Citizens United, Prop. 8., and “quashing public discourse”

The Times discusses the Supreme Court’s move against televising the Prop. 8 trial in an editorial today.

The courtroom battle now unfolding bears close watching, and the Supreme Court should not stand in the way of Americans viewing it and reaching educated judgments.

Rick Hasen notes here that the order cites appellant’s brief and the Center for Competitive Politics’ brief in Citizens United, a move he sees as unusual and a reflection that the Court’s conservatives are sympathetic to the “harassment argument” against disclosure presented in those two filings.

To court watchers running on thin oxygen after day after day of no opinion in Citizens United, breathing may become more natural and regular after this glimmer of hope that the Court is working through these issues.  But reformers may not feel so comfortable.  As Hasen concludes:

My view on the harassment question: If harassment turns out to be a real problem, there’s a more narrowly tailored solution than gutting disclosure laws: grant as-applied exemptions for those persons who can demonstrate a real (not imagined) threat of harassment.  But if a Court majority accepted CU’s broad disclosure arguments in addition to their corporate spending arguments, the case turn out much worse than even reformers have dreaded.

Meanwhile, The Post has another “waiting” story here.

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