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Blogosphere et élaboration de la loi sur le financement des campagnes des partis politiques aux USA

mercredi 19 juillet 2006

"Lessons from the Clash between Campaign Finance Laws and the
Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2005-24
Nexus Law Journal, Forthcoming

Repéré sur le L E G I S L A T I O N & S T A T U T O R Y I N T E R P R E T A T I O N A B S T R A C T S , Accepted Paper Series
Vol. 3, No. 18 : July 18, 2006

Richard W. Jennings Professor of Law, University
of California, Berkeley - School of Law (Boalt

Loyola Law School (Los Angeles)

Full Text :

ABSTRACT : In this essay prepared for a Nexus Law Journal symposium
on blogging and the law, Professor Hasen examines the current
controversy over whether campaign finance laws should extend to
election-related activities conducted over the Internet. Until
recently, Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations exempted
Internet-based election communications from the reach of much
campaign finance law. The status quo changed when a federal
district court recently held that the FEC must impose some
regulations of these communications consistent with Congress’s
intent in passing the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. The
FEC Internet rulemaking sparked a blogstorm of protest, and as of
this writing the FEC had not yet promulgated a final rule.
Whatever rule the FEC does promulgate is sure to be challenged by
some aggrieved party in court, though it is possible that
Congress will act first to exempt such communications, or at
least attempt to do so, from the ambit of campaign finance laws.

Regardless of the final outcome of this rulemaking, the clash
tells us some important things both about the nature of speech in
the blogosphere and about the tenability of campaign finance laws
in the era of cheap speech and shifting technology. First, the
line between journalism and blogging is thin indeed. Second, many
bloggers view their activities as more worthy of protection than
traditional political communications, but they shouldn’t. Third,
the convergence of journalism and blogging, and of internet and
television, will put pressure on rules limiting corporate and
union participation in the election process. My main conclusion
is that this debate will be fruitful only if one identifies the
proper goals of campaign finance regulation. If we structured our
campaign finance system to prevent corruption, promote equality,
and provide valuable information to voters, we would do little to
limit the political activities of bloggers, but we would impose
some sensible disclosure rules. In implementing rules to meet
these goals, we should be aware of the danger that the new
sensible exemptions for blogging today can have unintended and
far-reaching consequences tomorrow.

Voir en ligne : Hasen, Richard L., "Lessons from the Clash between Campaign Finance Laws and the Blogosphere" . Nexus Law Journal, Forthcoming Available at SSRN

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