By contrast, the dissenting opinions therefrom a Souter opinion I read lovingly, reverently, and in the case of Scalia, repeatedly. Every member of the Federalist Society is with me here.
I used to think every lawyer was with me: Who would read Souter's pompous, impenetrable ramblings? And why? It takes him 20 pages to make a point Scalia can knock down in a single dependent clause. (There are Web pages devoted to Scalia dissents.)
In a riveting development -- it only seems like this column is going no place; I'm breaking real news here -- I happened to notice that liberals do just the opposite. A New York Times article on the Supreme Court's recent campaign finance decision quoted more lines from Souter's opinion than I got from actually reading it. (Well, "reading" it.) But intriguingly, the article summarized the dissent using only a few sentences from the opening paragraphs.
So in addition to not having to line-dry clothes like Barbra Streisand, conservatives don't have to read Souter opinions.
In Souter's "Congress shall make lots of laws" opinion, the court essentially held that a political party's campaign expenditures are legally indistinguishable from large checks cut by individuals. The Republican Party could be trying to buy influence with Republican candidates! As Justice Souter explained (near the beginning): The law provides "a functional, not formal, definition of contribution ..." blah, blah, blah -- you get the idea.
Consequently, the court upheld limits on money spent by political parties to elect a particular candidate -- if they talk to the candidate first. If the party hated a candidate's guts and refused to speak to him or his campaign, it could spend unlimited amounts of money promoting his candidacy. (This may provide some insight into why Rep. Chris Shays loves the campaign finance laws.)
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