In a widely expected decision, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that restrictions on corporate campaign spending are unconstitutional. More later today when I’ve had a chance to read it, but in the meantime I can’t resist quoting Mark Tushnet:
Political Scientist Peter Irons wrote a book about sixteen people who took their constitutional claims to the Supreme Court. They included Mary Beth Tinker, who successfully challenged her school board’s policy barring her from wearing a black armband to protest the war in Vietnam…Irons called the book The Courage of Their Convictions.
Recently, the winner in Supreme Court cases upholding First Amendment claims have been James Buckley, brother of publisher William F. Buckley who became a United States Senator and federal judge, the Colorado Republican Campaign Committee, and the First National Bank of Boston. Perhaps someone writing a book like Irons’s today should call it The Color of Their Money.
Of course, it’s not like the Court’s conservatives aren’t also “free speech” libertarians when it comes to isolated individuals punished for allegedly expressing unpopular views…right?