May It Please The Court

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About J. Craig Williams

May It Please The Court
by Leonard Rivkin
Barnes & Noble CLE Books

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Quote of the Day - We can stop the negative tone now, and we can reclaim this campaign from the special interest groups who want to control the message and the election if we mutually request a ban on ads from political parties and independent groups. - John Thune
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Here's An Impossible Task For The Supreme Court: Phony Ads or Real Ads?

Let me explain that headline.  Just before Christmas, the District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided the case of Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission, which involved the McCain-Feingold law.  That law prevents companies and groups from using unrestricted money to run advertisements that name candidates either two months before a general election or one month before a primary. 

The Court walked a tight line to find that the WRTL ads did not run afoul of the law, essentially loosening the restrictions of the law.  Judge Roberts (not Justice), however, spent eight pages in his dissent disagreeing with the majority decision, and stated his belief that the ads may have been designed to influence a Senate election, spark litigation or on the other hand amounted to genuine ads. 

I don't know about you, but any law that limits the number of ads around the time of election campaigns is fine with me, no matter what side of the fence they fall on or which candidate they endorse.  There are more than enough ads already jamming the radio and TV and littering the newspapers and Internet.  If you have any doubt, then think back to what your street corner looked like back in October.  Remember those campaign posters?  Ugh.

This decision, however, gets an automatic punt to the U.S. Supreme Court.  To uphold the 2-1 decision, the nine justices would be required to figure out a test to distinguish genuine issue ads from fake ones. 

Good luck. 

MIPTC's vote:  overturn this lower court decision and ban the ads.  It would relieve the populace from the onslaught of election ads that no one pays attention to anyway. 

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 23:38 Comments (0)


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