These government-favoring ideas on speech mirror a government-centric view of … well, of everything. In a footnote in that 1996 essay, Ms. Kagan wrote that restrictions on corporate speech were based “on the ground that corporate wealth derives from privileges bestowed on corporations by the government. But this argument fails, because individual wealth also derives from government action. … The question in every case is whether the government may use direct regulation of speech to redress prior imbalances.”
The simple answer to that question is no. Individuals, not governments, create wealth – and individuals acting in a free market of ideas can use speech to try to redress any perceived imbalances. Ms. Kagan’s apparent view to the contrary is disturbing and should be disqualifying.