The Note: Getting the Worm

Justice Breyer wrote that Vermont's law was so strict, especially on contributions, that it ''could itself prove an obstacle to the very electoral fairness it seeks to promote.''

"The decision was clear in reasserting a 30-year-old precedent against the constitutionality of imposing spending limits on political candidates. But it also showed that the court continued to grapple with how far it is permissible to go in limiting campaign contributions, a topic that remains a heated political issue and one likely to come before the justices again," writes the New York Times' Linda Greenhouse. LINK

Greenhouse also wisely Notes that Chief Justice Roberts signed the portion of Justice Breyer's opinion that touched on the concept of an entrenched precedent at play. Justice Alito, who voted with the Breyer-led majority, did not sign that portion of the Breyer opinion.

The New York Post's Podhoretz slams Breyer's reasoning and compares him to Gilligan of "Gilligan's Island" fame. LINK

The New York Times editorial board sees the ruling as a victory (albeit a muted one) for campaign finance reformers. LINK

The Washington Post's Charles Lane has a former RNC counsel calling yesterday's decision a "setback" for those who want more government regulation. LINK

Roll Call's Kate Ackley reports that yesterday's decision was greeted with delight by free speech advocates and muted disapproval by campaign finance reform groups.

The Wall Street Journal ed board is happy with the ruling, penning that rejecting Vermont's "draconian restrictions" protects free-speech.

Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal Notes that the Supreme Court is split over how to best regulate campaign finance reform laws.

Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe writes that yesterday's ruling immediately effects Vermont, who once has the country's most restrictive campaign finance rules to one that apparently has no contribution limits. The ruling also means that the government cannot prevent wealthy candidates from spending as much money as they please, Savage reports, and can limit individual campaign donations, but not too low. LINK

The Boston Globe ed board calls the decision a "disappointing" one, where money scandals will continue to emerge and special interest groups will continue to get what they paid for, unless voters adopt a public financing system, the Board points out. LINK


Politics of global warming:

The Supreme Court ruling over whether the government should regulate "greenhouse" gases, particularly carbon dioxide from cars, could be "one of the court's most important ever on the environment," according to the AP's H. Josef Hebert. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

Per the Washington Post, the President ordered Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to upgrade the Emergency Alert System, where a warning system run by FEMA would reach as many Americans via as many forms of communication as possible. LINK


Per the AP, Rep. McDermott (D-WA) gets an en banc hearing after a three-judge appellate panel ruled in March that he violated the law when he turned over a recording of a 1996 telephone call between Newt Gingrich and the current House Majority Leader John Boehner. LINK

The Palm Beach Post's Dara Kam reports that Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) vetoed a bill that would allow lawmakers to gain access to secret documents held by executive branch agencies yesterday in an effort to maintain the governor's powers and keep clear the "lines of separation" of powers between government branches. LINK

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