The 1st Amendment is about to be redefined…

From the Atlantic:

Oral arguments at the United States Supreme Court today could mark the end of more than 30 years of struggle for a tranche of conservative and libertarian intellectuals — and for corporations that have had to find inglorious and meandering ways to influence the political system. Also at stake is how the court interprets the First Amendment. The stakes are that big.

Four weeks before the traditional First Monday in October start to its term, the court is taking the unusual step of convening to hear a case that does not involve life or death — Citizens United v. FEC. Why the rush? Its ruling might very well require Congress to rewrite campaign finance laws in the middle of an election year, and the court is trying to be generous. The Supremes heard this case in March, but then it decided that the narrow range of issues at stake didn’t do justice to the case. Like an edited version of a blog post, the court sent the case back to the litigants with the instruction to consider much broader principles than whether a certain action violated campaign finance laws.

Campaign finance regulations, he writes, are thought restrictions because political contributions are a form of political expression.

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