Media & Communications Policy

Media & Communications Policy

Issues & Developments in the Realm of Communications and Media Policy & the First Amendment

Category Archives: Campaign Finance

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The Udall Amendment: When Politics Mean More Than the Constitution

Posted in Campaign Finance, First Amendment, Journalism
It came as no surprise when, in June, Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and 41 other U.S. senators, Democrats all, proposed a campaign finance amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Ever since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010, Democrats and their surrogates in the media and allied advocacy groups, worried that the case would work to [&hellip… Continue Reading

Chick-fil-A and City Officials: A Whole Lotta Clucking Goin’ On

Posted in Campaign Finance, First Amendment, Free speech
Ah, political correctness. It never disappoints.  Take, for instance, the latest eruption of civic broadmindedness brought on when the president of the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A professed his personal embrace, based on his religious views, of traditional marriage. Outraged by the effrontery, the mayor of Boston and a Chicago alderman (Messrs. Menino and Moreno, respectively) immediately [&hellip… Continue Reading

Reconsidering the FCC’s Political File Rule

Posted in Broadcasting, Campaign Finance, FCC, Media Regulation
The FCC’s recently minted rule requiring certain broadcast stations to post their political ad files online rather than, as is currently the case, in their local public inspection files, is not the kind of issue that is likely to stir the nation’s passions.Regardless of how challenges to the rule pan out, very few people are [&hellip… Continue Reading

Idealists on the March

Posted in Campaign Finance, Commercial Speech, First Amendment, Media Legislation
In yet another demonstration that the human race is not yet won, Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va.), no stranger to political funding controversies himself, will soon be headlining what its organizers call the "Rally Against Citizens United." Subtitled the "Campaign To End Corporate Dominance of Our Democracy," the rally is cosponsored by Washington-area Democratic party groups, [&hellip… Continue Reading

The DISCLOSE Act Creeps Along

Posted in Campaign Finance
Sometime before the end of the world (which is to say any day now) it’s going to occur to our congressional leaders that the United States is facing some actual problems that might usefully be addressed.  In the meantime, though, the expectation is that they’ll just keep lobbing into the hopper things like the DISCLOSE [&hellip… Continue Reading

Congressional (Mal)intent

Posted in Campaign Finance
Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity postulates that it’s impossible for anything to go faster than the speed of light. More impossible still is the ability of Congress to honorably handle First Amendment issues. The latest example of this dolorous state of affairs can be seen in the so-called DISCLOSE Act. Aimed at curbing what its [&hellip… Continue Reading

How Sweet It Is!

Posted in Campaign Finance
The opinion handed down today in the Supreme Court re McCain-Feingold is good news for everyone who values free speech in general, and political speech in particular.  The relief it grants to labor unions, nonprofit and for-profit corporations, who are now free to sponsor issue ads within close proximity to federal elections, is particularly gratifying [&hellip… Continue Reading

A Unitary First Amendment – Redux

Posted in Broadcasting, Cable TV, Campaign Finance, FCC, First Amendment, Media jurisprudence, Media Legislation, Media Regulation, Public Interest Standard, Satellite Communications
By guest blogger LAURENCE H. WINER, Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Technology, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. “[W]e don’t put our First Amendment rights in the hands of [government] bureaucrats.”  What an extraordinary statement for the Chief Justice of the United States to [&hellip… Continue Reading

Citizens United and ‘Hillary: The Movie’

Posted in Campaign Finance
If you’re feeling, like so many of us, that our life and times are too harmonious, smart, and principled, you might welcome something completely jumbled, uninformed, and hypocritical.  If so, here’s just the thing: an article by E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post. The subject of Dionne’s piece is a case — Citizens United v. FEC [&hellip… Continue Reading

Another Chance to Undo McCain-Feingold

Posted in Campaign Finance
  A case scheduled for argument next month in the Supreme Court provides another opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of the worst part of the abominable campaign finance law, commonly referred to as McCain-Feingold. The case (Citizens United vs. FEC), comes in the wake of an earlier Supreme Court decision carving out [&hellip… Continue Reading

A Unitary First Amendment

Posted in Broadcasting, Cable TV, Campaign Finance, First Amendment, Media jurisprudence, Satellite Communications
By guest blogger LAURENCE H. WINER, Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Technology, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.   In last week’s Supreme Court oral argument of the “Hillary: the Movie” case, Citizens United v. F.E.C., the government attorney apparently perplexed several of the [&hellip… Continue Reading

The First Amendment’s Fleeting Friends

Posted in Campaign Finance, Fairness Doctrine, First Amendment, Free speech
If anyone has seen his share of First Amendment friends and foes over the years, it’s Floyd Abrams, that iconic New York attorney whose name can hardly be uttered without the words “First Amendment” somewhere in the same sentence. But, as Floyd pointed out in a new Speaking Freely opinion paper this week, the real [&hellip… Continue Reading