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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Today in Deregulation: Snake-oil peddlers unshackled

When your phone starts ringing at all hours, and when it's not a presidential Super Pac calling, it's Gordon Liddy peddling gold, thank Clarence Thomas:
It is not too early to identify the sleeper case of the last Supreme Court term. In an otherwise minor decision about a municipal sign ordinance, the court in June transformed the First Amendment. 
Robert Post, the dean of Yale Law School and an authority on free speech, said the decision was so bold and so sweeping that the Supreme Court could not have thought through its consequences. The decision’s logic, he said, endangered all sorts of laws, including ones that regulate misleading advertising and professional malpractice. 
“Effectively,” he said, “this would roll consumer protection back to the 19th century.”
In South Carolina, the consultant class- which is large and thriving, thanks to the quadrennial need for paid assassins during presidential election seasons- is celebrating:
Beyond the First Amendment victory (and the latest vindication of Cahaly), the Fourth Circuit ruling adds to the “Wild, Wild West” reputation of “First in the South” South Carolina when it comes to political tactics.  Now that campaigns know South Carolina’s anti-robocall statute is unconstitutional, we expect this medium to be utilized with increasing frequency in upcoming electoral cycles.

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