My opinion on the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission supreme court decision

3 Mar

I agree that the Government should not restrict free speech, so have to agree with the Supreme Court decision. hear me out.

As it was written in the Chicago Tribune by Steve Chapman:

“If corporate advocacy may be forbidden as it was under the law in question, it’s not just Exxon Mobil and Citigroup that are rendered mute. Nonprofit corporations set up merely to advance goals shared by citizens, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association, also have to put a sock in it. So much for the First Amendment goal of fostering debate about public policy.”

Or as was written in Salon.com by Glenn Greenwald:

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/01/22/citizens_united/index.html
“Either the First Amendment allows these speech restrictions or it doesn’t. In general, a law that violates the Constitution can’t be upheld because the law produces good outcomes….The First Amendment is not and never has been outcome-dependent; the Government is barred from restricting speech — especially political speech — no matter the good results that would result from the restrictions. That’s the price we pay for having the liberty of free speech.”

Basically, we all agree corporate corrupting influences on our democracy should be minimized..but the McCain–Feingold Act was not the (constitutional) way to do it. There has to be a constitutional manner to achieve the same goal without writing laws that limit free speech. Saying “you can’t air your ad in the 30-60 days before an election” is an obvious free speech muzzle, despite it’s good intentions. We need to find another way.

Another good defense of the Citizens United case:

http://uchicagolaw.typepad.com/faculty/2010/03/citizens-united-a-defense.html

“there are corporations on the side of almost all issues, especially when we remember that the ACLU, NRA, Sierra Club, AARP, Citizens United, and others are corporations too. Are those anti-corporate readers out there afraid of all of them or just some of them? If you like the ACLU and the Sierra Club, but not the NRA and the AARP, and as a consequence want to ban the speech of the former and not the latter, this is the road to totalitarianism. The Supreme Court is adamant that restrictions on speech cannot be based on content. Tolerating the speech of those we disagree with is one of our most sacred core values.”

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