Republicans Need to Support DISCLOSE and START (Nov. 22), Norman Ornstein chastises Republican Senators for failing to support the DISCLOSE Act. Ornstein believes, probably correctly, that if DISCLOSE doesnt pass during the lame-duck session, it will never pass.
Of course, saying so outright would reveal the hostility of his argument to free speech. So instead, Ornstein tries to delegitimize political speech by calling it an “assault” by “hit groups” that are escalating an “arms race.”
Although this argument would make George Orwell proud, it cannot, and should not, carry the day in a country where political speech remains protected by the First Amendment’s command (which, unsurprisingly, Ornstein never mentions) that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech.”
Bert Gall is a senior attorney at the Institute for Justice, which litigates nationwide in defense of free speech.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.