CCP Brief Forms Basis for Questioning at WRTL Oral Argument

At the close of Wednesday’s oral argument in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Justice Alito and Justice Scalia questioned Solicitor General Paul Clement about the time period of the "electioneering communications" ban in presidential elections.  Justice Scalia noted that it could be upwards of 200 days.

We were flattered, as this line of questioning draws directly from the amicus brief filed by CCP, along with the Cato Institute, the Institute for Justice, and the Reason Foundation.  It draws on a forthcoming article in the Stanford Law & Policy Review by CCP Chairman Bradley Smith and Jason Owen, Boundary Based Restrictions in Unbounded Broadcast Media Markets: McConnell v. FEC’s Underinclusive Overbreadth Analysis, __ Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev. __ (forthcoming 2007).  While the article was also cited in the brief of appellees and the amicus brief of Senator Mitch McConnell, the argument was first raised and most developed in the CCP brief. 

We also note that Solicitor General Paul Clement got it wrong – responding to Justices Alito and Scalia, Clement denied that the law could black out broadcast stations in multimedia markets for more than 90 days in presidential elections.  There is no real way to respond to this other than to point out that the Solicitor General is simply wrong, as a matter of fact, not opinion or interpretation.  Read the article, which will be linked at this site as soon as it is available on line.

Filed Under: Blog

WRTL Round-up

The time has finally come: the Supreme Court will hear FEC v. WRTL at 10 a.m. this morning.  We’ll be attending the oral arguments, and will provide our impressions as soon as possible.  In the meantime, if you’re reporting on the case, or just interested in learning more about it, here are some useful links:

CCP’s op-ed in the Washington Times

CCP’s press release on the case

Additional resources for reporters (including CCP’s amicus brief) 

Filed Under: Blog

Fight for Free Speech: Supreme Court Decision Could Strike Down Portions of McCain Feingold

PRESS RELEASE: April 25, 2007


Filed Under: Press Releases

Rest In Peace, Chairwoman Millender-McDonald

We were as surprised as any to hear of the untimely passing of House Administration Committee Chairwoman Juanita Millender-McDonald.

We have had many opportunities over the years to see Rep. Millender-McDonald consider seemingly intractible issues of campaign finance law, sometimes as witnesses before her committee.  She seemed always to address those issues with genuine concern and aplomb.

Our thoughts are with her family.

Filed Under: Blog

FEC v. WRTL debriefing at the Cato Institute

The Cato Institute will host a debriefing this Wednesday, following the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in FEC v. WRTL.  The discusion panel will include Jim Bopp, attorney for WRTL, as well as law professors Kathleen Sullivan, Rick Hasen, and Marty Lederman.  It should be a very interesting discussion.

If you want to attend, you should register by 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday the 24th.  If you can’t make it in person, you can watch or listen to the event live on the Cato website.

To register for this event, or for more information, click here.  

Filed Under: Blog

The Price of Strategery

The RNC has discovered Catalist, but its Research Department doesn’t seem to have fully discovered what it means.

Click on the headline to

Filed Under: Blog

The Importance of $2.49

In this earlier post, we commented on what we saw as the rather alarmist reaction of the Campaign Legal Center to the idea that volunteer donors to campaigns might absorb up to $57.50 in administrative costs in order to make their contribution.  On Thursday, the FEC sadly bought into this notion – only it make a lot less sense than even we initially thought.  As "reform" implodes and becomes more and more concerned with the trivial, the FEC’s Advisory Opinion 2007-04 will be one worth remembering. 

Click the headline to see absurdity in action…


Filed Under: Blog

“If Knox is to be stopped, rivals must act swift-ly”

"Reformers," who don’t like spending by self-financed millionaires or by independent groups, have put themselves in a bit of a bind.  As the Philadelphia Daily News reports, Tom Knox, a self-financed mayoral candidate, has taken a wide lead over his closest rivals, U.S. Reps. Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah.  How is it that two sitting Congressmen are at such a fundraising disadvantage?  The answer, as it turns out, is "reform." 

Update: More on the unintended consequences of "reform," this time from Ohio.

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

The L.A. Times on the New York Times on “reform” doctrine

Editorial pages at major newspapers are notorious for their near unwavering support for campaign finance "reform," so it’s always a breath of fresh air when an editorial writer comes out in support of First Amendment rights.  And if they take a swing at "reform" proponents’ overblown rhetoric . . . well that’s something truly worthy of our readers’ attention. Michael McGough, senior editorial writer at the L.A. Times, offers just such an editorial

Click the headline to read more.

Filed Under: Blog

The Importance of $57.50

The Campaign Legal Center has commented on a proposed FEC advisory opinion, to be voted on this morning (4/19/07).

You can guess which side CLC comes down on – the regulatory side.  We fully understand that CLC is just laying out the law, as they see it.  But it seems to us that campaign finance just keeps getting more and more irrelevant.  Keep in mind that the goal of reform is to prevent corruption, or its appearance.  Apparently, the difference between a corrupting campaign contribution and one that is not corrupting lies somewhere between $2300.00 and $2357.50.  Good to know.

Filed Under: Blog

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.