Tuesday, September 09, 2003
McCain-Feingold and the Supreme Court: Just finished listening to all four hours of legal arguments before the Supreme Court on the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law. It's enough to put one to sleep. In fact, I listened to the first two hours last night before drifting off to sleep, then the remaining two hours this morning.
The arguments are difficult to follow even if you are informed and interested in the issue, with continual references to very specific parts of the law.
It should come as little surprise that the most critical of the law was Justice Antonin Scalia, continually questioning Solicitor General Theodore Olsen and his deputies over the restrictions on free speech.
The one interesting fact that kept on cropping up was the re-election rate of members of Congress. Defenders of McCain-Feingold referred to the fact that 98+ percent of legislators seeking re-eleciton got it -- and that is supposed to be evidence of money corrupting politics? The main contributor to that number is not campaign finance, but gerrymandered districts.
If you're interested in it, you can listen to the arguments here -- it's the second item. [Realplayer Required.]