Justice or Editorializing?


I am of course one more voice in the chorus of laments against the Supreme Court's indefensible decision re: McCain-Feingold. Perhaps this is naive of me–I confess I haven't read that many Supreme Court rulings in their entirety–but I was shocked to see language (such as these quotes from the Los Angeles Times' front-page story ) like this in the decision: "growing evil…of big money"? "Pernicious influence of big money campaign contributions"? Are these judges deciding important First Amendment case law or peevish op-ed writers from Public Citizen?

NEXT: Guns in Ohio

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  1. Shoe mee da way ta gha hoooome? bome bome bome.

    Say don’t all those high mucky muck gubmint types have to swear to uphold the Constututu? Constatuen? Con.Sti.Tu.Tion? That’s the US Constitution idn’t it? The one that starts out “We the People”? And has that first amendment thingy about freedom of speech? Well, don’t make much doodly do now? the zecutive, the leg-slative and the judicy all agree?. You can’t have anti establishment types spreading dangerous ideas during an election.

    Saaay whos round is it (hic)?

    Show me the way to go home? bome bome bome? I’m tired and I wanna go to bed? bome bome bome?

  2. How dare you people cirticize McCain-Feingold? Don’t you know John McCain was a prisoner of war?

    (For the folks in Rio Linda, that’s known as sarcasm…)

  3. I do think the issues in the McConnell case, though already much discussed, deserve further examination, but that examination really does need to be based on reading of the SC’s opinions, not on snippets from press reports of same. If that means Internet reaction to a decision like this is not quite instantaneous, we’ll live.

    McCain-Feingold supporters had said all along that if the Court had found the new law’s provisions unconstitutional it would have been saying longstanding bans on corporate and union contributions to campaigns were also unconstitutional, and that this it was unlikely to do. Another point is that the majority in ruling so decisively appears to have been reacting to the earlier very long and confusing ruling by the circuit court. At a stroke the Court has wiped that out and removed much ambiguity from a subject rife with it.

  4. Zathras, the ban on union and corporate campaign funds is unconstitutional…that is the bloody point. You are part of the rockslide that made up the slippery slope…it is ok to ban unions and corporations because they are bad and self-interested…so the fuck is everyone else. We are all self-interested people and yes many of us are bad in ways we don’t trully understand because we are so self-interested that we don’t care how bad we are or to whom we are bad to. The so-called ban on corporate and union funds stems from the fiction that these aren’t groups of people, only legal fictions created by incorporating documents. But they are not composed of legal fictions…people, people who have self-interests that they seek to fulfill from the largesse of government.
    The only thing that these campaign finance reform laws have accomplished is this: campaign finance reform has effectively scuttled representative democracy by forcing unions and corporations, who could (before 1946? I think that was the year) give to campaigns, it was dirty and sometimes corrupt, but instead of mandating immediate and full disclosure, Congress took the knee-jerk reaction and banned unions and corporations from giving and this created the current system of funnelling PAC money around through various leadership PACs and stealth PACs that no right minded person could comprehend…effectively putting the political process out of reach for all but the well-connected…union and corporation executives.

    No wonder we small government types are getting fucked by a self-styled small government Republican dominated government…there is only one difference between democrats and republicans and that is the republicans suck on corporate dick while democrats suck on union dick…and we all take the facial.

    Sorry for the lewd comments but this ruling tears it…not since Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896) has the Supreme Court been so intellectually bankrupt and dishonest.

  5. amen richard.
    the interesting part is figuring out how much damage this “reform” will do to the system. What new positions will the elites contort into to gives us a proper fucking? ANy thoughts anyone?

  6. I don’t see the problem here. The dissent was worded just as strongly and that’s nothing compared to many Scalia opinions. As a law student, I think that’s a good thing. I’d rather read an over-dramatic editorializing opinion than a dry technical one.

  7. s.m.
    You miss the point. Of course MF will be an utter failure when measured against the pretext it was argued on. But it will succeed in its true purpose of solidifying the establishments grasp on the reigns of power. Money will still flow copiously through the hands of establish organizations and major parties. They will simply pay protection money to their lawyers and be allowed to subvert the law. However, anyone outside the system, otherwise capable of posing a credible threat to the status quo, will have to choose between silence and prison.

    The two first amendment martyrs that come to mind are Lenny Bruce and Larry Flint. Perhaps MF will throw up another of that caliper.

    Until then, pass the bottle

  8. They are whatever their ideological allies need them to be, and thats the problem.

  9. Constitutional, schmonstitutional. Forty years ago, separate-but-equal and bogus “voter literacy tests” were constitutional. Until eighty or so years ago, women were taxed and subject to all the same laws as menfolk, but didn’t have the right to vote, constitutionally. During the Second World War, mass internment of citizens based on their ethnic origin was constitutional, and eighty years before that, slavery was constiutional. Constitutions mean whatever the people with the power to control their interpretation want them to be. The USSR had a damned fine constitution.

    Be for McCain-Feingold or against it; knock yourself out. Me, I just think it’ll prove completely ineffective, since it regulates something that’s impossible to define. As we speak, the NRA is looking to buy a radio station so they can claim they’re a media outlet rather than a club or advocacy group. The bill that got passed was worthless by design.

  10. I think the whole thing is going to come back and bite them on the ass. Which is good because mine is still sore from getting bent over on prescription drugs for oldies.

    All those people who would have given money to whatever group to fund whatever ad are now going to have to get out in street and create an event big enough to get covered by the media.

    It will be anarchy – there will be mass public participation in the political process (which frightens them). Worst of all the inconveniece off all this political will awaken the beast of apathetic no-participants and piss them off.

    These stupid f@*ks may have set the stage for the Revolution that throws them out of power.

  11. By my lights, this McCain-Feingold nonsense is far worse than the Patriot Act. COMPLETE RANT HERE

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