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After SCOTUS Reaffirms First Amdt Protections, Liberals Call For Amending Constitution‏

June 26th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

Two excellent editorials today rightly praise the Supreme Court for its important decision yesterday reaffirming the Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling protecting political speech. Unfortunately, the decision seems to only have emboldened liberal efforts to go after First Amendment protections of political speech.

The Wall Street Journal editors write, “Believe it or not, the Supreme Court means what it says about the First Amendment. That was the short but sweet message from the Justices on Monday as they affirmed that their 2010 campaign-finance decision in Citizens United is the law of the land—and that goes for states too. In a two paragraph per curiam (speaking without a single author but for the Court) decision in American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, the High Court summarily reversed a Montana Supreme Court ruling that upheld a state law limiting corporate expenditures to candidates or political action committees that support candidates. The rebuke was necessary because the Montana court had willfully ignored the legal precedent and had seemed to be baiting the High Court to formally accept the case and reconsider Citizens United.”

And the editors of the Chicago Tribune, President Obama’s hometown paper, ask, “What part of ‘free speech’ does the Montana Supreme Court not understand? That was the question that arose after it upheld a state ban on corporate campaign spending — in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling that corporations are entitled to participate in debate about elections. On Monday, the court informed the Montana justices: We meant what we said.”

The Tribune editors write, “Not that such realities cut much ice with those who regard the Citizens United ruling as a threat to democracy and a boon to special interests. The special interests that supposedly gained such entree from the ruling, contrary to myth, have shown little interest in exploiting their new freedom. As an amicus brief filed by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out, of the $96 million contributed to Super PACs supporting one GOP presidential candidate or another in the primaries, less than 14 percent came from corporations. Less than 1 percent came from publicly traded corporations, which were assumed to be the chief beneficiaries.”

Of course, the Tribune editorial notes, “There were howls of outrage and anguish during the primaries when these committees blanketed radio and TV outlets with ads touting one candidate or trashing another. This free-for-all confirmed the belief of many liberal groups that corporations were brazenly trying to buy elections.” And the WSJ editors add, “This won’t be the end of the matter, because the political left has begun to treat Citizens United as the moral equivalent of Dred Scott, as preposterous as that is. They’ll keep hoping that one of the majority Justices retires if President Obama wins a second term.”

But Roll Call reports that the Left is pursuing another avenue: trying to amend the First Amendment. “The Supreme Court’s Monday ruling to strike Montana’s ban on corporate campaign spending opens a new chapter in the political money wars, fueling an improbable but increasingly vocal movement to amend the Constitution. . . . More than a dozen Members of Congress have proposed various constitutional amendments in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling to deregulate corporate and union political spending. Some declare that corporations are not people; others empower Congress and the states to restrict campaign spending and contributions. Until now, such proposals have garnered little notice, given the slim likelihood that any could clear the high bar set for amending the Constitution . . . . But the court’s 5-4 ruling in the Montana case, known as American Tradition Partnership Inc. v. Bullock, makes crystal clear that an amendment is needed, watchdogs say.”

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: After SCOTUS Reaffirms First Amdt Protections, Liberals Call For Amending Constitution‏

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