Is it True Some Senators want to Re-Write the First Amendment?

Recently, The Wall Street Journal in an Editorial piece reported on two U. S. Senators that seek to re-write the First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech.  According to the journal, one Senator “announced a proposal to amend the Constitution to empower government to regulate political speech.”  That’s difficult to believe!

Apparently, many on the left were distraught when the Supreme Court in its Citizen United decision allowed corporations and unions to contribute to independent political groups.  And, why is it wrong for unions and corporations to donate to independent political groups?  Americans have Freedom of Association and associations (such as corporations and unions), like individuals, have political points of view.  Some on the left seem to think money from associations is somehow tainted or dirty money.  Does that make sense?

If you dive deeper into the reality of campaign finance and the various laws and court cases that have resulted over the years, a better explanation is that regulating campaign finance favors incumbents.  It’s a difficult task to raise sufficient money for a challenger.  Incumbents typically have an easier time getting donations.  So, if you limit sources of funds for challengers, you increase the likelihood of incumbents getting re-elected.

Remember, too, the Founding Fathers were initially uncertain about including a Bill of Rights (the first Ten Amendments) in the Constitution because liberty was a “given” and to list a few freedoms might indicate that other freedoms were not included.  In a free nation, Freedom of Speech is a given.  Without Freedom of Speech, political freedom can’t exist.

Of course, the First Amendment should stand as originally written.  Tinkering with the First Amendment is just plain a bad idea.

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