More Venom for McCain-Feingold
First up, is David Boaz of the Cato Institute. He writes, "What would McCain, Feingold, and the New York Times say if the U.S.-backed government in Iraq banned any criticism of itself for the next 60 days? Would they say "one giant step toward democracy"? I doubt it."Here is the link to the rest of the piece on Reason by Jacob Sullum. It's full of great stuff...
Matt Johnston of Going to the Mat provides a historical perspective, "Not since the Alien and Sedition Acts of the late 18th Century, a stain on the early American history, have we faced such restrictions on our ability to criticize the government and the representatives who are, after all, beholden to our votes to keep them in office."
Jacob Sullum writes, "It seems Americans now need permission to speak out on political issues and petition the government. I'd suggest a constitutional amendment protecting those rights, but I thought we already had one."
As of Friday, when the 60-day blackout period for "electioneering communications" by nonprofit interest groups begins, political speech will enjoy less protection than dirty movies. While a sexually explicit film is protected by the First Amendment if it has some socially redeeming value, an "electioneering communication" is forbidden even if it deals with important and timely public policy issues.Sullum does an excellent job of explaining the current Wisconsin Right to Life/Senator Kohl controversy. Definitely give it a read.
Professor Stephen Bainbridge chimes in as well, referring to Sullum's "sexually explicit film" quote...
This infringement of First Amendment rights brought to you courtesy of Senators McCain and Feingold and a complaisant SCOTUS. Somehow, however, I doubt whether event the worst libertines amongst the Founding Fathers would have approved.Even the ACLU is on our side on McCain-Feingold.