The Supreme Court ruled in favor of big money in McCutcheon v. FEC yesterday, as you know, but we're ready to fight back: Public Citizen, the People for the American Way and Free Speech for People all help you support constitutional amendments that would ensure that when we talk about free speech rights, we're not only talking about rights people have, but we're also talking about speech. Money isn't speech, after all -- it's, you know, money, and two-plus centuries of precedent have established that we can regulate money more aggressively than we can regulate speech, just as it should be. Yet Chief Justice Roberts explicitly wrote that "the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner 'influence over or access to' elected officials or political parties" is not a government "interest" in writing campaign finance laws. Trouble with that is, when one individual gains such "access," he closes off our avenues for access. And rights are for everyone, not just for the people with the most money.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania state legislature is mulling SB 1180, a bill that would provide for "prescription drug monitoring." SB 1180 has attracted some bipartisan support in the state Senate, because prescription drugs can be abused quite easily. And we should work to ameliorate that problem, but SB 1180 is, if you will, the wrong prescription: the bill would mandate a state-run database of prescription records, and prosecutors could access it without a warrant. Problem is prosecutors only would need to establish "reasonable suspicion," which we use when we're looking through records where we don't expect to have a whole lot of privacy to begin with, like school records and prison records. Your prescription drug records ain't like that, though -- you don't expect that to be common knowledge, and you shouldn't expect it to be common knowledge. The ACLU helps you tell your PA state Senator to oppose SB 1180 and keep your prescription drug information private, as it should be.