Supreme Court Eases Restrictions on First Amendment Ads

The United States Supreme Court today (in a 5-4 ruling) ruled that some restrictions on speech that were contained in the McCain-Feingold Campaign finance act were un-Constitutional.

While the Supreme Court should have tossed out all restrictions on television ads airing close to elections and campaign funding as contrary to the First Amendment (among other things), the Supreme Court today did loosen restrictions on ads airing near an election.

Every small victory for freedom and freedom of speech is welcome.

Chief Justice Roberts said:

Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues also may be pertinent in an election. Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.

Commenting Mitt Romney stated:

Score one for free speech. Today the Supreme Court reaffirmed the First Amendment by rejecting a key feature of McCain-Feingold. The law trampled the basic right of the American people to participate in their democracy. It also purported to reduce the influence of money in politics, but we now know that influence is greater than ever. McCain-Feingold was a poorly crafted bill. Today?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s decision restores, in part, to the American people a right critical to their freedom of political participation and expression.

The case was Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 06-969, and McCain v. Wisconsin Right to Life, 06-970.