. Feingold, a co-sponsor of the McCain-Feingold law, who was up for re-election, and Herb Kohl, who was not. The advertisements focus was a Democratic-led filibuster of some of President Bushs judicial nominees. Viewers were urged to contact Senators Feingold and Kohl and tell them to oppose the filibuster. The ads provided no contact information, instead directing viewers to a Web site that contained explicit criticism of Mr. Feingold
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The Solicitor General (Administration) has apparent strong head winds opposing his views.
We will have to see. In the meantime, the term "Campaign Finance Reform" or McCain/Feingold is a misnomer. It should be "incumbent protection act."
One can hope, indeed pray, SCOTUS has sufficient wisdom to see with the Internet, Blogs and Talk Radio free speech is going to be hard to suppress; therefore, preventing special interest groups from issue advertisements is a waste of time and destined, at best, to weaken the court's image and authority.
All I can say is duh...
Thank God Sandra is off the court.
We got campaign finance reform because of a cleverly crafted disinformation campaign by the Marxists at Pew, a democrat propaganda organization.
The story exposing this lie, by John Fund at the Wall Street Journal, can’t be posted, so here’s the link to read it -
The Supreme Court is no longer operting like the “Do Be There Club”.
McCain is anti-gun and wanted to keep that as quiet as possible.
I think the ad-ban is an infrigement of free speech, but I’d never thought of the angle Judge Alito brought up.
Suppose a Senator running for re-election introduces a controversial bill within 60 days of election day? Would it be illegal for interest groups to run contact-that-senator ads? I never thought of that. This law basically gives senators a free-from-criticism period to pass laws without the public being notified.
We had hoped it would get repealed before.
"...What Mr. Treglia revealed in a talk last year at the University of Southern California is that far from representing the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, the campaign finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by liberal foundations like Pew. In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. "The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress]," Mr. Treglia says in his talk. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
Alito is the fifth vote.
We already had Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas & Roberts on this one.
We win 5-4.
I think any limit on campaign spending violates free speech. Anyone or any body should be free to spend whatever he, she, or it wants; that’s what freedom and capitalism are all about. If the McCain-Feingold standards were applied to newspapers, for example, there would be a limit on the number of pages in the daily paper, a limit to editorial space, and periods of required editorial and political reporting silence before an election.
1) McLame — Why did he do it?
2) GW — GW signed the bill saying, “I’ll sign it but the Courts are going to say it’s unconstitutional!”
Why didn’t GW VETO it!!!!!
Maybe when he was shepherding Roberts through the nomination process, Fred told him, don’t thank me, just you get there, see about that CFR monster, will ya? :)
No nuts, that's why.
the timing is ‘suspcious’ ... think about the Dan Rather TANG report brilliantly exposed here on FR by Buckhead. That was aired September 8, 2004; the election was within 60 days.
Had the fraud not been exposed, there would have been no way for any pro-Bush organization to combat it. What if it had been intended solely as a trial balloon before the media, which is unaffected by CFR, really got going on that issue?
To me, the worst aspect of the nefarious CFR is its exclusion of the media from any restrictions, while tying the hands of advocacy groups.
McCain - Feingold - and its crafters and executors should be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Its a Constitutional abortion.
This also points out what a bunch of idiots we send to Congress every couple of years. Maybe if these elected representatives actually listened to what their constituents are saying, they wouldn't be duped by efforts like the one put forth by Pew. Instead, they allow themselves to be influenced by the D.C. echo chamber.