Democrats demanding deletion of ‘free speech’ clause from First Amendment

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You’ll get your free speech when Nevada Democratic lawmakers say you can — if ever.

On Tuesday an Assembly committee heard testimony on Senate Joint Resolution 4, which would urge Congress to amend the Constitution to strike the free speech portion of the First Amendment. SJR4, sponsored by Las Vegas Democratic state Sen. Nicole Cannizzaro, specifically would erase the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, which held that it was unconstitutional to forbid the broadcast of a movie critical of then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton just because it was paid for by a corporation.

The summary of SJR4 reads: “Urges Congress to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to allow the reasonable regulation of political contributions and expenditures by corporations, unions and individuals to protect the integrity of elections and the equal right of all Americans to effective representation.”

It may as well read: “Democracy is dead because the citizens of the United States are too stupid to hear vigorous debate and make rational decisions.”

The resolution argues that large political donations corrupts candidates and dilutes the power of individuals.

Pay no heed to the fact that in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was outspent by Hillary Clinton by two-to-one — $600 million to $1.2 billion.

This proposal goes even further than most arguments against Citizens United — basically that corporations and unions are not people and have no free speech rights — and proposes to allow regulation and limitations on any and all political contributions and expenditures, including those by individuals, by also overturning the Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC.

Democrats think all money belongs to the state except what the state allows you to keep, and now they demand to take control of how you spend that.

Jeff Clements, president of American Promise, an organization pressing for such a constitutional amendment, testified to the Assembly committee by phone.

He said we need to get back our constitutional foundation that “really has gone back in a non-partisan and cross-partisan way for over a century. It is not say there is anything bad corporations and unions or the very, very wealthy … If we allow unlimited deployment of the financial resources from those and other sources, it overwhelms the rights we have as Americans and the duties we have to participate in our self-governing republic, as equal citizens with equal representation.”

He argued that politics is not a marketplace to be bought and sold.

Yes, it is a marketplace of ideas. But no matter how much someone spends trying to persuade us to buy, we don’t have to buy it.

As for it being a non-partisan issue as Clements claimed, the vote on SJR4 in the state Senate this past week was on a party-line vote of 12-9. All Democrats in favor. All Republicans opposed.

Let’s hear what the court had to say about free speech in McCutcheon:

The Government has a strong interest, no less critical to our democratic system, in combatting corruption and its appearance. We have, however, held that this interest must be limited to a specific kind of corruption — quid pro quo corruption — in order to ensure that the Government’s efforts do not have the effect of restricting the First Amendment right of citizens to choose who shall govern them. For the reasons set forth, we conclude that the aggregate limits on contributions do not further the only governmental interest this Court accepted as legitimate in Buckley. They instead intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise “the most fundamental First Amendment activities.”

In Citizens United, the late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote:

The (First) Amendment is written in terms of “speech,” not speakers. Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker, from single individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated associations of individuals, to incorporated associations of individuals — and the dissent offers no evidence about the original meaning of the text to support any such exclusion. We are therefore simply left with the question whether the speech at issue in this case is “speech” covered by the First Amendment. No one says otherwise. A documentary film critical of a potential Presidential candidate is core political speech, and its nature as such does not change simply because it was funded by a corporation. Nor does the character of that funding produce any reduction whatever in the “inherent worth of the speech” and “its capacity for informing the public,”  Indeed, to exclude or impede corporate speech is to muzzle the principal agents of the modern free economy. We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate.

I’ll put that up against the Democrats’ bleating about money corrupting the political process.

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10 comments on “Democrats demanding deletion of ‘free speech’ clause from First Amendment

  1. Steve says:

    Money only corrupts politics when it is donated to Democrats opponents.

  2. robertleebeers says:

    I don’t know where this nonsense about money being equated to speech came from, but a political donation is not speech. Yes, it is a tangible expression of support, but it can also be bribery, a tangible form of suppression of speech. Regardless, money is not and never has been speech. With that being said, I do agree that the aim of the Democrats is not about the money, nor where it is going. Their aim is and always has been the suppression of any expression of opposing philosophy. The Democrat Party remains the single greatest threat to individual liberties this country has ever faced. They need to be reminded that any form of government restriction on those freedoms the Constitution says can not be infringed upon shall always remain inviolate. Perhaps it has gotten to where we need a new law, one that states that any attempt to violate the Constitution by an elected official is a felony and punishable by a sentence of no less than 4 years in Federal Prison, the typical term of political office.

  3. deleted says:

    This “non-binding resolution”. Does not ask that the Congress pass anything. What it does do, is ask the Congress to propose an Amendment that would be subject to the process set out in the Constitution for amending the Constitution.

    Basically it asks people to utilize their first amendment rights and tell the paid off members of the US Supreme Court (Uncle Thomas I’m looking at you, and although thankfully, his far right wing lunatic co-conspirator is now….gone, I’m thinking of him as well) that even though they can he paid to do the bidding of the Koch Brothers and their minions, not everyone can be.

  4. deleted says:

    Paying off Supreme Court Justices (and obviously right wing politicians) is “free speech” and shall not be infringed (or apparently even discussed) but some poor American laughing is not and is even jail worthy, leastways if it happens while one of orange balls racist minions is babbling some Fox News motto.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jeff-sessions-laughter_us_5908c55ee4b0bb2d08726a91?kuw

  5. Rincon says:

    A campaign contribution of say, $150,000.00 can boost the odds of victory for a candidate for state representative or senator tremendously. A single individual or a small group can sway the election of every state senator and representative in North Carolina for about $25 million – and they did. Read Dark Money.

    Money is power. Long live the kings.

    “Pay no heed to the fact that in the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump was outspent by Hillary Clinton by two-to-one — $600 million to $1.2 billion.” You’re full of good anecdotes today, Thomas. In case I haven’t made it clear, this from Wikipedia: “Where only one or a few anecdotes are presented, there is a larger chance that they may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases.”

  6. Steve says:

    Ah, so then…..”The Donald” is Asimovs “Mule”

  7. And with this nonsense…Senator Nicole Cannizzaro and the rest of her progressive leftist cultural Marxist cohorts in Carson City have been awarded today’s DA Award…wear it with pride, you’ve earned it!

  8. It has been a long time since I read the Foundation trilogy.

  9. Steve says:

    A great series and Asimov added a whole bunch more books to the story line.

  10. deleted says:

    Is it too late, or too early, to do a piece about this administrations continuing unconstitutional denial of the First Amendment?

    I fear for our republic.

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