His remarks from his dissent over the recent Supreme Court ruling:
instinct of power is the retention of power, and, under a Constitution
that requires periodic elections, that is best achieved by the
suppression of election-time speech."
This was from one of j. cammarano's emails and he didn't write the reasons given by the justices on the other side. Anyone give me the reader's digest of their decision? I just can't fathom what they were thinking.
Read the favorable NY Times opinion on the ruling. December 11, 2003 A Campaign Finance Triumph The Supreme Court delivered a stunning victory for political reform yesterday, upholding the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law virtually in its entirety. The court rejected claims that the law violates the First Amendment, making it clear that Congress has broad authority in acting against the corrupting power of money in politics. The ruling is cause for celebration, but it should also spur Congress to do more to clean up our political system. The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, widely known as McCain-Feingold, closed two gaping loopholes in campaign finance law. One was "soft money," the unlimited, and often very sizable, contributions to political parties that were then funneled into federal campaigns. The other concerned sham "issue ads," commercials run just before an election that were unregulated because they purported to be about political issues but were actually intended to help particular candidates. Groups ranging from the National Rifle Association to the American Civil Liberties Union, joined by some elected officials, rushed into court to challenge the law as an infringement on the First Amendment. The Supreme Court rejected those claims, 5 to 4. Given the choice of seeing the law as a restriction on speech or as a needed corrective to corruption in politics, the court came down firmly on the side of considering it a corrective. It made clear that the free-speech test that applies to campaign contributions is a more forgiving one than is generally used for laws that prohibit speech itself. And it underscored that Congress had important interests in preventing both political corruption and the appearance of corruption. Using this deferential legal approach, the court upheld the most important parts of McCain-Feingold. In the past, the Supreme Court has second-guessed Congress's enactments in this area closely, upholding parts of a campaign finance law while striking down other crucial parts. One of the most noteworthy aspects of yesterday's decision was how broadly it deferred to Congress's "fully legitimate interest in . . . preventing corruption of federal electoral processes through the means it has chosen." The court's strong endorsement of Congress's authority to regulate money in politics should be seen as an invitation to further reform. There are good proposals pending in Congress, including the Presidential Funding Act of 2003, which would improve the campaign finance system starting in 2008, and a bill to replace the Federal Election Commission with an independent agency. More, and more creative, approaches are needed. Now that many of the constitutional objections have been stripped away, Congress has a greater obligation than ever to address what the court's majority aptly called "the ill effects of aggregated wealth on our political system."