Friday, July 08, 2005

Congress Shall Make No Law...But I'm a Judge

The Seattle Times has it dawn on them that Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are pretty smart dudes, after all:

Judge Christopher Wickham of Thurston County Superior Court trod dangerously on the First Amendment last week.

He ruled that Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson of KVI Radio had pushed the gas-tax rollback initiative so zealously on the air that it amounted to advertising. Therefore, he ruled, the campaign had to report their support as a political contribution.

.... The judge is following a simple syllogism:

All political contributions may be regulated;

Speech is a political contribution;

Therefore, speech may be regulated.

....Two years ago, when the federal campaign-finance law reached the U.S. Supreme Court, dissenting justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas warned that something like this would happen. We doubted it; it seemed clear to us that the law applied to ads, not editorial content. We thought Thomas was over the top when he said campaign-finance law was leading toward "outright regulation of the press."

No comments: