Freedom of political speech wins a round in the Supreme Court - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Posts: 36,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Freedom of political speech wins a round in the Supreme Court

Court allows issue ads near elections

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer 20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court loosened restrictions Monday on corporate- and union-funded television ads that air close to elections, weakening a key provision of a landmark campaign finance law.

The court, split 5-4, upheld an appeals court ruling that an anti-abortion group should have been allowed to air ads during the final two months before the 2004 elections. The law unreasonably limits speech and violates the group's First Amendment rights, the court said.

The decision could lead to a bigger role for corporations, unions and other interest groups in the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.

The case involved advertisements that Wisconsin Right to Life was prevented from broadcasting. The ads asked voters to contact the state's two senators, Democrats Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, and urge them not to filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees.

Feingold, a co-author of the campaign finance law, was up for re-election in 2004.

The provision in question was aimed at preventing the airing of issue ads that cast candidates in positive or negative lights while stopping short of explicitly calling for their election or defeat. Sponsors of such ads have contended they are exempt from certain limits on contributions in federal elections.

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by his conservative allies, wrote a majority opinion upholding the appeals court ruling.

The majority itself was divided in how far justices were willing to go in allowing issue ads.

Three justices, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, would have overruled the court's 2003 decision upholding the constitutionality of the provision.

Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito said only that the Wisconsin group's ads are not the equivalent of explicit campaign ads and are not covered by the court's 2003 decision.

That court, differently composed, upheld large portions of the law in its 2003 decision, including the provision in question in the current case.

On Monday, Justice David Souter, joined by his three liberal colleagues, said in his dissent that the court "effectively and, unjustifiably, overruled" the earlier decision.

The ads could have been run, Souter pointed out, had they been paid for out of the group's political action committee, which is subject to federal campaign finance limits. Or Feingold's name could have been omitted, he said.

"Thus, what is called a 'ban' on speech is a limit on the financing of electioneering broadcasts by entities...that insist on acting as conduits from the campaign war chests of business corporations," Souter said.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens joined Souter's dissent.

The Bush administration urged the court to ban the ads, arguing that they were meant to influence the elections, not lobby the senators.

But Roberts said, "Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues also may be pertinent in an election. Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor."

An array of interest groups across the political spectrum sought the outcome the court reached Monday. They include: the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Rifle Association, labor unions and business groups.

The consolidated case is Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 06-969, and McCain v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 06-970.

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and that’s what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
Botnst is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 02:03 PM
Always Remembered RIP
cascade's Avatar
Date registered: Nov 2006
Vehicle: 1991 560SEC AMG
Location: Grass Valley, N. Calif. / Gardnerville, Nevada
Posts: 10,146
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 16 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to cascade
Absolute truth is a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

<--- superschnelle 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV, Hochverdichtung = high compression (11/2011) ... Wie im Freien Fall. Nur horizontal.

"I swear to god, it's like I live in a trailer of common sense, and stare out the window at a tornado of stupidity." >'='<
cascade is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    President Bush prepares for possible Supreme Court vacancy Jayhawk Off-Topic 12 06-04-2007 12:41 PM
    I love Freedom of Speech but this is a little to far out there for me..... Jakarta Expat Off-Topic 3 03-01-2007 09:46 AM
    Mann Coulter doesn't like new Supreme Court nominee, so he must be OK FeelTheLove Off-Topic 9 07-20-2005 06:13 PM
    Another liberal attack on freedom of speech MS Fowler Off-Topic 16 07-20-2005 09:20 AM
    Very significant ruling by the Nebraska Supreme Court GeeS Off-Topic 11 02-02-2005 09:24 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome