Give speech the benefit of the doubt

Today the New York Sun weighed in on the FEC rulemaking in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC. Below are highlights from the editorial.

"The FEC faces a number of questions: Can these newly deregulated ads lobby individuals who do not yet hold federal office (e.g. "Call Mitt Romney and ask him to pledge not to raise taxes")? What’s the line between an issue ad and an ad that calls on people to vote for or against a specific candidate? Do groups running issue ads have to disclose their donors to the FEC as if they were engaging in election-related activity? Clearly the Supreme Court was urging that the maximum latitude possible be given to groups engaged in grassroots lobbying – such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Rifle Association, pro-life groups, pro-abortion groups, and all of the myriad interests who might wish to speak in our political process. As Mr. Roberts wrote, "A court should find that an ad is the functional equivalent of express advocacy only if the ad is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate." A restoration of the First Amendment will require the repeal of most of our existing campaign-finance laws. The FEC can move in the right direction by giving citizens the benefit of the doubt."

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