Thursday, March 21, 2013

Letter to College Friend on Citizens United

Letter to College Friend on Citizens United

Dear David:

This case is a difficult read, but the court by a narrow 5-4 margin came down on the side of free speech, one of the great values of the American people.  You might remember that the United States Supreme “Court held that the First Amendment prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions (that were indirect). The nonprofit group Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts in apparent violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or "BCRA").”

The troubling part for me was the Court calling corporations or unions people.  I must disagree with your enthusiasm to amendment the constitution over this issue.  Just take the 27th amendment from 21 years ago: (Ratified May 5, 1992)

“No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

This was simply a grandstanding effort on behalf of ambitious congressman and in my opinion it has no place in the constitution.  Your proposal for a 28th amendment simply does not have the gravitas to muster inclusion in our venerable constitution.  I would recommend a new challenge that is more focused on the money in politics and not the free speech issue.  Remember that Citizens United “…did not involve the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties, which REMAIN illegal in races for federal office.”  

Best, from your South Street friend, Geoff Fisher

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