Justice Stevens Loves the NRA:

At least today he did. This morning the Court heard reargument in Citizens United v. FEC. At issue is section 203 of the McCain-Feingold campaign speech restriction law, which prohibits corporations and unions from buying TV ads (and communicating in certain other media) which mention a federal candidate during the 60 days before a general election, and the 30 days before a primary. During oral argument last spring, the government had asserted that it would be constitutionally permissible for Congress to outlaw corporate/union speech in any medium (e.g., a book) during the pre-election speech restriction period.

The Court asked for re-argument and supplement briefing on whether it should over-rule the relevant part of McConnell v. FEC (2003)(which had upheld McCain-Feingold) and Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990)(corporate speech can be suppressed in order to relatively amplify other voices).

Scotusblog provides a summary and analysis . As Scotusblog explains, the Court seemed unanimous that the relevant portion of McCain-Feingold was constitutionally defective, and the question was whether the Court could address the problem in a narrow way, while preserving some of the precedents in question.

The NRA brief had argued that the Court should over-rule Austin/McConnell to the extent that they ban advocacy by non-profit corporations funded by individuals, or the Court should over-rule both cases as applied to all corporations. Justice Stevens liked the NRA's first alternative. However, it appeared that five Justices wanted to go further.

The briefs are here. Among them are briefs from two other groups which made me proud to be a member: Cato Institute (focus on right of association, and anonymity); Cato supplemental brief (stare decisis principles support over-ruling Austin and part of McConnell, and returning to the 1976 Buckley precedent); ACLU Supplemental (the Court should find section 203 of McCain-Feingold facially unconstitutional; this would over-rule part of McConnell, and would not require the Court to over-rule Austin).