Thursday, April 11

Send in the Libertarians!

The Libertarian Party has joined the lawsuit to overturn Shays-Meehan (a.k.a. the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, a.k.a. that wonderful new campaign finance reform law, a.k.a. that awful new campaign finance reform law). My views on the law are quite straightforward. Political advocacy, whether it takes the form of distributing pamphlets, running television ads, penning editorials, or just debating your neighbor, is ur-political speech protected by the First Amendment. It follows that any attempt to prohibit such advocacy (such as Shays-Meehan's ban on television and radio ads by independent citizens within 60 days of an election if they mention a candidate) is anathema to the First Amendment. Justice Thomas has made this point in several dissenting opinions in which he has noted that it is an absurd interpretation of the First Amendment that affords a high level of protection to expressive acts such as nude dancing while simultaneously permitting political debate to be censored. Read the Libertarian Party's press release here.