Ok, this is plainly political. But if it came about, I wouldn’t be able to post it. And that’s the real issue here — there is an actually amendment language that would cause this limit. I’m not kidding.
Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards turned to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis for guidance in framing the Constitutional amendment she proposed Tuesday as the right and necessary response to the decision by Chief Justice John Roberts and a high court majority to abandon law and precedent with the purpose of permitting corporations to dominate the political discourse.
That’s all well and good, at least in sentiment. None of us wants the power of the government limited to the control of a few corporations. But there is another, more serious problem. But first some background. A rather important sentence first, the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
And here is what they propose:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:
‘‘SECTION 1. being essential to a free democracy, Congress and the States may regulate the expenditure of funds for political speech by any corporation, limited liability company, or other corporate entity.
‘‘SECTION 2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.”
See anything that presents an issue? Lots. And lots. here’s a few serious concerns:
1. It attempts to disrupt our representative system with terminology that represents direct democracy when it says that the sovereign right of the people to govern has somehow been affected and requires remediation.
2. It defines the power of government to limit all political speech by any incorporated entity. And, if being religious and moral statements are defined as a political restriction on some group’s political power, then that speech is prohibited. Like the Boy Scouts’ promotion of religious and moral straightness. Or by a church opposing abortion or homosexual activity. Or morality rules in a church’s bylaws.
3. It attempts to protect the press but says nothing about free assembly for self-determined purposes, individual speech, and especially nothing about religious liberty. And that is a serious issue. This represents a centralized power grab that we ought oppose. Our purpose for assembling may then be defined by the government. And that is frightening.
This amendment would give authority to Congress to limit speech. This type of power grab by Edwards, Feingold, and Kerry is good reason to remove them from office.