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Friday, July 02, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
Free Speech:

For instance, the National Rifle Association has created a satellite radio program ('NRANews') that reaches some 400,000 listeners. If the advocacy group runs old-fashioned political ads about candidates within 60 days of an election, it will violate McCain-Feingold. But as long as it is producing news or commentary, the NRA can speak to its heart's content, much as the New York Times or this newspaper does every day. Sincere congratulations to the NRA for its creativity, but this is the kind of absurd hoop-jumping that the Court's First Amendment dereliction now requires.


I think this was less creative than it was inevitable. I predicted this type of move as part of my "Friends of Pat" framework, over 4 years ago. I'm sure others had thought of it before that. The amazing thing to me is that the supporters of McCain-Feingold stuck their heads in the sand and ignored the fact that political organizations would find ways around it that are as simple as this one. Someone described my opposition to M-F as fatalistic because I believe that there will always be a way around similar laws. That's not exactly right though. The reason why I believe that there will be ways around it, is because you can't truly enforce laws like this without completely and blatanly eviscerating the First Amendment. When you push on these laws, you shake loose all of the ways they abridge freedom of speech, in the one realm where it's most important.


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