Today the US Supreme Court heard arguements concerning campaign finance reform. The questions and comments from the case seemed to break along ideological lines with more liberal members of the Court defending the legislation, while more Conservative members, particularly Justice Scalia may have tipped his hand when he said, “It is better to allow some bad speech . . . than to eliminate good speech that is justified.”
The particular issue at hand was a case that involved a pro-life series of advertisements which ran late in Wisconsin’s Senatorial campaign, and asked for those with questions to call Sen. Feingold (D-WI), the author of CFR legislation along with Sen. McCain (R-AZ).
For full details on the story click here.
CFR is not the favorite topic among many Conservatives who see it as an issue of free speech. Candidly, I find that a smoke screen for the line towed by special interest groups and big lobbyist groups, who wish to peddle cash for influence of the political process. In the long run, a free and open debate always benefits a democracy, but there is nothing “Free” about the types of tactics used by groups which have been speaking in political campaigns for certain causes. If anything, the loopholes left in CFR legislation need to be tightened so that groups such as Moveon.org and Swiftboat veterans find it harder to get their message across. Candidly, the negative advertising and false insinuations by many of these organizations need to be held to the same standards of libel as all speech. If the allegations promoted by these organizations proves to be true, then it is fine that they are aired, however, if the allegations are proved in fact to be false, those who produce, traffic, and fund these advertisements should be punished harshly by torte law.
Free speech is one thing, there is nothing free with the types of ads that were run prior to CFR and by many of those which run using the loopholes of CFR. Thus the adage of “The Golden Rule” is proven again. Those with the gold, make the rules.