Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The first step in overturning McCain-Feingold?

From Fox News:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Vermont's limits on contributions and spending in political campaigns are too low and improperly hinder the ability of candidates to raise money and speak to voters.

In a fractured set of opinions, justices said they were not sweeping aside 30 years of election finance precedent but rather finding only that Vermont's law — the strictest in the nation — sets limits that unconstitutionally hamstring candidates.

The majority took issue with Vermont legislators for "constraining speech" by telling candidates and voters how much campaigning was enough.

President Bush's two appointees to the court — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito — sided with the majority in overturning Vermont's law.

In one of six separate opinions, Justice Stephen Breyer said a majority of justices found Vermont's law was unconstitutional.

"That is to say, they impose burdens upon First Amendment interests that (when viewed in light of the statute's legitimate objectives) are disproportionately severe," Breyer wrote.

Although this is a step in the right direction in restoring the right to free and unfettered political speech inherent in the First Amendment, there is much work to be done. We are endowed by our Creator, not by the Supreme Court or by Congress, with certain unalienable rights. Our Founding Fathers even argued amongst themselves regarding the need for the Bill of Rights, since many thought that it would go without saying that the rights outlined in the first 10 amendments in the Constitution were of God, and therefore self-evident. But so as not to leave room for confusion, the Founding Fathers went out of their way to enumerate those rights; so that they would be forever inviolate, and so that citizens would be protected from government encroachment.

Or so they thought.

McCain Feingold, more than any other law previous or since, trounced on our right to free political speech, by setting an arbitrary limit on same, in direct violation to the First Amendment, both in content and in intent.

The First Amendment scored a victory in Vermont, but there is still a battle to be waged. The real travesty of this issue is that there is need for the battle in the first place.

(Filed under Elections, First Amendment Assaults, RINOs)