January 22, 2010

Top blogger

I've seen a number of over-the-top negative reactions to yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC,* but this one is surely the daftest:
I know readers are befuddled by my relative silence on this. It strikes me as an extreme interpretation of the First Amendment, as extreme as this court's interpretation of the Second Amendment.
I'm not a top blogger like Andrew Sullivan, but I don't find particularly "extreme" the Court's deciding that an individual's right to self-defense in her own home within the District of Columbia to be a more compelling concern than was D.C.'s power to prohibit ownership of arguably the most effective instrument of self-defense.**

Continued relative silence may have been the more prudent course.

* Although I'm impressed by bloggers who can digest and pronounce upon 175 pages worth of Supreme Court opinions in an especially complex area of law within the space of about 17.5 minutes.

** The trouble with the majority's opinion in D.C. v. Heller is that Scalia was holding the Bill of Rights upside down when he wrote it:

The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed, a well regulated Militia [among other things, such as personal self-defense] being necessary to the security of a free State [sic].


Grant said...

I think you're assuming facts not in evidence.

illusory tenant said...

His bigger problem is being impressed by the likes of Ramesh Ponnuru.

Pete Gruett said...

In the grand scheme of things, the negative impact of this decision is probably blunted by the existing intractable corruption of our political system. Corporations have always had ways to bury office-holders they don't like. Just ask Louis Butler.

I'd be interested in your take on the potential efficacy (and propriety) of the constitutional amendment Brenda Konkel was promoting yesterday, demoting corporations below dolphins and money below speech.

illusory tenant said...

Hard to say, as they didn't propose any specific language. Interesting that they don't believe the Constitution guarantees the right to vote, however. Justice Roggensack begs to differ.

Like you I fail to see how affirming the ability of multi-millionaires to run thousands upon thousands of lying "issue ads" during judicial elections is any kind of "victory for free speech."