In a decision that Alliance for Justice supported, the Court, lauding the importance of the First Amendment, decided that parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign financing law, which prohibits issue ads mentioning a candidate up for election, were unconstitutional. FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life.
As pointed out by an editorial in the New York Times, however:
the professed devotion to the First Amendment did not extend to allowing taxpayers to challenge White House aid to faith-based organizations as a violation of church-state separation. … Nor did the court’s concern for free speech extend to actually allowing free speech in the oddball case of an Alaska student who was suspended from high school in 2002.In Morse v. Frederick, the Court held 5-4 that a school principal was not liable for suspending a student who displayed a banner that said “Bong Hits for Jesus” outside his school at the Olympic torch relay. And in Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation, the Court held 5-4 that taxpayers could not challenge – under the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause - the Bush administration’s expenditure of taxpayer dollars for its “Faith Based Initiatives.”
The Court also decided Wilkie v. Robbins and National Association of Homebuilders v. Defenders of Wildlife.
Please check back for more analysis of these opinions.