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View Diary: Shocking: Judge Shuts Down John Doe Investigation (46 comments)

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  •  If it weren't couched in such crazy language... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, VClib

    ...I'd say the decision has something going for it.  Even if all of the claims underlying the investigation are stipulated true, it's not clear to me that the coordination of obviously like-minded people to get a partisan and ideological result is corruption in the terms contemplated in law, especially when you consider the chilling effect of the government investigating political advocacy.  But it would be hard to sustain on appeal a ruling that's so hyperbolic that it likely exceeds anything the Club for Growth would actually argue in front of a judge...and we know they're crazy.

    By the way, I specifically agree with the judge that if someone finds a loophole,  more power to them--you don't have to obey the spirit of the law, just the letter.  It's law, not moral philosophy. The only questions are whether they've found a loophole, and whether (if not) the law itself is constitutional.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 07, 2014 at 04:48:12 AM PDT

    •  I agree with this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rich in PA, VClib, valion

      Yes, the language is over the top.  But that's not how we (or the 7th Circuit) judge the merits of the ruling.  The merits are the underlying holding.  And the underlying nolding seems to have some merit -- you can't chill my first amendment rights because I agree with all of the positions of a particular candidate.  If I agree with every single thing Mary Landrieu says, and I desperately want her to get re-elected, government can't stop me from running ads that say that such and such positions are correct.  It's ALWAYS been the law that as an individual citizen, I could spend all the money I wanted (or all the money I had) in that effort, and the government can't impose laws to stop me.  The Citizens United decision basically says government can't treat associations of people (like corporations) differently under the First Amendment than government treats individual people.

      I completely agree with this, too:

      By the way, I specifically agree with the judge that if someone finds a loophole,  more power to them--you don't have to obey the spirit of the law, just the letter.  It's law, not moral philosophy. The only questions are whether they've found a loophole, and whether (if not) the law itself is constitutional.
      Laws that restrict speech (or any other constitutional right), in my view, need to be read as narrowly as possible.  All of us are only obligated to comply with the strict letter of the law.  It's sort of how I view tax laws.  We are all obligated only to comply with the strict letter of the law.  If the law is written in a way that allows me to do x, y, or z and avoid paying taxes, that's my right.  It's the same with laws that restrict speech.  If the law says a, b, and c are prohibited, but I figure our how to get the same result I want -- getting my speech out - -without doing a, b, or c, then that's my right.  

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