Patterico's Pontifications

4/2/2014

Justices Strike Down Campaign Finance Restriction on Free Speech Grounds

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:57 am

David Savage, writing in the L.A. Times:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday freed wealthy donors to give more money directly to congressional candidates, extending its controversial 2010 Citizens United decision that opened the door for unlimited independent spending on political issues.

In a 5-4 decision, the court’s conservative majority struck down Watergate-era aggregate limits that barred political donors from giving more than $123,000 a year in total to candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives or Senate.

The court said this limit violated the free-speech rights of the donors, and it was not needed to prevent “corruption” of the political process.

The justices noted that donors mush still abide by rules that prevent them from giving more than $2,600 per election per candidate.

(Yes, he said “mush still abide.” Screenshot here. Look, do you want the story done professionally or do you want it fast?)

I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You can have laws against money in politics or you can have a First Amendment, but you can’t have both.

The 5-4 nature of the decision reminds us why Republicans cannot spend 40 years in the wilderness. Our rights are at stake every time one of these cases goes before the Court.

127 Responses to “Justices Strike Down Campaign Finance Restriction on Free Speech Grounds”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Dang! Missed having the first comment. :(

    The disappointed Dana (3e4784)

  3. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You can have laws against money in politics or you can have a First Amendment, but you can’t have both.

    And thank you for saying so.

    J.P. (bd0246)

  4. So McCain-Feingold finally found to be a stinking pile of censorship and anti-First amendment stupidity.

    Took long enough.

    Now if we can just get rid of the final idiot who backed that crap.

    Yes I mean you you old fool, Mr. McCain.

    jakee308 (f1b953)

  5. One problem with the news as we have it is that there is so little overall context and understanding.
    I heard Dick Morris on the radio yesterday saying that back in the day people gave cash that was never kept track of at all.
    I think it is much preferable to have no limits but strict rules on accountability than rules on giving with all kinds of ways of hiding stuff.

    While I think a person running for office needs to be transparent on where they get there money from, I don’t think individual citizens should be forced to be identified, as we know that can invite an SEIU picket on your doorstep.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  6. This case was wrongly decided.

    B.H.O.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  7. I am happy with this decision because of the free speech issue. I just wish we could better control what I suspect are massive “contributions” from interested foreign states and actors which are somehow filtered and hidden in ways that get them into our political process. Their free speech I care less about– at least when it comes to affecting or influencing our elections.

    elissa (0666e5)

  8. o/T maybe not.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K08jEx77Dx8

    Extremos aterrizajes en Toncontin,(MHTG) Tegucigalpa

    Freedom!

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  9. So how is the per-candidate limit still constitutional? Suppose I really like a candidate who hasn’t got much support from other donors, perhaps because he intends to upset their sweetheart deals with government, suppose he’s got no chance of winning unless I finance his whole campaign, why shouldn’t I do so?

    Milhouse (b95258)

  10. “So how is the per-candidate limit still constitutional?”

    Milhouse – That question was not decided as part of the case.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. MD @5: Dick Morris’ “back in the day” isn’t so long ago. And the money was and is kept track of. The Ben Franklins in the walk around and party account are in the third ice tray from the bottom, the Lincolns are in the Vanilla Ice Cream container, and the big stash of Franklins are in the papers wrapping the fish. And the freezer is in the Congressman’s office in hopes of protection from warrants.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  12. How much did Sheldon Adelson shovel in back in 2012?

    Borgo (734f09)

  13. How much did George Soros shovel in back in 2008 and 2012 Borgo?

    elissa (0666e5)

  14. Ask the elected President.

    Borgo (734f09)

  15. It’s true. Without conservatives making nominations and also doing their job when it’s time to reject awful nominees, our rights are in serious peril.

    I suspect the nominees of Mccain, and those he has supported, actually would be indistinguishable from those of Obama. Not just like Justice Roberts and often unreliable but somewhat better.

    We have to be sure the GOP understands the minimum standards for winning power, and also we need to wrest the GOP from the democrat-lites who currently control it for the purposes of K Street power and baby boomer entitlements that cannot persist.

    Dustin (303dca)

  16. Can you name some non-awful GOP candidates for 2016?

    Borgo (734f09)

  17. Vladimir Putin?

    nk (dbc370)

  18. Can you name some non-awful Dem candidates for 2016, Borgo?.

    elissa (0666e5)

  19. Kochtopus!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. I asked first.

    It’ll be Clinton. I’m no fan of political dynasties. But you guys are going to have a stage full of crazies trying to out-conservative each other. And the cameras and microphones will be rolling, rolling, rolling.

    Borgo (734f09)

  21. This will reduce corruption.

    The most corrupt thing you could have is a PAC, or a committee controlled by officeholders or a political party. Their donations are not so limited.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  22. Well, sit back and enjoy the fun, then Borgo. Hey, thanks for stopping by, tho.

    elissa (0666e5)

  23. 12. Comment by Borgo (734f09) — 4/2/2014 @ 9:59 am

    How much did Sheldon Adelson shovel in back in 2012?

    All of that was done independently, not by giving money to a committee controlled by a candidate. Non-co-ordination is kind of a tightrope.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  24. “The 5-4 nature of the decision reminds us why Republicans cannot spend 40 years in the wilderness. Our rights are at stake every time one of these cases goes before the Court.”

    Well, hello, reality. So nice to meet you in the blogosphere.

    Speaking of which, one of the ghastliest ironies of the “my way or the highway” and “I’d rather starve than accept 2/3 of a loaf” demographics is the SCOTUS. H.W. Bush already had made his absurd mistake. The next one would have been Edith Jones and after that probably Ray Randolph. The world today would be a far different place. And as retarded as a Romney administration would have been on various fronts if Ginsburg retires or croaks Team Romney at least would have provided a Roberts-style justice (7 out of 10), rather than a Kagan-style justice (0 of 10).

    Granted, it’s all a case of brick walls and dull children when presenting these items to the Sharron Angles of the world, and her ilk, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

    Lawrence Westlake (4fc30a)

  25. Rich and powerful Democrats upset by SCOTUS decision. Go figure.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. Oh I hope it’s as least as much fun as the last one. Where’s that poll-unskewer guy anyway?

    Borgo (734f09)

  27. Hillary waving her arms around, wild eyed and screeching will certainly be fun to watch. And looove her put on accent for certain audiences.

    elissa (0666e5)

  28. “But you guys are going to have a stage full of crazies trying to out-conservative each other.”

    Borgo – There is already a stage full of rich, crazy, Democrat Senators denouncing the decision. Please remind me where those one percenters got their campaign cash.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  29. And the freezer is in the Congressman’s office in hopes of protection from warrants.
    Comment by bobathome (c0c2b5) — 4/2/2014 @ 9:58 am

    How soon I forget.

    I heard where Thomas wrote a separate opinion that said he would get rid of the donation limits all together, but as Daley said, that was not in play with this case.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  30. Of course, of the top ten donors so far this year – OR over the last 25 years – only the Chamber of Commerce donates primarily to Republicans.

    The Dreaded Koch Brothers were down around 50th last year and about 48th over 25 years. Of the top donors over 25 years, Democratic donors dominate – most of which are labor unions.

    The only appropriate campaign finance rule is: FULL & INSTANT disclosure as soon as a donation is deposited. All donations must be deposited in a special account and may not be transferred to campaign accounts until full disclosure is made.

    As a corollary, any donations given on untraceable credit cards or debit cards, gift cards, etc., may not be used by any campaign, and are the property of the Treasury to fund FEC enforcement.

    Estragon (ada867)

  31. Hey, if it were up to me we’d have publicly funded elections, period. All I’m saying is that the democrats will take full advantage of this — especially when you guys put up the most conservative conservative who ever done conserved.

    Hillary is really popular outside your bubble. I know you don’t believe that, but it’s true. She’s a war monger, and I don’t like her much. And she’ll have billions to work with. But them’s the breaks.

    Borgo (734f09)

  32. “The only appropriate campaign finance rule is: FULL & INSTANT disclosure as soon as a donation is deposited.”

    Estragon – For this crowd the only appropriate unstated campaign finance rule is the longstanding Chicago Way – a paper bag with cash inside passed when hopefully nobody is observing.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. ==Hillary is really popular outside your bubble.==

    Yeah, right. Even in her prime she was not popular enough to beat an unqualified untested smooth talking first term senator. Things have not exactly improved for her since then and she’s six years older with health issues.

    elissa (0666e5)

  34. Shoe boxes are not just for shoes, daley.

    elissa (0666e5)

  35. “Hillary is really popular outside your bubble.”

    Borgo – Hillary is fabulous. Love her pantsuits and lack of accomplishments. Hope the clotty brain thing works out.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  36. borgo not Gorgo
    Gorgo was a large reptile
    borgo’s much smaller

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  37. Borgo – Plus, Hillary already knows a thing or two about campaign finance fraud.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  38. He’s forever blowing Bubbles and Bubbles has grown blasé ’bout it.

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  39. teh VRWC will kneecap heifer Hillary…

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  40. http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnzogby/2014/04/02/hillary-clinton-drubs-major-gop-candidates-for-2016/

    More skewed polling, right? Romney in a landslide. There’s a long way to go, but this is where she is right now.

    Borgo (734f09)

  41. Borgo has been here before, under another name. I haven’t figured out which one, though. I don’t think he’s imdw, but his style of confrontation is definitely familiar.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  42. ==this is where she is right now.==

    Well good. Then you can just sit back and relax can’t you, Borgo? No need to waste your time and energy trolling on enemy websites.

    elissa (0666e5)

  43. frequent flyer miles
    coattails of lying husband
    run Hillary run

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  44. “There’s a long way to go, but this is where she is right now.”

    Borgo – Are you suggesting everybody else should just surrender now? Seriously?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. No I am not suggesting any of that.Again, I’m not a Clinton fan either. Just expression opinion and fact on a web site.

    Borgo (734f09)

  46. “Just expression opinion and fact on a web site.”

    Borgo – Got it. I remember when Hillary was supposed to be inevitable in the 2008 election. Good times. Good times.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. Chuck – it has, and it is.

    JD (fb8613)

  48. elissa wrote:

    I am happy with this decision because of the free speech issue. I just wish we could better control what I suspect are massive “contributions” from interested foreign states and actors which are somehow filtered and hidden in ways that get them into our political process. Their free speech I care less about– at least when it comes to affecting or influencing our elections.

    Well, that’s the trouble with freedom of speech; you don’t get to pick who gets to exercise that freedom.

    As long as we have any restrictions, candidates and contributors will have reasons to try to get around things, and they’re usually 4¾ steps ahead of the law. You could put a requirement that all money spent by a campaign has to be thoroughly documented as to its source, and not have a free speech issue, and then, if a candidate wants to take $200,000 from Red China, he’ll have some ‘splainin’ to do, but it wouldn’t be illegal.

    The Dana still bitterly disappointed that he didn't get in the first comment (3e4784)

  49. The Dana still bitterly disappointed that he didn’t get in the first comment – Those foreigners who commit felonies to vote in our elections surely deserve the right to spend a few bucks to support their illegal votes. Amirite?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  50. Mr rocks, if we take our esteemed host’s maxim “You can have laws against money in politics or you can have a First Amendment, but you can’t have both” as a truism, then we cannot prohibit money even from those who are ineligible to vote.

    The Dana who can tell the difference (3e4784)

  51. Let’s not confuse our Constitutional free speech guarantees for citizens and American businesses (which I’m pretty sure Patterico means), with generic “free” speech of any state or person anywhere else in the world who could greatly benefit from messing with our elections.

    elissa (0666e5)

  52. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 4/2/2014 @ 8:30 am

    When McCain-Feingold was being debated, an amendment or alternative was offered by Mitch McConnell that would have ceased all restrictions on giving, but required that all contributions be posted to the web within a certain time (less than 72-hrs IIRC).
    It was voted down by the Senate.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  53. I can’t help thinking more money, more stories, more in depth coverage, more scrutiny, will not be kind to former Senator Clinton’s political ambitions.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  54. All I’m saying is that the democrats will take full advantage of this

    Of course they will. Who ever imagined that they would not? You seem to think that we should decide our positions on fundamental civil liberties based on who will benefit. That may be the way you do things, but we don’t. This decision is good because it’s right, not because we think it will help Republicans. You’re probably correct that it won’t. And that’s OK.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  55. The only appropriate campaign finance rule is: FULL & INSTANT disclosure as soon as a donation is deposited. All donations must be deposited in a special account and may not be transferred to campaign accounts until full disclosure is made.

    As a corollary, any donations given on untraceable credit cards or debit cards, gift cards, etc., may not be used by any campaign, and are the property of the Treasury to fund FEC enforcement.

    The first amendment protects anonymous speech too. The USA might not exist without the works of “Publius”, “Cato”, and other anonymous writers. And we’ve seen what can happen to those who donate to unpopular causes and candidates.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  56. Does anybody know of any way way we could keep Prince Abu bin Sullen from spending three billion dollars on a PR and media campaign, uncoordinated with the candidate’s, to push any candidate the Untied Camel Emirates wanted?

    nk (dbc370)

  57. The Nightly News programs’ coverage of this ruling ought to be interesting.

    elissa (0666e5)

  58. Indeed.

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  59. Another case of workplace violence at Ft. Hood?

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  60. How much did Sheldon Adelson shovel in back in 2012?

    How much did George Soros shovel in back in 2008 and 2012 Borgo?

    It makes no difference how much anyone “shoveled in”. Political advertising is core speech. It is one person trying to persuade others to vote for her preferred candidate. If the first amendment doesn’t protect that, then what does it protect?

    And the distinction between the actual speech and the money that enables it is so fatuous that nobody can possibly actually believe in it. In no other context would anyone accept such a distinction. A law banning the purchase of newsprint or ink would clearly be just as unconstitutional as one banning the publication of newspapers. And a law banning the purchase of matches for the purpose of burning the flag would clearly be just as unconstitutional as one directly banning flag-burning. If I have the right to print a handbill, then I must also have the right to pay the printer, and to hire people to distribute them.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  61. Let’s not confuse our Constitutional free speech guarantees for citizens and American businesses (which I’m pretty sure Patterico means), with generic “free” speech of any state or person anywhere else in the world

    Wrong. If the first amendment granted freedoms, it could limit that grant to certain people. But it doesn’t. It protects freedoms that it asserts already exist, granted to all men by their Creator. That includes foreigners.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  62. Does anybody know of any way way we could keep Prince Abu bin Sullen from spending three billion dollars on a PR and media campaign, uncoordinated with the candidate’s, to push any candidate the Untied Camel Emirates wanted?

    Not any way that would not be thoroughly unAmerican.

    Milhouse (50cb78)

  63. Last time, Obama outspent McCain, 6/1 because the fool followed the rules, this time it was still 2/1, the troll may not notice, but the Court certainly remembered,

    Speaking of unethical millionaires, who pass the aspiring oligarch test;

    http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/374813/anyone-seen-guy-who-gave-gm-49-billion-taxpayer-money-jim-geraghty

    narciso (3fec35)

  64. David’s bottom line. It was so much better when wealthy corporations like the LA Times could spend as much money on political speech as they wanted and call it journalism.

    TheMightyQuinn (4d5c72)

  65. 58. It was the lead story on the CBS Evening News and they had an update about 10 or less before he end of the program.

    They can report nothing except that Ft. Hood is in lockdown, the incident has not been declared over, and some people have at least been wounded asnd taken to a hospital or hospitals.

    And the White House says Obama has been informed.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  66. We’ll probably be forced to play the game called, “Guess His Religious Affiliation” in regards to lamestream news reports about the latest Ft Hood shooting.

    I’m going to guess Mormon !

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  67. “If the first amendment granted freedoms, it could limit that grant to certain people. But it doesn’t. It protects freedoms that it asserts already exist, granted to all men by their Creator.”

    Milhouse – Wrong document, but a lot of people make that mistake.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  68. ==I’m going to guess Mormon !==

    You’re often correct about things, E.S., but this time I think you may be wrong. Coincidence? From yesterday:

    The FBI is searching for a recent Army recruit believed to be planning a “Fort Hood-inspired jihad against U.S. soldiers,” FoxNews.com has learned.

    The alert, whose legitimacy was confirmed by military and law enforcement officials, stated that a man identified as Booker had told friends of his “intention to commit jihad.” Booker, who is also known as Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, was recruited by the U.S. Army in Kansas City, Mo., in February 2014 and was scheduled to report for basic training on April 7. But he was discharged last week, apparently after law enforcement authorities learned of his alleged plan.

    Both the FBI and the 902d Military Intelligence Group at Fort Leavenworth are involved in the hunt.

    The alert, a copy of which was obtained by FoxNews.com, was sent out by the FBI’s Kansas City Division on Friday and distributed through the U.S. Marine Corps. The portion obtained by FoxNews.com did not include Hassan’s photo or age. It was also sent to the Kansas City Police Department, which could indicate authorities believe he may have remained in the area where he was recruited.

    The alert is titled, “Planned Fort Hood-inspired Jihad against US Soldiers by Army Recruit” and was issued “to inform and protect officers who may encounter this individual or others exhibiting the same aspirations.” The source of the information contained in the alert was listed as “An FBI agent.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/01/military-hunts-one-time-recruit-planning-ft-hood-style-jihad/

    elissa (da4d84)

  69. I’m going to guess Mormon !

    Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 4/2/2014 @ 4:43 pm

    Guess more likely to be Quaker it would, the religion of violence it is, unlike Islam, the religion of peace!

    Yoda (557254)

  70. jihad is gay and tiresome anymore

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  71. Thanks for the kind compliment elissa, however, I don’t see where that news story actually contradicts my guess that the perpetrator may be a Mormon.

    After all, there are plenty of Mormons named “Muhammed.” We’ll just have to wait and see. Besides, at this point, what difference does it make ?

    Let’s make no mistake, be clear, and move forward.
    Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  72. Oops, Yoda forget to :lol:

    Yoda (557254)

  73. Ivan Lopez, hija de la chingada

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  74. Pray for the victims, their families and friends.

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  75. Comment by elissa (da4d84) — 4/2/2014 @ 5:05 pm

    But he was discharged last week, apparently after law enforcement authorities learned of his alleged plan.

    yes, that’s the way to take care of it (NOT)

    Dismiss him. So he’ll have to attack some place else, like a movie theater.

    It may not have been this person. It doesn’t say he wants to do it at Ft. Hood itself.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  76. Save us, Barcky!

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  77. CNN 8:12 pm written report: The suspected shoooter is dead, but his death is not officially confirmed and the situation is still leabled as ongoing. No names are given.

    Four people are dead (not clear if this includes the shooter) but earlier reports said one.

    They are not ready to declare this over.

    They are not labeling this a terror attack.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  78. Make no mistake, Barack will draw a red line, and not rest until justice is served against “whoever” might have done this, as long as it can actually be proved that the alleged suspect actually did do this. But let’s be clear that sometimes good peace-loving people murder American soldiers in cold blood because they feel provoked by Jews, Christians, American foreign policy, perceived disenfranchisement, or the gnawing realization that there is income inequality in America.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  79. ABC: 4 dead. Total includes the gunman.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/shooting-incident-fort-hood/story?id=23166944

    Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee has been briefed. He told CNN there were also 14 injuries.

    “Shelter in place” order is still in place.

    No names.

    Sammy Finkelman (fb61e5)

  80. Fort Hood open thread here.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  81. Yoda– Some Yoda fan just won the powerball 425 million. I was hoping it might be you! But I guess not if you’re still hanging around with us peons.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/01/us/powerball-lottery-winner/

    elissa (da4d84)

  82. Comment by elissa (da4d84) — 4/2/2014 @ 5:34 pm

    Bahhhhh! Real Yoda it could not be! Yoda could not live in state where the Dark Side so powerful is!

    Yoda (557254)

  83. the *only* reason Meghan’s coward daddy pursued his stupid unconstitutional campaign finance reforms was to try and scrub off the stain of his sleazy dealings with Charles Keating

    who incidentally died today in his 90s much as other people have done in the past like my grandma, Bob Hope (who actually made it to 100), and also Bob Dole, and several others

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/business/charles-keating-key-figure-in-the-1980s-savings-and-loan-crisis-dies-at-90.html?_r=0

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  84. “Bob Dole will never die. The American people know this. Bob Dole knows this.”

    - Bob Dole

    Colonel Haiku (c4bd9a)

  85. oh. He’s still alive.

    So sue me I ain’t no Scott Martelle.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  86. mister happy, i realize you hate mccain with a passion, but his personal dealings with keating were seen as naive judgment, rather than as some sort of epic bernie madoff pyramid scheme.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  87. nevertheless

    he pursued his unconstitutional campaign finance scheme for the sole purpose of courting the favor of america’s fascist state media and thereby inoculating himself against the consequences of his Keating imbroglio

    then he ran for president and America arose with one voice and said no way is a loser brainwashed whore like you EVER going to be president

    then he went back to the senate and made an ass out of himself

    repeatedly

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  88. It is still illegal for a federal contractor to donate to a federal candidate.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  89. “So how is the per-candidate limit still constitutional?”

    Milhouse – That question was not decided as part of the case.

    Well, but the majority opinion went out of its way to say that it was constitutional. Thomas filed a separate opinion for that reason.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  90. Keating, was small beer, compared to Mozilo, Corzine, Cassano, all of them avoided jail time
    for their part in the subprime and other scams,
    Corzine wasn’t stopped by Sutton/Dillinger, as he pulled off a 1.2 billion dollar Houdini act, Lurch’s benefactor, David Paul also went up the River,

    narciso (3fec35)

  91. Also, it has come up again that reporting the names of small contributors to initiative campaigns is fodder for those who would suppress speech through harassment and intimidation.

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/186228/

    Kevin M (b11279)

  92. Corzine hasn’t avoiding jail as yet. There is still a chance that a non-corrupt DoJ might prosecute.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  93. that’s how they went after Prop 8, why they are now going after Mozilla’s founder,

    narciso (3fec35)

  94. “Keating, was small beer, compared to Mozilo, Corzine, Cassano”

    narciso – I don’t know, I thought American Continental/Lincoln cost taxpayers/investors around $3 billions, which was pretty big beer for the 1980s.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  95. “Well, but the majority opinion went out of its way to say that it was constitutional.”

    Kevin M – Yes, but as I said, it was not at issue in the case. The aggregate limits were what were ruled on. From page 3 of the Roberts opinion:

    This case does not involve any challenge to the base
    limits, which we have previo
    usly upheld as serving the
    permissible objective of com
    batting corruption. The Gov
    -
    ernment contends that the aggr
    egate limits also serve that
    objective, by preventing circumvention of the base limits.
    We conclude, however, that the aggregate limits do little,
    if anything, to address that concern, while seriously re
    -
    stricting participation in th
    e democratic process.
    The
    aggregate limits are therefore invalid under the the First Amendment.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  96. daley,

    I understand that, but there were enough dicta to get Thomas to separate himself.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  97. Kevin M – What difference does it make? They did not rule on the individual limit in the decision. The plaintiff only argued the aggregate limit constrained him. The individual limit was not a ripe issue for the case.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. Well it depends on if you read it “they didn’t reach the issue of individual limits” or “they reiterated that individual limits are constitutional.”

    Guess what the press is saying.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  99. “If the first amendment granted freedoms, it could limit that grant to certain people. But it doesn’t. It protects freedoms that it asserts already exist, granted to all men by their Creator.”

    Milhouse – Wrong document, but a lot of people make that mistake.

    No, not the wrong document. The amendment doesn’t actually say where these freedoms come from, but it does say that they already exist, and therefore must not be infringed. How did they come to already exist? That isn’t stated explicitly in this document, but there are a limited number of possible answers, and external evidence tells us which one the framers of this document had in mind.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  100. Individual limits are constitutional. Both houses of Congress passed a bill and the President signed it into law. No court has held them to be unconstitutional. Yet. What’s so hard?

    nk (dbc370)

  101. Hey, with the SCOTUS ruling yesterday the president and Valerie picked kind of a bad day to be high-roller fundraising in Chicago yesterday. Between their excitement over the president coming “home” for a “rare visit”, and the ungodly gnarly rush hour traffic mess due to road closures for him, it was hard for the media to focus on the horrible Supreme Court and rich republicans.

    elissa (83ae49)

  102. daley- Milhouse is never wrong. I thought you knew that.

    elissa (83ae49)

  103. Come the Revolution, no filthy-rich capitalist exploiter of the oppressed workers will be able to buy an election. All political campaigning on behalf of the selfless volunteers seeking to become servants of the people will be done by the Party, which will also provide every comrade with a pre-marked ballot to guide him and her into making the wise choice.

    nk (dbc370)

  104. elissa wrote:

    Let’s not confuse our Constitutional free speech guarantees for citizens and American businesses (which I’m pretty sure Patterico means), with generic “free” speech of any state or person anywhere else in the world who could greatly benefit from messing with our elections.

    The First Amendment takes no such distinctions. Rather, the Constitution states that:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Passing laws which would abridge the freedom of speech, even for foreigners, is simply forbidden by the First Amendment.

    The Dana who loves freedom of speech (3e4784)

  105. Passing laws which would abridge the freedom of speech, even for foreigners, is simply forbidden by the First Amendment unless the laws can withstand the “strict scrutiny” (or “the closely drawn” test depending on the Court’s mood) of five Supreme Court justices. FIFY

    Keeping Prince Walleyed ibn Mak er Al from funding his own political party with unlimited individual donations should meet either test I think.

    nk (dbc370)

  106. And it’s freedom of association, BTW.

    nk (dbc370)

  107. If money equals free speech I guess the Supreme Court is saying “put your money where your mouth is”. What does money have to do with speech? This will further divide the classes in this country.

    B. Johnston (f811af)

  108. Of course if it wasn’t for Oligarch Carlos Slim’s fortune, the Times wouldn’t publish, Sam Zell for the Dog Trainer, Bezos for the Post,

    narciso (3fec35)

  109. “BJohnson” – I guess that I am not surprised that is the only conclusion you could draw from their decision. Your leftist “guess” at what the Supreme Court is saying is laughable.

    JD (5c1832)

  110. George Soros, Tom Steyer and Warren Buffett were unavailable for comment,

    narciso (3fec35)

  111. “No, not the wrong document. The amendment doesn’t actually say where these freedoms come from, but it does say that they already exist, and therefore must not be infringed. How did they come to already exist? That isn’t stated explicitly in this document, but there are a limited number of possible answers, and external evidence tells us which one the framers of this document had in mind.”

    Milhouse – Can you please point out where, as you stated, the Constitution asserts those freedoms already exist and that they were endowed by our Creator.

    As I said, a lot of people mix up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as you appear to have done.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  112. “Well it depends on if you read it “they didn’t reach the issue of individual limits” or “they reiterated that individual limits are constitutional.””

    Kevin M – I guess it depends if you think McCutcheon can be used as an additional precedent to support the individual limit. Who cares what the press is saying.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  113. “daley- Milhouse is never wrong. I thought you knew that.”

    elissa – He just never admits he’s wrong.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  114. Perhaps there needs to be one regulation concerning campaign contributions for all entities, or perhaps one set for individuals and another set for organizations of all kinds.

    The left make things sound unfair when individuals or corporations or Tea-party groups get a favorable ruling, while ignoring the situation with unions like the SEIU and NEA that actually give more money to Dems.
    Simplify things so everything is apples to apples, or apples to apples and oranges to oranges.

    At least that is a thought, and I assume not new. I think someone above mentioned some attempt at this line by McConnell once.

    I think this could be an issue that would work in “nationalizing” Congressional campaigns, of course the repubs overall would need to embrace it.
    Americans do like things to be “fair”, leftists win when they win the war over the appearance of being fair. Counter attack with making things more fair, not trying to defend Tea Party groups being reasonable in light of unions.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  115. ‘the Congress shall make no law’ surprising how hard it is for them to understand this,

    narciso (3fec35)

  116. I guess it depends if you think McCutcheon can be used as an additional precedent to support the individual limit.

    It is another brick in the wall called stare decisis. And what the press says sometimes amounts to more such bricks.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  117. By the way, can anyone tell me why federal contractors, even individual contractors, are not allowed to contribute so much as a dollar to federal candidates or political committees?

    http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/citizens.shtml#prohibited

    Federal Government Contractors

    Federal government contractors may not make contributions to influence Federal elections. For example, if you are a consultant under contract to a Federal agency, you may not contribute to Federal candidates or political committees. Or, if you are the sole proprietor of a business with a Federal government contract, you may not make contributions from personal or business funds. But, if you are merely employed by a company (or partnership) with Federal government contracts, you are permitted to make contributions from your personal funds.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  118. Milhouse – Can you please point out where, as you stated, the Constitution asserts those freedoms already exist and that they were endowed by our Creator.

    I’ve already answered that. The language of the first amendment refers to these freedoms as already existing. It doesn’t say that these freedoms are granted, or created, or shall exist. It takes them as already existing, and forbids Congress from infringing them. Therefore the authors must have believed that these freedoms had already been created by some other document or agency. There are only a limited number of ways they could have come into existence, and external evidence shows us which one of these the authors had in mind. The Declaration of Independence, to which all the authors of the first amendment subscribed, says Who gave us our inherent freedoms; it therefore stands to reason that this is what they had in mind when they referred to these freedoms as already existing.

    As I said, a lot of people mix up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as you appear to have done.

    And as I already told you, a lot of people may do that but I did not. I’m in a position to know whether I mixed them up, and you are not, since you’re not telepathic. And I know that I did not mix them up, that when I wrote that I was fully aware of the langauge of each document.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  119. “And as I already told you, a lot of people may do that but I did not. I’m in a position to know whether I mixed them up, and you are not, since you’re not telepathic.”

    Milhouse – That’s fine. All that means is the sentence which you wrote:

    It protects freedoms that it asserts already exist, granted to all men by their Creator.

    is in error and you are reaching for emanations and penumbras to cover you embarrassment.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  120. your

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  121. Milhouse – Using your logic, were all the other rights enumerated in other Amendments contained in the Bill of Rights endowed by our Creator?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  122. And the unenumerated ones in the Ninth amendment.

    Sammy Finkelman (b66da2)

  123. Sammy – The Bill of Rights includes the first ten amendments.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  124. Meanwhile, Brenden Eich resigns from Mozilla. Dare to think for yourself, lose your job. Another gift of campaign finance laws.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  125. 5-4 decision… how could our favorite justices vote against the constitution that protects us against the state. Once again Democrats show that they still love slavery. They are a perfect fit in in a Fascist country.

    jason (9ce367)

  126. So does this take Barry’s thumb off of the Tea Party groups?

    papertiger (c2d6da)


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