Interesting post over at the Volokh Conspiracy analyzing the dissent of the left-wing Supreme Court Justices in the recent McCutcheon campaign contribution case. This summation does not do it justice, so, by all means read the whole thing.
The takeaway is this: To the Conservative Right, Free Speech is a basic human right. To the Progressive Left, Free Speech is a civil right, that is only worthy of protection to the extent that it serves the interest of the State. The dissent in McCutcheon relies on the latter conception of speech to justify limiting people’s ability to participate in the political process.
Justice Breyer’s dissent today shows the way, as he revives the old Progressive conception of freedom of speech as serving instrumental purposes (which he calls “First Amendment interests”), rather than protecting individual rights or reining in potential government abuses.
We on the right see the world very differently from our opponents on the left. You may also note that all four “liberal” justices agreed that Free Speech is only a right to the extent that it advances the state’s interests.
Our freedoms are hanging by a very slender thread indeed.
BTW, Democrats have responded to the McCutcheon ruling with the usual deranged histrionics. However, none of them have put their newly found outrage into practice by renouncing donations from George Soros, Tom Steyer, or any of the other lefty billionaires financing Democrat campaigns.