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SCOTUS Follows Constitution: Left Unhinged



Yesterday, in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, No. 12-536, the US Supreme Court struck down another congressionally imposed restriction on free speech. The reaction of the Left and Democrats to the McCutcheon decision is one more example of how they have become unhinged from the Constitution and the freedoms it was designed to protect. 

The McCutcheon decision was another 5-4 decision that was in many ways reflective of the long-standing division on the court between those justices perceived as “conservative” and those justices perceived as “liberal.”

But don’t be fooled by the establishment media perceptions or characterizations of the division on the court. The real split was between those justices who view the Constitution as the law that governs government and those who view the Constitution as a quaint anachronism that can be got round with a little sophistry.

The law in question was the decades-old cap on the total amount any individual can contribute to federal candidates in a two-year election cycle, which Congress originally justified by alleging that such a cap would prevent “corruption.”

“The government may no more restrict how many candidates or causes a donor may support than it may tell a newspaper how many candidates it may endorse,” Chief Justice john Roberts  wrote in an opinion supported by three other Justices.

Leveling the playing field is not an acceptable interest for the government, Roberts said. Nor is “the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner ‘influence over or access to’ elected officials or political parties,” he added, quoting Citizens United.

The only acceptable justification, he said, was rooting out “quid pro quo corruption” or the appearance of it.

The reality of the restrictions in question, and other campaign finance restrictions that the Supreme Court did not address in McCutcheon, is that as a practical matter they have nothing to do with rooting out "quid pro quo corruption" and everything to do with protecting incumbents.

The incumbent protection racket created by the current system of campaign contribution restrictions also has the effect of protecting the growth of government and protecting the power and interests of the Big Government, Big Business, Big Labor axis that controls the bulk of the billions spent during a typical election cycle.

If donors can “max out” to as many candidates as they want, they won’t need Karl Rove or a Union Boss to collect the money and spend it where and how they want.

Not surprisingly, the Left went crazy when the decision in McCutcheon was announced.

Far Left activist organization called the decision “another nail in the coffin of free elections and of government by the people.”

But now here’s where it gets interesting and the philosophy of the far Left and the Supreme Court’s liberal Justices intersect: MoveOn then called for “150 Rapid Response Rallies nationwide.”

The goal of these rallies was to “send a clear message: if the Supreme Court is going to become a conservative activist, then the rest of us are only going to get louder. The media, politicians, and the Supreme Court can't ignore more than a 150 events happening within hours of their soured decision—especially not if MoveOn members join allies and show up in mass.”

In other words, forget the Constitution, if they can’t use the government to restrict the freedom of speech of conservatives the hard Left will take it to the streets to restrict the freedom of speech of those they don’t like.

We’ll bet you would have a hard time finding a member of MoveOn who would support a law to prohibit burning the American flag or oppose a law restricting protests at abortion clinics – both of which are free speech cases the Supreme Court dealt with according to the political views of secular liberals – but when the Court actually expands the free speech rights of people they don’t like liberals go nuts and call for riots in the streets.

James Madison said of the Constitution, “The People, not the Government, possess the absolute sovereignty. The Legislature, no less than the Executive, is under limitations of power. Encroachments are regarded as possible from the one as well as from the other. Hence, in the United States the great and essential rights of the people are secured against legislative as well as against executive ambition. They are secured, not by laws paramount to prerogative, but by constitutions paramount to laws.”

The scary thing about McCutcheon is that four Justices of the United States Supreme Court were willing to allow members of Congress to use the power of the government to enact a law to regulate the speech of their opponents.

In McCutcheon it was a close call, but five Justices got it right, or right enough, to secure the rights of the people against the legislative, as well as the executive ambition.

Read the SCOTUS opinions here.

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