July 31, 2009
Supplemental Amicus Briefs in Citizens United; Thoughts on BCRA Sponsors' Brief
Here's what I have so far (in addition to the Former Republican FEC Commissioners' brief already linked):
UPDATE: More briefs:
I won't link to any more of these briefs as the FEC has set up this page linking to even more supplemental amicus briefs.
The BCRA sponsors brief is going to be especially important, not only because it comes from the sponsors of the legislation, but also because Seth Waxman, their attorney, is likely to get 10 minutes to argue in favor of the law, and Seth, a former SG, is highly respected on the Court.
This brief is somewhat understated on the Austin distortion point, though not to the extreme extent of the government's brief. The BCRA sponsors' brief does not mention "distortion" or "corruption," but does make arguments against corporate dominance of the electoral process. (The brief does so in a much more subtle way than the brief filed by the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, etc., who had jointly worked on the initial amicus brief filed by the BCRA sponsors in this case.) But most of the BCRA sponsors' brief is dedicated to the question of stare decisis. And, in a point that makes me very happy, the brief cites Ashwander and makes a brief constitutional avoidance argument. Still, it is striking that the two most important briefs supporting Austin do their best to keep away from Austin equality arguments---just a testament to the writer knowing his/her audience.