KENNEDY GETS HIS MARCHING ORDERS: The McCain-Feingold case is coming to a U.S. Supreme Court near you, and the New York Times is issuing marching orders via editorial to the one Justice who can be counted on to do whatever the paper tells him to do: Anthony Kennedy. (Kennedy is on record as caring very much what the editorial writers at the Times say about him.)
We can only hope that the rest of the Court can see the obvious: the First Amendment is incompatible with this sort of legislation.
Let me make this as clear as I can. If I want to run an ad saying George Bush (or, if I am clinically insane, Howard Dean) is the greatest thing to happen to the world since sliced bread, there is this thing called the First Amendment that says I can do that. If I want to spread that message on full-page ads in every newspaper in the United States, I can do that, no matter the cost. I don’t think any of this is subject to debate.
Now, let’s say I want to call up Karl Rove and ask him, what do you think makes George Bush the greatest thing since sliced bread? Rove tells me a couple of things, and by golly, I’m convinced! Rove really makes some good points! So I say those things in my multi-million dollar ad. Now you’re telling me the government can prevent me from doing this? I can’t express my own deeply held opinion on a political matter because I arrived at that opinion after speaking to Karl Rove? That way lies madness. The First Amendment cannot logically be interpreted this way. (I know it already has been, but I think the decision is wrong.)
The concept is no different when it comes to “issue ads” — even issue ads that the New York Times deems to be “bogus.” Hello! It is not government’s job to decide whether an ad is “bogus” or not!
Here is my editorial to the Court: if you care what Patterico thinks — and I know some of you do — save us from this law!