The Tote Board’s got it covered:
Yesterday, by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court (in the words of the NY Times) ruled that “the restrictions on television advertisements paid for from corporate or union treasuries in the weeks before an election amounted to censorship of core political speech unless those advertisements explicitly urge a vote for or against a particular candidate.” The result will be a plethora of ads before the November election in swing states by “issue groups” that will overshadow the ads by the candidates themselves.
Who benefits from the decision? In theory, unions and liberal groups can run as many ads as conservative groups such as the NRA and business interests. But when money talks, the Republicans generally benefit — and will here. Moreover the line the Court created is incredibly vague: What’s the difference between an ad that implicitly, as opposed to “explicitly,” urges a vote against a candidate?
If you like negative ads, you’ll love the fall of 2008.
I actually think this is a good decision. The ads will fly on both sides but I can’t see why that’s bad. If I have money, I should be able to to run a campaign ad. Undoubtedly groups funded by George Soros, the lefty billionaire, will be in full force. However, sometimes these groups go too far and it backfires. I am a vehement denouncer of McCain/Feingold as it essentially limits free speech in regard to elections.
Kudos to the Supreme Court for loosening restrictions on free speech a bit and for the Presidential Tote Board for covering the story.
2008 Central has reaction from specific candidates here.