March 03, 2005

I'm sure the newspapers will protest this blatant infringement on free speech.

FEC to regulate blogs

How serious is it?

In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

No linking?!? Pretty damn serious. I wonder how long before it's illegal to talk to your neighbors about a candidate or put a sign up in your yard. After all, many more people drive by my house (ok, say my parent's house since I live in an apartment) than read my site. And I've got thousands of neighbors in my building.

But, I get it, why should anyone but the major news organizations have an opinion anyway? They've taken away the rights of some groups (but not others, don't get crazy now) to say what they want when they want. And now, they're going to take away the right of individuals to say what they want when they want. The only ones who get to talk and talk and talk right up until election day are the news organizations. And, as we saw last election cycle, sometimes they're willing to say just about anything to get their guy in. Who are we, mere citizens, to challenge their awesome power?

Hat tip Alex Brunk.

Posted by Karol at March 3, 2005 06:10 PM | TrackBack
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I'd really like to see them try to enforce that decision.

Posted by: Shawn at March 3, 2005 06:30 PM

The powers in the Democrat Party want blogs shut down now.

The blogs are letting too much news reach the people. The Democrats want to go back to the good old days when only left-wing propaganda from the MSM reached the people.

The rich and powerful that called the shots in the Democrat Party have lost control to some hippies who run (And those hippies have become rich and powerful from their web site). The Party bosses want shut down so they can get back the control of the Party.

I cannot believe the Supreme Court would let that wacked-out judge's ruling stand. Of course, I never thought they would let the campaign finance law stand.

Posted by: Jake at March 3, 2005 06:51 PM

Nice rant about news organizations getting to say what they want when they want -- except "In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site."

oops. Sometimes, I do wonder if you read your own site.

Posted by: Dawn Summers at March 3, 2005 07:15 PM

I'm not quite sure why you're blaming this on newspapers - they didn't take anyone's rights away. Blame this on legislators drafting an ill-conceived and poorly written law. If the law is not going to be repealed, then the exemption should be rewritten so that it is not limited to periodicals and newspapers (which clearly excludes blogs as written). Griping about newspapers isn't going to do anyone much good here - the law needs to be changed and contacting our congressfolk is the best way to do it.

Posted by: Alceste at March 3, 2005 07:29 PM

People in both parties want to regulate the Internet, and that's pretty disgusting. And it's frightening that some district judge psycho can do so much to limit people's rights.
I'm curious how the papers will react to this.

Posted by: Ivan Lenin at March 4, 2005 01:27 AM

Ivan: I agree with your first sentence but think you're off the mark by calling this particular judge a psycho. According to the article, the statute refers to "periodicals" and "broadcasts." Blogs are neither. Would you rather have the judge creatively stretch the definition to include blogs? Should she make her own judgment that Congress did not intend to regulate blogs even though they left them out of the exemption? Again, I say it's up to congressfolk to change the wording (and the executive branch to refrain from prosecuting while the statute remains unchanged).

In terms of the role of judges, there's a difference between statutory and regulatory construction (judges must defer to the intent of Congress) and Consitutional interpretation (where there is much larger disagreement about what a judge should do).

Posted by: Alceste at March 4, 2005 10:58 AM

Let me get this straight, my conservative brethren. You are protesting a judge for making a strict contstructionist decision that restrains the unelected federal agencies from expanding the law? What unbelievable hypocrites. To the extent that the law only restricts coordinated communications, blogs shouldn't be exempt from McCain-Feingold(to the extent you believe in the constitutionality of McC-F at all).

The tone of the article is alarmist nonsense, though. I would willingly break lots of those "restrictions" (linking, posting press releases, etc.) and let myself become a test case. Come and get me, MFs.

Posted by: ugarte at March 4, 2005 11:19 AM

I would preffer that a lower court protect the Constitution from the attempts of Congress to regulate it into meaninglessness. I would prefer a lower Court do what President Bush did not, stand up to political pressure. Finally, I would like a lower court to remind the Supreme Court of its role as co-equal PROTECTOR of the Constitution and to hand down a ruling that has utter contempt for that of the anti-Constitutional 5 on the USSC.
The Supreme Court is a law court, not the final arbiter of the Constitution. It was never given that authority and if it has usurped that authority, it should be unceremonial stripped of it.
If I may, note a logical corellary to Marbury v Madison:
The particular phraseology of the constitution of the United States confirms and strengthens the principle, supposed to be essential to all written constitutions, that a court RULING repugnant to the constitution is void, and that courts, as well as other departments, are bound by that the Constitution, not the will of Congress nor by precident.
Anything less undermines both the Constitution and the courts.

I would gladly be prosecuted under illegitimate BCRA, if only to make that case.

Posted by: RonL at March 5, 2005 03:50 AM

i saw a nice picture on the internet.

it was a gun and a keyboard.

caption read: "From my cold dead hands"

if they try to enforce the silly way, i will break it. I can email myself posts from anywhere.

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