Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer vigorously dissented but a 4-vote energetic minority is still a minority.
The Supreme Court upheld BCRA in the 2003 case of McConnell v. FEC, but this recent decision starts to dismantle that precedent.
Our new Supreme Court is to be commended for bringing our country a step closer to what the Founding Fathers intended. The Framers understood that the most important reason for free speech is to hold our government accountable by getting information out to the voters. There is never a constitutional justification for preventing ordinary people from discussing the social and political issues of the day.
This ruling restores your right as a citizen to speak out on issues of concern. Whether the topic is guns (my favorite issue), judges, federal spending, abortion, immigration, or any other hot-button issue, you again have the right to join your fellow Americans, take to the air waves and demand that your elected leaders respond.
This goes to the heart of our American system. A democratic republic only exists when the people can speak loudly enough that those in power cannot help but hear. It doesn’t guarantee a particular result, but it does guarantee the satisfaction of a fair fight.
Of course, the way to really get a politician’s attention is to be able to take out an ad either for or against their reelection when their name is on the ballot. Such ads are called election ads, and today’s opinion does not go far enough to restore that part of free speech.
But several justices made it clear today that they will take up that issue when it’s properly brought before the Court. The upcoming presidential elections may provide the opportunity for exactly that.
Sandy Froman is the immediate past president of the National Rifle Association of America, only the second woman and the first Jewish American to hold that office in the 136-year history of the NRA. The views expressed are her own and not that of any organization.
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