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Free speech absolutist

The Economist reports on the Supreme Court reviewing aspects of the McCain-Feingold law. How is it even possible people defend this in spite of the first amendment.

And now to books

Free-speech enthusiasts fear that unless the first amendment is jealously guarded, it will be abused. And they have reasons to do so. Earlier this year the federal government claimed the power to ban books that support or oppose a named candidate, if those books are financed by a corporation, as most books are, and published too close to an election. That could include anything from Michael Moore’s rantings to John Kerry’s ponderous autobiography. This week, the solicitor-general appeared to retreat from this outrageous claim, saying that the FEC almost certainly would not ban books. But what about pamphlets? And why should something so fundamental depend on a bureaucrat’s whim? With bloggers and YouTube continually blurring the line between advocacy and journalism, it is growing ever harder to regulate corporate speech coherently. The Court may well tell politicians to stop trying.


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