202. SCOTUS: Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life (issue oriented political advertising)
On June 25, 2007, SCOTUS decided 5-4 in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. that corporations could use their general funds to run “issue” oriented ads, even those naming candidates, within 30 days of a federal primary election or 60 days of a federal general election in contradiction of requirements of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. This is a continuation of the infamous dictum that money equals free speech. Apparently SCOTUS thinks there isn’t sufficient money in our political system or that it is not sufficiently bought. Another interesting aspect of the case is that the specific timeframe in question occurred during the 2004 election cycle and had long been rendered moot. Nevertheless, it was resurrected by invoking the notion that the controversy was capable of repetition, yet evading review. In other words, the Court will, if it wants to and regardless of the facts, look at a case long over (as here), take a very restricted view of time limits as in Ledbetter, or declare it moot as in Padilla.