News Updates from Citizens for Legitimate Government
25 Jun 2007
Supreme Court Limits Students’ Speech Rights 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech Monday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long ”Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner. Schools may prohibit student expression that can be interpreted as advocating drug use, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court in a 5-4 ruling.

Supreme Court bars taxpayers from suing over White House faith-based program 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court ruled Monday that ordinary taxpayers cannot challenge a White House initiative that helps religious charities get a share of federal money. The 5-4 decision blocks a lawsuit by a group of atheists and agnostics against eight Bush administration officials including the head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

Supreme Court ends ban on corporate-funded campaign ads 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court gave President [sic] Bush and Republican leaders two important victories today by clearing the way for corporate-funded broadcast ads before next year’s ‘election’ and by shielding the White House’s “faith-based initiative” from challenge in the courts. Both came in 5-4 rulings led by new Chief inJustice John G. Roberts Jr.*


Supreme Court Rules Against Environmentalists 25 Jun 2007 The Supreme Court sided with developers and the Bush administration Monday in a dispute with environmentalists over protecting endangered species. The court ruled 5-4 for home builders and the Environmental Protection Agency in a case that involved the intersection of two environmental laws, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Please forward this update to anyone you think might be interested. Those who’d like to be added to the Newsletter list can sign up:
Please write to: for inquiries.
CLG Newsletter editor: Lori Price, Manager. Copyright (c) 2007, Citizens For Legitimate Government (r) All rights reserved. CLG Founder and Chair is Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D.

This morning the US Supreme Court ruled in a case called FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life. 551 U. S. ____ (2007).
The issue was whether “issue advocacy” ads during a political campaign season that do not expressly identify a particular candidate (but which may nevertheless be highly identified with a particular candidate running for office) can be regulated consistent with the First Amendment (as CANDIDATE ads can be). The BCRA had so regulated these types of ads, and the FEC sued an organization called Wisconsin Right to Life over an issue ad in the 2004 election. The issues before the Court is whether the First Amendment protected essentially unlimited issue-based advertising even though during campaign season (unlike candidate ads, which the Court has approved regulation of), and whether the case was moot because the 2004 election was over.
The Court Ruled:

In drawing that line, the First Amendment requires us to err on the side of protecting political speech rather than suppressing it.

We conclude that the speech at issue in this as-applied challenge is not the functional equivalent of express campaign speech. We further conclude that the interests held to justify restricting corporate campaign speech or its functional equivalent do not justify restricting issue advocacy, and accordingly we hold that BCRA §203 is unconstitutional as applied to the advertisements at issue in these cases .

Although analysis of this case is breaking as we speak, and many haven’t finished reading the opinion yet, based on the briefing and analysis prior to the case, this holding appears to portend a relatively massive de-regulation of “issue ads” by corporations and interest groups. The more money one has, the more unlimited one’s influence can be on campaign ISSUES so long as they don’t mention campaign CANDIDATES. Money=speech, and that “speech” is now essentially unlimited as to issues.

Because this ruling is based on an interpretation of the requirements of the First Amendment, the US Supreme Court is the “final authority” on such things and there’s little or nothing Congress can do about it, other than find a way around the opinion, if any.

This is a watershed legal ruling on campaign finance that dramatically reinforces functional inequities of speech and opportunity whereby those with money can have basically unlimited EXPENDITURES even in campaigns so long as issue advertising methods are chosen, while those who need to raise money (Candidates) are significantly limited in terms of CONTRIBUTIONS they can accept, and the relatively small caps on those contributions ensure that politicians who are NOT rich must spend massive amounts of time fundraising from many individuals. While we may all agree that broad public support as evidenced by many contributors is a good thing, that policy, in the new context of unlimited issue-based attacks, will also come under heavy pressure to fall even from those who tend to believe in it, in order to free up the funds to defend against unlimited issue-based attacks.

The remainder of this email is a quotation from the case to give background legal context. A full link menu to all of the court’s opinions today is at

Paul Lehto
Attorney at Law

Post comment

Forbidden Bookshelf

Forbidden Bookshelf

“While We Were Sleeping”

While We Were Sleeping is an urgent call to save Greenwich Village from New York University's uncontrolled expansion.

Click here to donate to NYUFASP and receive a copy of "While We Were Sleeping: NYU and the Destruction of New York" (minimum donation to receive a book is $10 plus $8 shipping).

Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD

About News From Underground

News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.

If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:

Help News From Underground!

Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."

Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to:

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Popular Posts


Need a bigger font size?

Sponsored Links

  • Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.