Justice Alito Was Right by Judge NapSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Fri, 01/29/2010 - 11:02
The Supreme Court issued a ruling last week on the campaign finance that is still being discussed all over the country. In fact, it was even mentioned by President Obama at Wednesday night’s State of the Union address. The high court invalidated its own 20-year-old ruling -- which had upheld a one hundred-year-old statute on group political contributions -- and it also invalidated a portion of the McCain-Feingold Campaign finance law.
The 20-year-old ruling had forbidden any political spending by groups such as corporations, labor unions, and advocacy organizations (like the NRA and Planned Parenthood, for example). Ruling that all persons, individually and in groups, have the same unfettered free speech rights, the court blasted Congress for suppression of that speech. In effect, the court asked, “What part of ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech’ does Congress not understand?” Thus, all groups of two or more persons are free to spend their own money on any political campaigns and to mention the names of the candidates in their materials.
The court also threw out the portion of McCain-Feingold law that had prohibited persons who pool their funds or contribute to Political Action Committees (PACs), from spending those funds, directly or through PACs, in the 60 day period preceding an election. Since that 60 day period preceding the election is the most vital in any campaign, the court held that the prohibition on expenditures during that time was a violation of the free speech guaranteed to all persons, individually and in groups, by the First Amendment.