SCOTUS OVERTURNS 1ST AMENDMENT
The Supreme Court upheld key features of the nation’s new law intended to lessen the influence of money in politics, ruling Wednesday that the government may ban unlimited donations to political parties.
Those donations, called “soft money,” had become a mainstay of modern political campaigns, used to rally voters to the polls and to pay for sharply worded television ads.
Bizarre. Details will follow–that’s the entirety of the report as of this posting.
Update (1029): There’s more at the link above now. It gets worse:
The court also upheld restrictions on political ads in the weeks before an election. The television and radio ads often feature harsh attacks by one politician against another or by groups running commercials against candidates.
The court was divided on the complex issue; five of the nine justices voted to substantially uphold the soft money ban and the ad restrictions, which were the most significant features of the vast new law.
Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer signed the main opinion barring candidates for federal office, including incumbent members of Congress or an incumbent president, from raising soft money.
The majority also barred the national political parties from raising this kind of money, and said their affiliates in the individual states may not serve as conduits for soft money.
So, not only the right to free speech but that of free associaton are eroded. Wonderful.