June 13, 2011

Supreme Court: A lawmaker's vote is not free speech

Overturning the Nevada Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a lawmaker's vote should not be considered free speech and therefore is not protected by the First Amendment:

Reaffirming more than two centuries of law, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that a legislator’s vote on pending bills, and arguments made during debate on such measures, are not a form of free speech that is protected by the First Amendment. Although the Court was unanimous in overturning a Nevada Supreme Court ruling conferring First Amendment protection for legislative actions, two Justices voiced some reservations about potential implications of the ruling. The case is Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan (docket 10-568).

You can also read a reaction to the ruling from one of Mr. Carrigan's lawyers.