Patterico asks us to put up or (be) shut up by any future FEC rules that could become the progeny of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002.
I think it’s time to put the question to you directly. Who out there will make this pledge:But another Bear Flag League lawyer, XRLQ, has some amendments to the pledge.
If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.
My only concern with a pledge like this is that it’s too broad. Existing FEC rules already limit our First Amendment rights to express our opinions on core political issues in other fora; are we supposed to go out and violate those rules, or only new ones applicable to blogs? [SNIP](All emphases belong to the authors.)
Breadth concerns aside, I do think the basic idea behind the Patterico Pledge is sound, and am therefore prepared to take a slightly modified version of said pledge.
If the FEC makes rules that unreasonably limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not make any special efforts to obey those rules, and if given a reasonable opportunity to violate them, I will do so.
California lawyers, sheesh! [insert lawyer joke here]
My thought is that if the FEC really does go overboard in the manner FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith suggested it might, the best way to fight back may be to not only violate the law left and right, but to flood the FEC with morally frivolous but legally meritorious complaints about ordinary political bloggers doing ordinary political blogging. However, I don’t want any innocent non-participants pulled into the dragnet against their will. Instead, I’d suggest we form some kind of club, whose members not only allow each other to rat them out, but actively encourage it, from members and non-members alike.and makes a second pledge:
If I choose to disobey any FEC rule that I believe unreasonably limits my First Amendment right to express my opinoin on core political issues, I will not discourage, and will in fact actively encourage, other bloggers to report these violations to the FEC.
Crafty thinking, gentlemen. I'm in.
(Thanks to Little Miss Attila)