Kagan’s First Case as Solicitor General Was Suppressing Pro-Life Free Speech
by Steven Ertelt
June 2, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — And old saying reminds people that if they forget history, they are condemned to repeat it. For a national pro-life group, an idea of where Elena Kagan will go on the Supreme Court is easily seen by taking a look at where she’s been, and her first case she argued as Solicitor General worries Americans United for Life.
As the top lawyer for the Obama administration arguing cases before the high court, Kagan’s first case, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, had her arguing for campaign finance reform limits that suppressed the free speech rights of pro-life groups.
The case is the first Kagan argued, and lost, and it saw the Supreme Court go against Kagan’s request and had it striking down a campaign finance reform provision that prohibited corporate independent expenditures for electioneering communication.
"In reality, the decision was a victory for the First Amendment," Americans United for Life says in a new memo provided to LifeNews.com.
"If the First Amendment right to freedom of speech means anything, surely it guarantees the right to speak about candidates for public office. Corporations may exercise their right to political speech," AUL says.
In practice, campaign finance reform laws have negatively impacted non-profit policy groups more dramatically than the vilified big corporation,’ AUL notes.
"Many non-profits (e.g. pro-life organizations) do not have the resources to meet the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform laws, and therefore are limited in their ability to engage in political speech. This is detrimental to society because these organizations often provide the most effective way for member-citizens to vocalize their political views at critical times," AUL argues.
In other words, Kagan’s first case she chose to take to the Supreme Court (above other potential cases that better served the public) was one in which she argued for strenuous limits on pro-life groups, among others, and their ability to inform pro-life people about political and legislative happenings.
"Does Elena Kagan believe that the government can suppress speech because it does not like the speakers such as pro-life advocates?" AUL says lawmakers should ask Kagan.
"Further, is it constitutional to burden for profit and non-profit corporations with onerous requirements for exercising their right to free speech? Also, can the government prohibit such entities from speaking at all in certain contexts? AUL wonders.
Since defending the contested law before the Supreme Court, Kagan has not distanced herself from her arguments. On the contrary, according to Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), Kagan has defended herself and her position.
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