Tags: Steve Malzberg Show | Supreme Court | supremecourt | firstamendment | kendallcoffey

Coffey: SCOTUS 'Protecting' and 'Expanding' First Amendment

Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 06:20 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

The U.S. Supreme Court's sweeping ruling on campaign contributions this week reveals a majority of jurists determined to protect the First Amendment, veteran legal analyst Kendall Coffey says.

"This is a court that is very firmly committed to the First Amendment. And not only protecting it, but expanding it in some respects," Coffey told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"We've seen it with respect to campaign contributions, we've seen it, and we're going to continue to see it, with respect to a First Amendment expression of religious values.

"So in some ways, this was portrayed as a blockbuster decision and [in]some [ways] it was a logical next step for this court."

In a 5-4 ruling issued on Wednesday, the nation's highest court ended limits on how much money a person can contribute in total in one election season.

Coffey — a founding member of Coffey Burlington in Miami — said the argument that the ruling gives the rich more power to influence elections has nothing to do with the definition of the First Amendment.

"The First Amendment isn't intended to equalize and put everybody in effect on the same playing field," Coffey said.

"You know how they say money talks, something else walks? Well, money does talk when you give political contributions and it's a way of having your voice.

"They're saying very clearly that the Constitution doesn't allow us to say … you're super rich, you're throwing too much money around at too many different candidates."

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