Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Additional Thoughts on McComish

In a guest post over at Concurring Opinions, Deborah Hellman nicely captures part of the problem with the way in which the plaintiffs in McComish framed their claimed. As she notes:
The mistake of the petitioners in McComish is to focus on the effect that the law produces (chilling their speech) rather than the means by which this effect is produced.  Chilling speech through sanctions is problematic; chilling speech by more speech is not.
Howard Wasserman comments:
Deborah captures the problem with the plaintiffs' argument. They essentially are asserting a liberty from (government-subsidized) counter-speech and attributing their decision not to speak out of fear of that counter-speech to government coercion.
Both of these comments capture my reaction as noted in this post on McComish, especially the concern that the plaintiffs logic could lead to the unconstitutionality of public campaign finance schemes.  What are public campaign finance schemes other than government-subsidized counterspeech?

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