Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The new Supreme Court will hear at least two election cases this term.
Hasen has the scoop and coverage.
I need to double-check, are these both Bopp cases?
Sorrell is about whether states can ban campaigns - specifically, can they cap campaign spending? The traditional answer, under Valeo, is no.
The Supreme Court is likely to simply point to Valeo and say case closed, but it could, less likely, go off in wild new directions, more likely, use the case for the new justices to express themselves, either by what they write, or by how they do or don't form voting coalitions.
Wisconsin RighttoLife v. FEC is less predictable. It wasn't clear what last year's court would have done if it had taken this case. It is less clear what the new court will do.
WRtL is a reminder that McConnell was only the first McCain-Feingold case; that there is still lots to litigate, some of which didn't get the accelerated docket. I'll have more to say on this case later. scotusblog background.
The suit seeks to run ads critical of Feingold. They are not electioneering per se; the ads are issue ads. I mean they discuss an issue - this is different from implied ads which are non-express candidate advocacy. I think the McConnell majority would be concerend about circumvention and creating a loophole for corporate speech. On the other hand, McConnell had a strong 4 member dissent, and could pick up a vote here.
If Roberts votes with the majority, how will he assign the opinion?
The easy way to resolve the case is to point to MCLF - not all corporations are general motors. A look at the budget, donors, and activities of WrtL should factor into whether an MCLF type exemption is warranted.
Linda Greenhouse NTY story.
These cases will not be front page tomorrow - the court also took a case about the disputed will of the late husband of one Anna Nicole Smith.

Yes, I was right, both of these are Bopp cases, that is, brought by the James Madison Center. And he is or was representing the Vermont Libertarian Party - I'm not clear if they are still in. yes, says Greenhouse. The ACLU is counsel for some of the parties.
Between McConnell, Beaver v Clingman, and now Sorrell the Libertarian Party is getting its day in court, which should make Richard Winger happy.

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