Wow, did you know this?

12 August 2007


Then, last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California introduced the same First Amendment clarity to political cyberspace in another important decision, Porter v. Bowen. The case had much of its genesis in an article I wrote for Slate on Oct. 25, 2000, introducing the idea of Internet “vote-trading” to avert the catastrophe of a George W. Bush election a few weeks later. My suggestion was that Ralph Nader’s supporters in swing states (like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida) should go online and communicate their intention to vote for Democratic nominee Al Gore in return for the agreement of Gore supporters trapped in hard-core red states (like Texas, Louisiana, Utah, and Alaska) to vote for Nader. This multipartisan interstate political coalition would allow Gore to hit 270 in the electoral college while not harming Nader’s effort to reach 5 percent in the nationwide vote to qualify for federal financing. “If just 100,000 Gore supporters and 100,000 Nader supporters in the key states registered and kept their words,” I wrote, “both a Gore victory and federal funding for the Greens could be accomplished.”

Read the whole thing. This strategy, while initially struck down, was later upheld by the court of appeals. I too have been troubled by some recent SCOTUS decisions, particularly the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” kerfuffle.