The Roberts court…activist is a good word now?

La Dolce Vita blog from Arizona points us to a SCOTUS decision:

Ever since Gore v Bush it has become apparent that the US Supreme Court has taken it upon themselves to occasionally decide the outcome of US elections. Yesterday they demonstrated this ability again when they decided to block funding for three of the top four candidates for Arizona governor. This means these three gubernatorial candidates will not be getting their anticipated $1.4 million in public matching funds beginning in two weeks.

Two weeks! Our Supreme Court justices have given these three candidates two weeks to find alternative funding that would have otherwise been available through the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act that has been in existence for twelve years.

As I wrote earlier, the Clean Elections Act “corrected the AzScam problems that made a mockery of the Arizona election process. The corporatist cronies who were the big losers when this law passed have been fighting to overturn (or weaken) it ever since.”

Yesterday they succeeded – thanks to the US Supreme Court.

The Roberts court chose to delay looking at the matter until their next session, meaning no decision will be made on whether they even intend to hear the Clean Elections appeal until after the election. But they did agree to block the existing CLEAN ELECTIONS procedures which have been IN PLACE FOR TWELVE YEARS anyway.

Here is a quick e-mail back from Beverly Mann, The Annarborist and sometime guest on constitutional issues at Angry Bear on this topic:

I think the Fab Five on the Court are playing with major fire here. The First Amendment argument is one that most people, including those who oppose campaign finance laws, will recognize as ridiculous: that the law unconstitutionally limits the free speech of the privately funded candidates because the privately funded candidates are “forced” to limit their own their spending in order to avoid triggering the provision that will entitle their opponents to more public money.

Some commentator, I can’t recall who, described this aptly as pretzel logic. As the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the law, said, the non-public-funded candidates really are arguing not that their own speech is limited but that the law gives their opponents access to the same right of speech that they—the non-public-funded candidates—have.

Most people will recognize that this law does not limit the free speech of the non-public-funded candidates.