Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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The End Of Reform

This is good news for those who believe in free speech, and bad news for McCain and one of his major issues.

TALLAHASSEE - A federal judge on Wednesday blocked enforcement of a Florida law requiring groups to register with the state if they merely mention political issues or candidates in publications or other communications.

U.S. District Judge Stephan P. Mickle, in granting the preliminary injunction, wrote that “no court has ever upheld such a sweeping regulation of political speech.”

The “electioneering” law was challenged by the Broward Coalition of Condominium, Homeowners and Community Organizations, the National Taxpayers Union and the University of Florida’s College Libertarians.

“This is just a tremendous win for free speech in Florida,” said Bert Gall, a lawyer for the libertarian legal organization - Institute for Justice - that is representing the groups.

Mickle wrote that he believes Gall’s clients are “substantially likely to succeed in their claims” the law violates First Amendment guarantees of free speech.

“Florida’s electioneering communications laws regulate virtually all political speech about ballot issues and candidates,” Mickle wrote. “The Supreme Court has never recognized a compelling interest that allows such a wide-open regulation.”

What the liberals want to do with the Fairness Doctrine, campaign finance reform advocates have tried to do with free speech during elections. Money quote, from the Judge’s ruling:

The rights to speak and associate freely regarding issues of public concern are zealously guarded by the First Amendment. Unfettered and unregulated speech is the rule, not the exception. Just because a restriction is labeled as a restriction on campaign finance does not mean that it faces an easier path to constitutionality than a restriction outside that context.

The road to Hell, and all that. Kudos to the Judge for recognizing this.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 10/30/08 at 03:46 PM in Politics • Permalink

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