Leftists were furious with the Citizens United decision two years ago, and Barack Obama disgraced himself and his office with his political attack on the Supreme Court during the State of the Union shortly after the case was decided. Now, Leftists are working to amend the Constitution to deny free speech rights to corporations.
Here's the problem: They don't get it.
The First Amendment was never intended to grant the five freedoms it protects. The Declaration of Independence made it clear that the founders believed that men are "endowed by their Creator" with inalienable rights. Those rights exist independent of government and cannot be granted or taken away by government. That's why when you read the text of the First Amendment, it is a limitation on government, not a guarantee of rights.
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.
The reason why government may not restrict the free speech rights of corporations is not because corporations are people. (Corporations are made up of people, though. This is not Skynet, folks.) The reason why government may not restrict the free speech rights of corporations is because the First Amendment is a limitation on government. There are no exceptions in the First Amendment for unions or corporations - it is a protection for all free speech.
The reason "Move to Amend" is so dangerous is because it seeks to take away the right to free speech for some Americans. Once you write into the Constitution that certain groups of people do not have the protection of the First Amendment, you set a dangerous precedent that empowers government at the expense of individual liberty.
I would point out that most churches are technically 501(c)3 corporations, so this could be incredibly destructive for religious freedom. After all, since "corporations are not people" and do not have free speech rights, what legal justification is there to stop the government from regulating the content of sermons?
The First Amendment has served America well for over 235 years, and there is no need to tinker with it. Furthermore, we live in a time where the power of individual people to impact public discourse has never been greater. The internet in general and social media in particular has leveled the playing field in a way the founders could have never imagined. We should not abandon the wisdom of the men who created the greatest system of government in human history.
A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.
This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.
Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name cannot be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you have to subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.
All moderation decisions are final. I may post an explanation or I may not, depending on the situation. If you have a question or a concern about a moderation decision, e-mail me privately rather than posting in the comments.
I have installed Disqus for comments. You don't need to be a registered user at this time, but that may change if I have problems with SPAM. If you want you can register with Disqus or you can log in with Facebook, Twitter or Google. Creating an account directly through Disqus or supported partners will allow you to comment on a large number of other sites that also use Disqus for comments. Thank you for your cooperation.