America and the Courts

America and the Courts featured three events: On Tuesday September 5, Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Charles Lane discussed the… read more

America and the Courts featured three events:

On Tuesday September 5, Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Charles Lane discussed the campaign finance case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, which would be heard the following Monday by the Supreme Court. He outlined the law, the legal case, and the profiles of the eight lawyers involved. The case had several unique aspects. The court held a special session in order to hear the case, and allowed 4 hours for oral arguments. The two central and contested elements of the law were the regulation of "soft money", formerly unregulated donations to political parties, and regulations on "issue ads", advertisements indirectly supporting or attacking a candidate, which run in the last few days of a campaign by groups not officially affiliated with either candidate. Supporters of the law argued that such regulations were necessary to protect the integrity and the appearance of integrity in the political process. The law’s opponents claimed that the issue was one of free speech. They said that donating money and funding political advertisements were a constitutionally protected form of speech.

On Thursday September 4, two years after President Bush nominated him to the Washington, D.C. U.S. Court of Appeals, Miguel Estrada withdrew his name from consideration. Senate Democrats held a news conference in reaction to the announcement. Democrats in the Senate had been filibustering the nomination since February of 2003. In their news conference, the senators blamed Mr. Estrada and the White House for refusing to answer questions and not cooperating with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Republicans, who supported Mr. Estrada’s nomination, also held a news conference that day. They claimed that Mr. Estrada had been treated unfairly, and blamed Democratic senators for using filibusters to block judicial nominees based on political ideology. close

*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

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America and the Courts

Program ID:
Public Affairs Event
Video Magazine
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
First Aired:
Sep 6, 2003
Last Aired:
Sep 8, 2003

Airing Details

  • Sep 06, 2003 | 6:59pm EDT | C-SPAN 1
  • Sep 07, 2003 | 1:49am EDT | C-SPAN 1
  • Sep 08, 2003 | 3:11am EDT | C-SPAN 1
  • Sep 08, 2003 | 3:07pm EDT | C-SPAN 1
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