Reaction to Shays II

News coverage (HERE and HERE) of the Shays II decision highlights the so-called "reformers" obvious disappointment with the Court decision that allows the FEC to continue reviewing independent advocacy groups on a case-by-case basis.

As usual their "outrage" shows no respect for First Amendment political rights.

Their primary complaint seems to be that case-by-case rulings do not adequately enforce the existing campaign finance law.

Representative Christopher Shays said: "I am disappointed the FEC may continue to ignore the campaign finance laws as written and instead will review 527s on an arbitrary basis."

Democracy 21’s Fred Wertheimer said: "We have a pattern of cases where we get decisions three years after the violations occurred… That simply does not work to enforce the law."

I wonder if the "reformers" ever even considered that, just maybe, those who engage in political speech have the right to due process. 

In fact, perhaps the Court and the FEC is simply (borrowing from Justice Roberts) giving the benefit of the doubt to free speech – i.e. comprehensive regulation of 527 would have the potential to overtly chill independent speech.

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