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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 28, 2007 / 12 Tamuz, 5767

Setback for the censors

By George Will


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let us hope that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who is rarely right about First Amendment matters, was right about what he said in April. During oral arguments on a challenge to a use of the McCain-Feingold law to suppress political speech, Breyer, who considers the suppression constitutional, said to the challenger: " If we agree with you in this case, goodbye McCain-Feingold."

The challenger was a small group of Wisconsin citizens who, by their grass-roots lobbying for their political views, tried to commit the offense — the crime, actually — of influencing their U.S. senators during what the Federal Election Commission, which acts as the speech police under McCain-Feingold, insisted was that law's blackout period, during which the First Amendment is supposedly repealed.

In 2004, Wisconsin Right to Life was unhappy because Wisconsin Sens. Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl were participating with other Democrats in filibusters to block Senate consideration of some of President Bush's judicial nominees. WRTL wanted to broadcast ads urging the senators' constituents to "contact Senators Feingold and Kohl and tell them to oppose the filibuster."


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This is speech by people seeking a redress of grievances. The italicized words are from the First Amendment's enumeration of rights that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging. . . . " Yet four Supreme Court justices — Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and John Paul Stevens — supported the FEC's judgment that McCain-Feingold required banning WRTL's ad.

The "problem," in the FEC's judgment, with WRTL's exhortation to Wisconsin residents was that Feingold was running for reelection in 2004. Because WRTL is incorporated, it fell under McCain-Feingold's ban on any "electioneering communication" — a radio or TV ad that "refers to" a candidate for federal office — within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. The blackout period silences speech when it matters most.

Yet WRTL's ad involved no coordination with a candidate's campaign and contained nothing to make it an express advocacy communication that urges people to vote for or v ote against a candidate. The italicized words alarm the FEC, and Sen. John McCain.

He and others favor construing his law in a way that would give regulators vast discretion to suppress speech. McCain and his acolytes argue that issue ads such as WRTL's will be discovered to be electioneering communications if speech regulators delve deeply enough into the actual intent of those running the ads or if the regulators calculate the ads' likely effect.

Such delving and calculating were rejected by Chief Justice John Roberts as potentially chilling intrusions by government into citizens' participation in political argument. Instead, Roberts wrote, focusing on only the substance of the communication will entail "minimal if any" investigations of the communicators' states of mind, thereby avoiding a proliferation of factors that speech regulators will be allowed to weigh. Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas joined in the court's judgment, which was, in Roberts's words: "We give the benefit of the doubt to speech, not censorship."

McCain-Feingold's ostensible purpose is to prevent corruption (which has long been proscribed by many other laws) or the "appearance" of it, which is difficult to define and measure, and hence is problematic to proscribe. But it is telling that McCain-Feingold restricts not just for-profit corporations but also nonprofits, such as WRTL, whose threat of corruption is . . . what?

McCain-Feingold's actual purpose is to protect politicians from speech that annoys them. That is why McCain says he regrets WRTL's victory, because it will allow groups "to target a federal candidate in the days and weeks before an election."

In his concurrence, Scalia said that McCain-Feingold involves "wondrous irony." It ostensibly was written to restrain entities with "immense aggregations of wealth" that have "corrosive and distorting effects." These supposedly powerful entities were not powerful enough to prevent passage of the law. What the law actually muzzled faster than you can say "Michael Bloomberg" was little WRTL.

WRTL's victory gratifies all who understand the threat McCain-Feingold poses — was designed to pose — to free political advocacy. It is, however, premature to say goodbye — and good riddance — to a law empowering government to regulate the quantity, content and timing of speech about government. The WRTL decision is only the first test of McCain-Feingold "as applied" since December 2003, when, in another 5-to-4 ruling, the court, before Alito replaced Sandra Day O'Connor, upheld that law's constitutionality. Still, we are a step closer to the deregulation of political speech, and hence to the enhancement of active liberty that Breyer anticipates with foreboding.

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