Two years after liberal Republican John McCain teamed up with liberal Democrat Russ Feingold to eviserate the First Amendment, a federal court ordered the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to begin regulating expression on the Internet. Two years after that, the FEC passed a rule exempting blogs and their authors from this exercise of federal overreach. But a regulatory agency’s rule is only as strong as the commitment to its principles of the presidential administration in power. And with the impending disaster of a McCain, Obama, or Clinton Administration, the Constitution faces at least four more years in the wilderness.
H.R. 5699, the Blogger Protection Act of 2008, would specifically shield uncompensated bloggers from campaign laws when they post about candidates or link to campaign Web sites. One of the sponsors of the bill, Rep. Denny Rehberg, explains the reasons behind it in a guest post on my SamSphere sister blog mtpolitics.net. While one wonders why a statute would be accorded higher regard than the Bill of Rights, the Blogger Protection Act is a well-intended effort to increase the wall guard around small zones of expression facing attack from federal overlords.