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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Christie Already On Wrong Side of Supreme Court

A few days ago, and only one day before the John Roberts-led Supreme Court issued its opinion in Citizens United v. FEC striking down limits on corporate and entity political contributions on First Amendment grounds, new New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed an executive order banning unions from making political contributions.  (See my earlier commentary on the decision.)

Say what you will about unions, good or bad, but this was a blatant attempt to target one class of speakers and eliminate their rights to political speech, and for an equally transparent, political purpose.  This is essentially a content-based prohibition on free speech.   It is so antithetical with basic Constitutional values upholding free speech and expression, and is so fundamentally unconstitutional, that it raises valid questions about new Governor Christie's respect for other constitutional values like equal protection, due process, right to counsel, and so on.  

Remember that the ban on unions' contributions has a political motive to it (don't hold your breath waiting for an admission of this).  New Jersey readers should be concerned about what's in store next.  If the Christie Administration follows the principle of "the ends justify the means," this disregard for Constitutional values is going to have troubling implications for New Jersey residents that will dwarf concerns about the budget deficit or high taxes.  

Some New Jersey conservatives have been blinded, I suspect, by their disgust for former Governor Jon Corzine.   High taxes are always a bane of any society.  Any "conservatives" with a conscience -- or a brain -- should realize this. It only took days for the Republican governor Christie to show himself to be on the wrong side of the conservative, "Roberts" Court.



Eric Dixon is an attorney practicing in New York and New Jersey. He practices in, among other things, the field of ballot access election law and also is knowledgeable on securities compliance and corporate governance matters. Mr. Dixon is available for consultation or further comment at 917-696-2442.








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