Not to be outdone, here is what Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., had to say about his role in the taped call case with Rep. John Boehner that ended today:
"More than 200 years ago, James Madison, father of the Constitution, authored the First Amendment as a bulwark against the suppression of free speech by the government. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas would later write: 'The dominant purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the widespread practice of government suppression of embarrassing information.' More than ten years ago, Republican political leaders attempted to breach this bulwark by thwarting the free flow of truthful information to the American people.
"This has been a long and costly battle but, in the final analysis, the judgment handed down today in the U.S. District Court is a small price to pay in defense of so fundamental a principle, and freedom, as the First Amendment. Because of this protracted legal challenge, the First Amendment is stronger today, and shielded by new case law that will buttress its capacity to protect the publication of truthful information on matters of public importance long into the future. Knowing this, I am proud of my role in defense of the First Amendment.
"The implications of this case and its threat to the First Amendment were well understood from the beginning, and led 18 national news organizations to file briefs and alert the American people to the stakes involved.
“Ban Snooping, Not Free Speech.” (Washington Post Editorial)
“First Amendment on Trial” (Wall Street Journal Op-ed)
“Mr. Boehner is harassing a political opponent with a suit that threatens to trample on free speech and Congressional prerogatives.” (New York Times Editorial)
"Similarly in the courts, concerned jurists like U.S. District Court Judge David Sentelle recognized the case for what it was: ‘Abrogating Representative McDermott’s First Amendment protections because he violated the ‘spirit’ of a rule contravenes the well-established principle that vague restrictions on speech are impermissible because of their chilling effect ... and because of the need to eliminate the impermissible risk of discretionary enforcement. Plainly, subjecting a Member of Congress to liability for violating the ‘spirit’ of a rule burdens political speech in the vaguest of ways, leaving the Member to 'guess at [the] contours' of the prohibition.’
"Although a sharply divided court ultimately favored Mr. Boehner in his legal battle, the First Amendment won the war, because this case articulated and affirmed the right of journalists and others to publish truthful information without fear of reprisal. As a noted Republican Senator from Idaho, William E. Borah, once said: ‘If the press is not free, if speech is not independent and untrammeled, if the mind is shackled or made impotent through fear, it makes no difference under what form of government you live, you are a subject and not a citizen.’
"While the amount of damages assessed in this case is significant, I submit that defending the First Amendment is beyond measure and worth every penny. A mere 45 words in length, the First Amendment has defined our commitment to freedom for two centuries. And with the end of this case, another threat against the First Amendment has been met and turned back."