Free speech for everyone in our campaigns! Including Vladimir Putin!
In light of today’s focus on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, here’s a fun thing about popular vote loser Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. He’s okay with allowing some foreign spending in our elections.
His narrow reading of the Federal Elections Campaign Act in Bluman v. FEC —a case upholding the federal ban on campaign contributions and expenditures by “foreign nationals”—would leave the door open for unlimited spending by foreign powers on what Kavanaugh called “issue advocacy.” His interpretation means that the law likely would have covered only a small fraction of the campaign activity attributed to Russian operatives in the 2016 elections. […]
[H]e went out of his way to narrowly interpret the ban, asserting that it applied only as to a “certain form of expressive activity closely tied to the voting process—providing money for a candidate or political party or spending money in order to expressly advocate for or against the election of a candidate.” This construction leaves room for unlimited foreign spending on electoral advocacy posing as “issue advocacy”—including ads seeking to incite division amongst Americans on the bases of race and religion, and that skirt the line of express advocacy with messages like “Hillary is Satan.”
Isn’t that comforting. This nomination, from this pr*sident who is under criminal investigation for possible conspiracy with the Russian government in the 2016 election, should not move forward in the Senate.