Time to amend the Constitution: Quickly

The Free Speech for People Amendment will overrule the Citizens United v. FEC case and return the First Amendment to its longstanding purpose as a guarantee of the fullest rights of a free people and the press. The Free Speech for People Amendment will overrule the fabrication by activist judges of a “corporate rights doctrine” to defeat democratically enacted laws, and will restore the First Amendment to its meaning and intent for two centuries. The Amendment will ensure that all people have the most robust freedom of conscience, speech and debate and that a vibrant, diverse press remains free and unfettered, thus strengthening, rather than weakening, democracy.

The Free Speech for People Amendment Campaign will work with others to develop specific language for the Free Speech for People Amendment. Here is one example of language for the Free Speech for People Amendment:

Amendment XXVIII

Section 1. The sovereign right of the people to govern being essential to a free democracy, the First Amendment shall not be construed to limit the authority of Congress and the States to define, regulate, and restrict the spending and other activity of any corporation, limited liability entity, or other corporate entity created by state or federal law or the law of another nation.

Section 2. Nothing contained in this Article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

via What will the Free Speech for People Amendment say and what will it do? | freespeechforpeople.org.

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12 Responses

  1. jstults January 25, 2010 / 8:25 am
    This seems like a storm in a teacup, corporations have always been able to form political action committees and spend, spend, spend.  Now the Republic is threatened because they don’t have to take that step?  Sure the disclosure laws are significant for PACs, but there’s no reason they can’t be significant for corporate political speech, this recent opinion positively acknowledged that the government can regulate and require disclosure, they just can’t censor completely.
     
    How effective do you think this ‘political speech’ would be: “Drilling in ANWAR is the coolest!! (paid for by Exxon)” ?

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  2. Dan January 25, 2010 / 9:08 am
    @jsults
    The problem is that the ‘political speech’ would be:
    “Drilling in ANWAR is the coolest!! (paid for by By Americans for America*)” ?

    *buried at the bottom of their website- paid for in part by ExxonMobil

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  3. David Esrati January 25, 2010 / 9:43 am

    I think you are missing the point- it may grant the corporations the ability to give enough money to a candidate so that the message is from Mike Turner for Congress… no mention of the sponsor.

    Either way- elections cost too much. We’re not getting our money’s worth. It’s bad enough with the lobbyists.

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  4. jstults January 25, 2010 / 1:25 pm
    Dan, that was kind of my point, that’s what happens right now with PACs.  If the corporation were funding the speech directly and their were disclosure requirements, then it would actually be more transparent in trying to figure out what special interest is paying for the commercial you are watching.
     
    David:

    it may grant the corporations the ability to give enough money to a candidate so that the message is from Mike Turner for Congress… no mention of the sponsor.

    Wouldn’t the candidate still have to disclose the source of donations, even if not on individual ads?  Is that stuff disclosed before or after the election?  From your daily show on the financials of running for office, it seems like that info is made public after the election (which is a little less useful).

    We’re not getting our money’s worth.

    Somebody sure is…

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  5. David Esrati January 25, 2010 / 1:28 pm

    @Jstults- the finance reporting is almost impossible to really check out- all kinds of games played.

    The whole thing needs to be scrapped. It’s cheaper for the taxpayer to pay for campaigns- and put them all on a level field.

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  6. Ice Bandit January 25, 2010 / 6:33 pm
    The three most aggravating and annoying sounds to inflict the auditory canal are a first grader’s fingernails on a blackboard, the dentist firing up his drill, and the never ending whining of leftists on the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Citizens United case. Eventually the seven year old gets bored and the dentist eventually goes home, but liberals have their  burkas in a bundle 24 and 7 over this issue. The fact that this has been accepted case law since the time of Chief Justice John Marshall has no bearing on the Esrati-Olberman Outrage Axis, the constitution has to be amended quickly. Only problem with that is, the founders made it so that document cannot be easily or quickly changed. And neither left or right even considers a constitutional convention. The left is afraid the right will try to pack the document with amendments protecting school prayer and outlawing abortion. The rights is afraid the left will try to add amendments enshrining gay marraige and affirmative action. But of all the hyperbole coming out of the boo-hoo brigade, David, yours is far from being the most outrageous. That distinction goes to Marty Gottleib of the Dayton Daily News. Here is a guy who writes opinions in the employ of a giant corporation (Cox Publishing) who opines that other people working for corporations shouldn’t be able to express their opinions 30 days before an election. That kinda public hypocrisy requires either giant cajones, a sense of entitlement, a lack of shame, or all of the above. In Marty’s case, the Old Bandito believes it is all of the aforementioned….

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  7. David Esrati January 25, 2010 / 7:54 pm

    @Bandito – Gottlieb get’s paid when pols buy ads from Cox. I don’t.

    I say ban all donations. Back to Lincoln-Douglas style debates, and get everything in writing-

    they screw up- we sue them.

    Let the taxpayers buy the media- and deliver the forum. Screw the sound bite bs.

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  8. Sarah January 26, 2010 / 7:19 pm
    JAMIE RASKIN!!! JAMIE RASKIN!!!

    David I may have pulled every hair out of my head on this one. 

    Professor Raskin taught one of the most radial law school courses that I ever attended. 

    Oh man is is almost as bad as the posting on the credibility of CREW.

    Fav thing that Professor Raskin did at the Washington College of law was hold an annual “dinner party” for his students every year.  Let your mind wander and you might get an idea of the credibility professionalism of the guy.

    ACK and ICK (I sound like Bill-the-Cat!)

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  9. Will Brooks January 30, 2010 / 12:30 pm
    I like Faux news about as much as I do CNN. But here is an interesting link.
     
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/01/28/andrew-napolitano-obama-state-union-campaign-finance-alito-supreme-court/
     
    Here is an excerpt:

    On Wednesday night, during his State of the Union address, the president attacked this decision by arguing that the ruling permits foreign nationals and foreign corporations to spend money on American campaigns. When he said this, Justice Samuel Alito, who was seated just 15 feet from the president, gently whispered: “That’s not true.” Justice Alito was right. The Supreme Court opinion, which is 183 pages in length, specifically excludes foreign nationals and foreign-owned corporations from its ruling. So the president, the former professor of law at the one of the country’s best law schools, either did not read the opinion, or was misrepresenting it.

     

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  10. jstults January 31, 2010 / 8:01 pm
    From another interesting article on the recent ruling:

    Mr. Abrams points out that the first restrictions on corporate and union political speech—overturned along with McCain-Feingold in Citizens United—were part of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, a measure that aimed at curtailing labor’s power. Taft-Hartley “was vetoed by Harry Truman on the ground that it violated the First Amendment,” but the Republican-controlled Congress overrode the veto.
    That’s a cautionary tale for anyone who seeks advantage by restricting the freedom of others—including media corporations that supported McCain-Feingold because they were exempt from it. If corporations have no First Amendment rights, it is dubious to suggest that media corporations do have such rights.
    The Media and Corporate Free Speech

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