The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision today put a dent in McCain-Feingold:
In what a pro-life group is calling a "tremendous victory for citizens," the Supreme Court on Monday upheld Americans' right to engage in grassroots lobbying on television and radio in the period leading up to primary and general elections.
Senator (and Republican Presidential candidate) John McCain called the decision "regrettable". What is regrettable is the attempt by John McCain and his cohorts in Congress to stifle free speech.
"The Court soundly rejected the attempts by Senators McCain and Feingold and their allies to silence Wisconsin Right Life's efforts to inform the public regarding an important issue pending in Congress and to urge citizens to contact their elected officials regarding that issue," said Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life. "This is a tremendous victory for all citizens and citizen organizations," she said.
The case, FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, challenged part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that bars corporations and unions from using general funds for broadcast ads that mention the name of a federal candidate within 30 days of a primary election and 60 days of a general election.
In today's 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court created a "constitutional safe harbor for grassroots lobbying," Wisconsin Right to Life said.
Sen. John McCain called it "regrettable" that a split court has "carved out a narrow exception by which some corporate and labor expenditures can be used to target a federal candidate in the days and weeks before an election."
McCain found a silver lining, however:
“It is important to recognize, however, that the Court’s decision does not affect the principal provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which bans federal officeholders from soliciting soft money contributions for their parties to spend on their campaigns.”
Hold on to that positive news, Senator. It's all downhill from here.