Sunday, September 13, 2009

George F. Will - The Supreme Court's Chance to Dump McCain-Feingold and Aid Free Speech -

Justice Antonin Scalia was "a little disoriented" and Justice Samuel Alito said "that's pretty incredible." Chief Justice John Roberts said: "If we accept your constitutional argument, we're establishing a precedent that you yourself say would extend to banning the book" -- a hypothetical 500-page book containing one sentence that said "vote for" a particular candidate.

What shocked them, but should not have, were statements by a government lawyer who was only doing his professional duty with ruinous honesty -- ruinous to his cause. He was defending the mare's-nest of uncertainties that federal campaign finance law has made and the mess the court made in 2003 when, by affirming the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold's further speech restrictions, it allowed Congress to regulate speech by and about people running for Congress.

Heard on "Meet the Press" today:

"Congress is always reforming the last issue. They never anticipate the next one."

Thus there are always unintended consequences. Example given is campaign finance reform.

Let's add that they also never consider issues previous to the last issue. Thus creating book banning mandates out of thin air.

We elect Congress and the President largely on their ability to make speeches and appear poised on TV. Judged by what they actually do and if you could see what they would actually write rather than the work of ghost writers) they are far from impressive.

Disoriented indeed.

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