Tag Archives: Stefan Underhill

Connecticut campaign finance law ruled unconstitutional

So ruled Federal Judge Stefan Underhill, in a suit brought by the Libertarian party. I haven’t read the decision yet -I’m going to go find it now – but I think advocates of the law would spend their time more wisely redrafting it than appealing Judge Underhill’s decision. I know the judge only slightly but he’s my best friend’s close friend (they were partners together at Day, Berry & Howard 15 years ago) and he’s always told me that Stefan was a genius. From my few meetings and discussions with the man, I was as impressed as my friend. Underhill is not of my own political persuasion, by the way. Nominated by Chris Dodd, the only thing Dodd’s ever done that I admired him for, he’s just a brilliant jurist with no axe to grind. He’s also the only published poet I know – which would be irrelevant except that to find a commercial publisher willing to publish poetry in this market is exceptional.

All of which is to say that I doubt the ruling will be over-ruled on a matter of error in interpreting the law. So if you want to restrict campaign contributions, fix the law.

UPDATE: Decision is here. I’ve just dipped into it (it’s long) but I’m amused that the case makes bedfellows of two of my least favorite entities: the ACLU and the Green Party, with my favorite band of whackos, the Libertarians. That’s the fun part about free speech arguments, of course, because by protecting it for your enemies you’re also preserving it for yourself. It’s too bad the ACLU has turned so anti-American because, as cases like this illustrate, they could still serve a valuable purpose.


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