Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Why can't lefties be honest about the First Amendment? | Mark Tapscott | Columnists | Washington Examiner


... leftists like Reich have been apoplectic since the Citizens United decision, which among much else, affirmed the First Amendment rights of individual Americans associating with each other in corporations (and unions, a fact that Reich conveniently forgets to acknowledge).

Leftists like Reich – and President Obama, with his demagogic attack on the high court as the justices sat in the congressional chamber listening to his 2010 state of the union address – endlessly repeat the falsehood that Citizens United created a new corporate right.

In fact, the Supreme Court has held nearly two dozen times since FDR was in the White House that corporations are associated persons who have constitutional rights. In 1978, for example, the Court said in First National Bank of Boston v Bellotti that it found in the context of ballot measures "no support for the proposition that speech that otherwise would be within the protection of the First Amendment loses that protection simply because its source is a corporation."


Indeed, it is only a short distance between advocating limits on political speech in order to avoid "the appearance of corruption" - or,  as Cass Sustein, Obama's regulatory czar, argues, to correct or prevent "conspiracy theories" in the general populace - and endorsing such limits on newspaper editorials, opinion columns, or Talk Radio commentaries because they, too, allegedly create such an appearance.

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