Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Democrats Declare War. . . On the 1st Amendment

This week Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has declared war.  He has not declared war on ISIS or Muslim extremists; no he has declared war on the first amendment.  As RNLA Advisory Council Member and former Solicitor General Ted Olson writes:

Led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, these Senate Democrats claim that they are merely interested in good government to "restore democracy to the American people" by reducing the amount of money in politics. Do not believe it. When politicians seek to restrict political speech, it is invariably to protect their own incumbency and avoid having to defend their policies in the marketplace of ideas.

This scheme is doomed to fail when it comes to a vote in the Senate, perhaps as soon as Monday. The Constitution's Framers had the wisdom to make amending the Constitution difficult, and Mr. Reid's gambit won't survive a filibuster. But Senate Democrats know their proposal is a loser. They merely want another excuse to rail against "money in politics" and Supreme Court justices they don't like.

As RNLA life member Professor Ronald Rotunda explains:

S.J.Res. 19 would give political speech less protection than the First Amendment now gives to movies, novels, comic books and Nazis marching through Skokie, Illinois. What about movies that consider political subjects? Remember Fahrenheit 911, the 2004 documentary that political commentator Michael Moore directed? S.J.Res. 19 would authorize Congress or a state to ban that film. First, the language of S.J.Res. 19’s proposal to repeal the First Amendment for political speech is very broad. Second, we know that many of the supporters of S.J.Res. 19 were incensed that the Supreme Court upheld the First Amendment right of Citizens United (an organization with political views contrary to those of Michael Moore) to distribute its 90-minute documentary, called Hillary: the Movie. One movie was an attack on George W. Bush; the other was an attack on Hillary Clinton. Both are constitutionally protected, until S.J.Res. 19 becomes law. –

We will conclude with some quotes from Hans Von Spakovsky who points out the irony of the Democrats trying to destroy a cornerstone of the Constitution so close to September 17 and Constitution Day. 
In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June, Floyd Abrams, one of the foremost First Amendment litigators in the country, sounded the alarm about this amendment, saying it “is intended to limit speech about elections and it would do just that.” Abrams added that the resolution “would shrink the First Amendment and in doing so set a precedent that would be both disturbing and alarming.”
It is quite disturbing and alarming that nearly 227 years after the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, 48 U.S. senators led by their leader, Harry Reid, are proposing to restrict the First Amendment. This is an ignominious attempt by a group of senators to protect their own incumbency at the expense of a fundamental right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights to all Americans.
With all that is going on in the world right now, it is well worth noting that the Senate Democrats top priority is to pass an amendment to limit speech and protect their incumbencies.  This is another reason why Republicans are favored to take back the Senate.  

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