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Feds explore regulating websites and blogs

Feds explore regulating websites and blogs
photo courtesy of shutterstock

The First Amendment to the Constitution is pretty clear:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

So why does it seem like Congress is always trying to make laws respecting those things? The latest edition of this isn't actually a congressional action or a bill. It's a congressional regulatory agency called the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

The FEC was created in 1975 to regulate campaign finance legislation. That means it's responsible for tracking campaign fundraising and spending, and making sure it's done on the level. People want to know who's putting money into the pockets of their elected officials, and how much.

The FEC also enforces campaign finance laws that limit individual donorship to candidates, parties and political action committees. Last year in McCutcheon v. FEC, the Supreme Court ruled that congressional laws creating so-called aggregate limits on donations to campaigns are unconstitutional. That's what this issue is about.

Next page: How could our free speech be limited?
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