Theodore's World: McCain-Feingold's Communication Prohibition Held Unconstitutional

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December 22, 2006

McCain-Feingold's Communication Prohibition Held Unconstitutional

McCain-Feingold's Electioneering Communication Prohibition Held Unconstitutional as Applied to Genuine Grassroots Lobbying

James Madison Center for Free Speech

Today the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia held that the ban on corporate electioneering communications is unconstitutional as applied to the three grassroots lobbying ads for which Wisconsin Right to Life ("WRTL") sought judicial relief in WRTL v. FEC. Judge Leon wrote the opinion and was joined by Judge Sentelle in the majority of the three-judge court. The ads were run in 2004 when WRTL did radio and television ads urging people in Wisconsin to contact Senator Kohl and Senator Feingold and ask them to oppose the ongoing filibusters of President Bush's judicial nominees. Because Senator Feingold was a candidate, WRTL had to stop running its ads when the electioneering communication prohibition period began. WRTL sought judicial relief to continue running its ads, which was denied at the time. Today the District Court first decided that the grassroots lobbying ads were not the functional equivalent of express advocacy, as the U.S. Supreme Court had required in its analysis in McConnell v. FEC (which upheld the electioneering communication only against a facial challenge). Second, the District Court held that the FEC had not met its burden of proving that the prohibition was narrowly tailored to a compelling state interest as applied to the ads. So the Court held that the prohibition was unconstitutional as applied to these ads. James Bopp, Jr., attorney for WRTL comments: "This is a victory for the right of the people to lobby their members of Congress on upcoming votes even if there is a pending election. This grassroots lobbying is simply self-government at work, which is protected by the First Amendment."

Wild Thing's comment......

I wish this whole idiotic law would be overturned. How can free speech be bound by so many rules and restrictions, and still be free? It cant!!! McCain teaming up with Fiengold tells you everything you need to know about McCain.

Posted by Wild Thing at December 22, 2006 12:44 AM


I really dislike McCain. He is unelectable in my opinion. I'm starting a "Blogs Against McCain" blogroll.

Posted by: Sniper One at December 22, 2006 07:42 AM

McCain didn't get the handle of the 'Manchurian Candidate' by selling Girl Scout Cookies, he's a true hero in Hanoi. I respect his former service and his POW status but that's as far as it goes, to me he's unfit for any leadership position in the United States government, especially POTUS.

Posted by: Jack at December 22, 2006 08:58 AM

There is something wrong in the mental capacity of McCain. He is inconsistant in his law making. Sometimes his is really conservative, other times far-out liberal. He really should not be in office. Much of what he proposes is un-Constitutional.

I believe McCain really suffered some mental damage as a POW. Even many of his fellow POWs think he is unstable.

McCain's goofiness would fit right in with the strangness of many tenured college faculty. I would understand "Professor McCain" better than I can tolerate "Senator McCain".

Posted by: TomR at December 22, 2006 11:03 AM

Sniper that is great, I would love to be a part of it.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 22, 2006 12:35 PM

Jack I agree. McCain had a chance to make a difference for POW's when he became a politician and instead he fought against them and their families when he could have been a help.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 22, 2006 12:37 PM

Tom your right, he goes back and forth. Some things he is conservative about and other things have shocked me how left he is.

Posted by: Wild Thing at December 22, 2006 12:41 PM