First Amendment Treats for the Rich

The Media Blew This One Big-Time

There is a way, however, for the ACLU et al. to avoid the 30-60-day gag rule. If they financed their issue ads through PACs (political action committees), they'd meet the Supreme Court's regulation. But that would require naming their contributors. The government would then know the names, addresses—and the views—of those contributors of more than $1,000 as a matter of public record. If a boss were angered to learn, through the public records, of an employee's views, would there be retaliation?

In his dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas, underrated as a First Amendment advocate, emphasized the American tradition—starting before the Revolution—of protecting anonymous speech, including rulings by the Supreme Court.

In McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission (1995), the court, Clarence Thomas concurring, ruled that "the interest in having anonymous works enter the marketplace of ideas unquestionably outweighs any public interest in requiring disclosure as a condition of entry."

To be continued, with the AFL-CIO's startling revelation of the extent of the gag rule on the independent public interest groups in the next presidential election. The media blew this one!

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