Senator Kerry says he backs a constitutional amendment to the U.S. Constitution regarding the recent Supreme Court decision on free speech to include corporations. This comes after a firestorm of protest over the decision.
While many people might oppose the recent Supreme Court decision on free speech, it also has its backers. Folks say free speech is just that: free speech. But is it, and what exactly was the foundation for the decision in the first place?
In the case of Citizens United against Federal Election Commission decided January 21, 2010 a number of principal arguments were made in the decision. One of them declares the law disallowing PACS and corportions from campaign advertising abridges the First Amendment and constitutes an outright ban on free speech. which is considered an essential mechanism of democracy. The Court cited previous cases where it sided with corporations on the matter of free speech. It also declared the government is prohibited by the Constitution from imposing a law that inhibits the right of free speech.
Kerry's position, along with those who back a change in the Constitution, is to get Congress to amend the Constitution to take the core out of the decision lifting restrictions on corporate campaign spending. He was quoted by The Hill as saying, at a Senate Rules Committee hearing, “I think we need a constitutional amendment to make it clear, once and for all, that corporations do not have the same free-speech rights as individuals,”
Democrats and their union supporters, worried that corporations will take over the election process, complain big business will control elections because they have more money., thus leaving others at an unfair advantage, Fox News Reports.. The conservative view is that the recent decision created a level playing field, since unions contribute 92% of their money to Democrats. Now corporations get to do the same thing under the new Supreme Court ruling.
Changing the Constitution would be a hard battle, as it requires a two-thirds majority of both the Senate and the House along with a two-thirds vote of the states. Given the present political climate, folks in favor of changing the Constitution recognize it would be an uphill fight to get something like the amendment on campaign spending passed.