Justice I'm-Not-An-Activist-But-Really-I-Am Breyer

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Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was on Fox News Sunday today. He was giving an example of how sometimes the law is not entirely clear.

He was defending the court's 2003 decision to uphold the campaign finance law that abridged freedom of speech by saying, essentially, that the First Amendment exists, in part, "to help our country ... run fair and free elections. ... And that may mean in part that you don't one person's speech -- that one $20 million giver -- to drown out everybody else's. So if we want to give a chance to the people who have only one dollar and not 20 million, maybe we have to do something to majke that playing field a little more level in terms of money. If you accept that at all, you've suddenly bought into the proposition that there are First Amendment issues on both sides of this equation."

Um. Uh. No. On one side of the equation, you are saying Congress should not limit the speech of others. On the other, you are saying Congress should.

The $20 million giver is not Congress. His "drowning out" of everybody else is not unconstitutional. Congress saying that he may not spend $20 million is unconstitutional.

He dismissed such claims as appealing to "slogans," like "the freedom of speech." Funny, I call that a "law" not a "slogan."

Have I mentioned recently that I really don't respect Justice Breyer's judicial philosophy? slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on December 3, 2006 4:09 PM.

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