Free Speech Vindicated!
I'm still out getting soaked in the El Nino-fueled monsoon here in California (my trip to Napa Valley today takes on a whole different character in a downpour), but I want to flag today's hugely significant Supreme Court ruling in the long-awaited Citizens United
case that strikes down large parts of campaign finance regulation. They overruled one very bad old key precedent, based chiefly on the amicus brief of someone named Hayward (not me--the better-looking one
). From page 48 of the opinion:
When neither party defends the reasoning of a precedent, the principle of adhering to that precedent through stare decisis is diminished. Austin abandoned First Amendment principles, furthermore, by relying on language in some of our precedents that traces back to the Automobile Workers Court's flawed historical account of campaign finance laws, see Brief for Campaign Finance Scholars as Amici Curiae; Hayward, 45 Harv. J. Legis. 421. (Emphasis added.)
Guess I should buy an extra nice bottle of wine somewhere up the the valley today.
UPDATE: On the wine front, Mission Accomplished!, as President Bush might say. One especially spirited benefactor bestowed a bottle of York Creek Vineyards 1971 petite syrah, which I'm going to pair with a very dry-aged steak some time soon.
10:52 AM / January 21, 2010