Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Hawaii Right to Life

First, welcome back, Mr. Alt.

Second, the injunction in Hawaii Right to Life seems to be confusing people. As I understand it, the court held that the group qualified as a not-for-profit ideological corporation, which the court concluded was constitutionally protected from any political speech restrictions under the precedent MCFL v. FEC. I would provide a link, but I can’t find the case online.

That would include bans on corporate express advocacy communications (at issue in MCFL) and the "electioneering" ban in the new BCRA. The court decined to rule more broadly that the electioneering restrictions were illegit.

This is a wonderful decision on its own merits, since the FEC’s regulatory definition of such exempt non-profits -- ostensibly adopting the MCFL standard -- was WAY too narrow. Of course, to the extent this is a harbinger of things to come, that’s nice too.

In general it is my observation that the free speech side does well in campaign finance cases so long as Souter isn’t writing the opinion. George W., call your father.

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