"Conservatives go 4-4 today at the Supreme Court"?

A blog at the Washington Post notes:

Legal and political conservatives hit for the cycle Monday morning when they "won" four long-awaited rulings from the United States Supreme Court. The Justices further chipped away at the wall that separates church and state, took some of the steam out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, neutered federal regulators in environmental cases to the benefit of developers and slammed a high school kid who had the temerity to put up a silly sign near his high school. . . . .

I would more likely say 2.667 for 3.

1) The sign case seems like a difficult one. Students obviously don't have free speach rights at school, but the event was a school "sanctioned" one. Yet, this kid was not really in school at the time. One could even argue that he was skipping school at the time. Of course, this might explain why I am conflicted. The Circuit court decision raised an interesting point that "All sorts of missions are undermined by legitimate and protected speech -- a school's anti-gun mission would be undermined by a student passing around copies of John R. Lott's book,'More Guns, Less Crime . . . ."

2) The campaign finance case was only a marginal win given that Roberts and Alito were not willing to go anywhere near as far as Thomas and Scalia. They differentiated between different types of political advertising.



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