In 2009, a deputy solicitor general arguing a case before the Supreme Court argued that the Federal Election Commission had the power to ban books if they were deemed electioneering (see pages 27-30). The following spring his boss, then Solicitor General Elena Kagan, tried to finesse the matter and failed -- leading to the decision in the Citizens United case which among other things made it clear that the federal government does not have the power to ban books due to the First Amendment.
The chairman of the Federal Election Commission today blasted Democratic colleagues opposed to his effort to protect conservative media after they imposed rules on the publisher of Rep. Paul Ryan's new book, opening the door to future book regulations -- or even a ban.
“By failing to affirm this publisher’s constitutional right, statutory right, to disseminate a political book free from FEC conditions and regulations, we have effectively asserted regulatory jurisdiction over a book publisher,” warned Chairman Lee E. Goodman, one of three Republicans on the six-person FEC.
“That failure reveals a festering legal uncertainty and chill for the free press rights of books and book publishers to publish and disseminate political books free from government regulation,” he added.
Seems to me that we once again have agents of a rogue administration seeking to limit the political speech of their opponents -- and in this case doing so in direct contradiction of the holding of the Supreme Court just four years ago. But then again, Obama and his cronies have never liked that ruling and the Dictator-in-Chief himself engaged in an unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court justices during his State of the Union address just days later. Here's hoping we'll see Paul Ryan take this matter to court and another SCOTUS smackdown of Barack Obama and his minions over the failure faithfully execute the laws and uphold the rights of citizens guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.