Protect Political Speech, not Pornography

“Participation in the political process is the First Amendment’s most fundamental guarantee. Yet that freedom is being smothered by one of the most complicated, expensive, and incomprehensible regulatory regimes ever invented by the administrative state.”

So said former Solicitor General Ted Olson, arguing on behalf of petitioner in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a case challenging portions of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance control law.

Make no mistake, McCain-Feingold is an unconstitutional assault on the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. If any sort of speech deserves robust protection, it is speech associated with the political and electoral process. The Supreme Court should take the opportunity to overturn this legislation, as it failed to do so when presented with the opportunity previously.

As the Wall Street Journal said in an editorial,

“McCain-Feingold is a frontal assault on political speech, and President Bush’s decision to sign it while claiming to dislike it was one of the worst moments of his eight years in office. Citizens United gives the Justices a new opportunity to chip away at this attack on the First Amendment, and even better if they use it to declare the whole thing unconstitutional.”

Here’s hoping the Court takes that advice.


Jonah Goldberg at NRO offers similar thoughts.

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