If they prevail, all sole proprietors will be able to share the right to contribute with the rest of America. Rules that pick and choose who get to maintain their basic constitutional rights on the basis of employment are incompatible with the First Amendment.
The contractor ban is not the first time Congress tried to get away with abolishing the First Amendment rights of a class of people. A federal law passed in 2002 banned all minors from contributing, for fear that wealthy parents would give money in excess of the contribution limits through their kids. The Supreme Court struck the ban down, reminding Congress that “[m]inors enjoy the protection of the First Amendment.”
A victory for Professor Wagner and her fellow contractors would reaffirm that banning an entire class of contributors is unconstitutional. After all, federal contractors, like all Americans, enjoy the protection of the First Amendment.
While Tony Stark is busy downing Scotch and saving the world, let’s hope the D.C. Circuit affirms the Hulk’s First Amendment rights.
Otherwise, the court might make Hulk angry.
Zac Morgan is a Staff Attorney for the Center for Competitive Politics, and Joe Trotter is the Media Manager for the Center for Competitive Politics.