Regulation is Fundamental


Advances in rights theory, from our friends at Mother Jones. This article on campaign finance reform by Paul Taylor in their March/April issue (a teaser of it is here) tells us that in court battles over the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold, "the court must find a way to balance two fundamental rights–the right of free speech versus the right of Congress to protect the integrity of the political process against corruption."


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  1. Funny…..MY copy of the Constitution of the United States of America only has that little thing about free speech, not the other one. Did I get a bum copy?

  2. Steve, I think that right was found in one of the penumbras and emanations of the 9th Amendment.

  3. The right to protect the integrity of the political process is mentioned right next to the right to an abortion.

  4. I don’t see an iota of difference between the “compelling state interest” arguments of statist intellectual whores like Holmes, used to prove that guarantees of civil liberty didn’t mean what they appeared to say. It’s the exact same argument Holmes used to defend prosecution of dissidents. Interesting that liberals like to quote his “fire in a crowded theater” dictum when defending state regulation of one liberty or another: it was used by Holmes to justify Wilson’s jackbooted thuggery during the war hysteria and red scare.

    There’s no damned “tension” between “values” in a provision that says “Congress shall make no law…” What part of “no” don’t these swine understand?

  5. “…shall not be infringed” is another one the Leftists have trouble with. But hey, its just “a living document” based on “horse & buggy ideas” so go the State can go wild, right???

  6. In this case at least, the guy’s ignorance is not necessarily induced by ideology. I know plenty of non-Marxists who confuse “rights” and “powers”. Get it right, people: governments do not have “rights”. Governments have “powers”. People have “rights”.

  7. Uh yeah, I had this idea that the primary purpose of the right to free speech was to protect the integrity of the political process. So now you tell me that Congress needs to regulate speech for that purpose. I used to think the Constitution was fairly straightforward and easy to understand. Boy am I confused now!! Good thing the government is full of lawyers who can comprehend such contortions.

  8. Let’s see. How much influence do I have with my one vote versus General Motors and their “contributions”. No matter.

    Absent the total ban of corporate contributions to the political process, I’d settle for mere full disclosure of those bribes. And that applies to unions, environmental consortiums, etc. At least we’d know who owes who.

    Or, better yet, have the politicos mandated to wear NASCAR type suits with the logos of their contributors.

  9. I dont really know what to think about the McCain-Feingold law beings the ACLU is against it. I feel disoriented about the whole thing.

  10. Lefty,

    General Motors has no votes, so you would have more influence except for the stupidity of the United States’ citizens.

  11. Maybe if we made the constitution iron-clad, corporations wouldn’t be able to fight each other through congress. The McCain-Feingold bill was endorsed by many newspapers because the law did not cover them, hence giving them a slight edge. People in America have no lobbying power compared to corporations. Nothing will ever change that. All we can do is limit congresses power, not expand it. If government has the power to control SUV’s, patents, tobacco and subsidized housing (among thousands of other things), corporations will do everything they can to use this power to their advantage.

  12. Congress has rights? I thought Congress had delegated powers. I think maybe the government needs to develop a “compelling interest” in staying within the Constitution.

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