Pelosi: Amend the First Amendment

Terence P. Jeffrey, CNS News, April 19, 2012

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday endorsed a movement announced by other congressional Democrats on Wednesday to ratify an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress to regulate political speech when it is engaged in by corporations as opposed to individuals.

{snip}

Television and radio networks, newspapers, publishing houses, movie studios and think tanks, as well as political action committees, are usually organized as, or elements of, corporations.

Pelosi said the Democrats’ effort to amend the Constitution is part of a three-pronged strategy that also includes promoting the DISCLOSE Act, which would increase disclosure requirements for organizations running political ads, and “reducing the role of money in campaigns” (which some Democrats have said can be done through taxpayer funding of campaigns).

The constitutional amendment the Democrats seek would reverse the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that decision the court said that the First Amendment protects a right of free speech for corporations as well as for individuals, and that corporations (including those that produce newspapers, films and books) have a right to speak about politicians and their records just as individuals do.

“We have a clear agenda in this regard: Disclose, reform the system reducing the role of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution to rid it of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns,” Pelosi said at her Thursday press briefing.

{snip}

{snip} Rep. Jim McGovern (D.-Mass.) is one of the members sponsoring an amendment.

“I’ve introduced a People’s Rights Amendment, which is very simple and straightforward,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D.-Mass.) said at the forum. “It would make clear that all corporate entities, for-profit and non-profit alike, are not people with constitutional rights.

“It treats all corporations, including incorporated unions and nonprofits, in the same way, as artificial creatures of the state that we, the people, govern, not the other way around,” said McGovern.

Rep. Donna Edwards (D.-Md.) explained the basic principle this move to amend the Constitution is advancing.

“In Citizens United, what the court said is that Congress has no authority to regulate this kind of political speech,” said Edwards. “And so all of these constitutional amendments go to this question of giving Congress the authority that the Supreme Court, I think wrongly, decided isn’t within Congress’s constitutional—our constitutional purview.

“And so, you know, the traditional rights of free speech that we have known as citizens would not be disturbed by any of these constitutional amendments,” said Edwards. “But what it would do is it would say, all of the speech in which, whether it’s corporations or campaign committees and others engage in, would be able to be fully regulated under the authority of the Congress and—and under our Constitution.”

{snip}

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • June39

    If it’s so easy to change the first amendment, then let’s go to work on the 14th.

    • DiabolusCaeruleiOculi

       Only if we can work on the 17th after that.

  • WmarkW

    As long as PUSH, Act Up, Move On and ACORN are considered corporations, I might see the merit in it.

    • The__Bobster

      Too bad the biased media aren’t.

  • For now, this really has nothing to do with race.  This is all a hissy fit reaction from the kook left because of the Citizens United SCOTUS decision (about which I have mixed feelings).  Because everything the left does is the consequence of some sugar daddy billionaire, i.e. Soros, they project themselves onto everyone else. 

    But we all know that “amending” (i.e. repealing) the First Amendment is something they would really love to do.

    • white_privilege_stigmata

      The Language of White Racism

      Author(s): Haig A. Bosmajian

      Source: College English, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Dec., 1969), pp. 263-272

      A person’s language is an extension of himself and to attack his use of language is to attack him. With the language of racism, this is exactly the point for the language of white racism and the racism of the whites are almost one and the same. Difficult and painful as it may be for whites to discard their racist terms, phrases, and cliches, it must be done before blacks and whites can discuss seriously the eradication of white racism.

  • Rocky Bass

    I favor just amending Pelosi in stead!

  • white_privilege_stigmata

    Most corporations are owned by Whites, so harsh amendments to Free Speech will largely hurt us, as intended. We are just too infected with virulent White privilege to be trusted with unregulated speech. Speaking while White demands serious monitoring.

    “Telling the truth is hate speech to those who hate truth; free speech is hate speech to those who hate freedom.”

    -Rev. Jed DeValleyism, “What I learned after my daughter was arrested,” 1999

    ****

    BEWARE OF TOXIC “WHITE TALK” AND “MOVE BEYOND” IT!

    “My Ancestors Didn’t Own Slaves”: Understanding White Talk about Race

    Author: Jennifer Seibel Trainor

    Source: Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Nov., 2005), pp. 140-167:

    Finally, we must also pay attention to the ways that schools themselves structure emotional ideals that students internalize. Ideals like strength, order, and community are embedded in almost every aspect of school culture, from sports activities to hall passes to grading and authority relations. Researchers have long articulated the ways that aspects of schooling teach social-class subjectivity. But we also need to understand how they contribute to what McIntyre calls the “system of Whiteness” that White talk helps support. White talk, seen in this light, is not just about self-interest power, or gain- although these are “cemented into the face” of injustice in the US- but also about ideals and values that racist discourse taps and solidifies. Ultimately, understanding White talk might allow us to create rhetoric of social change that make sense to our students, rhetoric that resonate and persuade. We must discover ways to help students honor their deeply held commitments to ideals like community and strength, while simultaneously find ways to move beyond the White talk that expresses them, creating new rhetoric and new ways of understanding the process.

  • No

    The sub-title asks:  “How far will this go?”

    I predict it will go until politicians start finding themselves dangling at the end of a rope or running for their lives. 

    Like Thomas Jefferson said:  “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

  • MikeofAges

    2/3 of each house? 38 states? I don’t think so.

  • Oil Can Harry

    Pelosi: Amend The First Amendment.

    Pelosi: Abolish the First Amendment.  FIXED 

  • “reducing the role of money in campaigns” (which some Democrats have said can be done through taxpayer funding of campaigns). Gee, they keep coming up with new and innovative ways of spending our tax dollars. Screw that. I don’t want my taxes used by any of these bums to run for anything from dogcatcher to President. Wait, that should be amended to read “I don’t want my taxes used by any of these bums, period.”

  • rhino1996

    You are so right. ye ol’. Even more, this nation is rapidly becoming “The Fourth Reich.” You’re concluding sentence is very, very accurate….

  • sbuffalonative

    The Left is terrified of facts and the truth which is why they have imposed politically correct speech codes.We live in an age when ‘the truth is no defense’.“We have a clear agenda in this regard: Disclose, reform the system reducing the role of money in campaigns, and amend the Constitution to rid it of this ability for special interests to use secret, unlimited, huge amounts of money flowing to campaigns,” Pelosi said at her Thursday press briefing.In the unlikely event that this gains traction and passes, I will be LMAO when this is used against the Democrats.As they say, be careful what you wish for…

  • gemjunior

    If people lay down for this, there is absolutely no hope for America.

  • Dunnyveg

    “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday endorsed a movement
    announced by other congressional Democrats on Wednesday to ratify an
    amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress to regulate
    political speech when it is engaged in by corporations as opposed to
    individuals.”

    I happen to agree with Pelosi on this one.  The US Constitution is a compact guaranteeing certain rights to the states and people in return for being allowed to create a federal government.  Corporations, on the other hand, are personal property.  As such, they are no more entitled to Constitutional rights than my toaster oven.

    Thomas Jefferson had corporations nailed when he said that the businessman cares not upon whose soil he does business; his sole loyalty is to the coins in his pocket.  Corporations have been some of the biggest supporters of open borders, which may have fatally damaged our country.  I want corporations out of the political process altogether.

    •  The irony of it is that the Citizens United organization was not a corporation promulgating its specific interests, it was a political group doing political things, in this case, making an anti-HRC movie.

      There has to be some way to distinguish between political expression and institutional selfishness.  There also has to be some sort of way to quantify the corporate owned media’s propaganda.  We know there’s a difference between a group expressly formed for politics trying to convince people not to vote for a given politician and a group of business interests that want cheap labor funding open borders politicians.  The only hitch is converting that into legal language that isn’t unconstitutional or capricious.

      • robinbishop34

        We know there’s a difference between a group expressly formed for
        politics trying to convince people not to vote for a given politician
        and a group of business interests that want cheap labor funding open
        borders politicians.

        I don’t know the difference unless it’s verbiage?

    • SintiriNikos

      then unions are out too.

  • No

    MODS . . . WHAT’S WITH ALL THE CENSORSHIP?  STARTING TO PISS ME OFF.  APPLY THE RULES FAIRLY OR NOT AT ALL.

  • I was wondering how long it would take:

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/schumer-citizens-united-worse-racial-segregation-case-plessy-v-ferguson

    Schumer compares Cititzens United to segregation.

    I guess the next step is comparing it to….er…well, Schumer won’t do THAT.

  • bluffcreek1967

    When I hear what Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats are trying to do to our country, including our First Ammendment, I can only foresee on the horizon a bloody and protracted revolution within the U.S. Liberalism/Leftism has attacked and virtually destroyed every American institution. It mocks and seeks to eradicate everything that Americans see as virtuous, moral, traditional and wholesome and to replace it with perversion, filth and death. The Islamic religion is not the only death cult that has its grips on America.  

    The founders of our great republic, if they were to know what has transpired over the past 50 years, would have been appalled and perhaps alarmed that a revolution has not yet broken out. Yet it may not be long before it happens if current trends continue. How much more can we take?   

  • robinbishop34

    Buckley vs. Valeo? Wasn’t this already ruled on by the SCOTUS?

  • JohnEngelman

    I would rather have an amendment that weakened the power of the Supreme Court. I would like to require a two thirds majority for a Supreme Court decision. It should be able to overturn any Supreme Court decision by a two thirds vote in both houses of Congress and a presidential signature. It should not require an amendment to the Constitution. There should be recall elections for unpopular Supreme Court justices. These already exist in many states.
     
    Once appointed for life to the Supreme Court justices can, and sometimes do, change the political goals that got them appointed. Earl Warren changed from a moderate Republican to an out of control liberal. The Supreme Court is a loose cannon that can roll in any direction causing much damage. 

  • GB101

    It’ll never happen, but there is one encouraging thing here.  Pelosi is proposing a change in the Constitution via the amendment process; she is not just asserting that the Constitution says something it doesn’t say.  You know, the living, breathing document that means anything liberals want it to mean.

  • GB101

    Q:

    If the amended amendment permits regulation of corporate speech, how will it distinguish between “the press” and other corporations?  If Congress can regulate the speech of IBM, can’t it regulate the speech of NBC?  Or Amren?  

  •  At law, a corporation is an artificial person, not a real person.  All the CU decision meant is that the Federal judiciary thinks that the artificial person of a corporation isn’t artificial enough such that the First Amendment does not apply to it.

    Like I said above, there has to be a way to distinguish a real “corporate-y” corporation buying politicians for its own self-interest and technical corporations and non-profits like the New Century Foundation in business to promulgate and develop ideas.  The problem is that legal language doing that that isn’t a violation of substantive due process is going to be hard to find.  It will probably be another “porn” deal, i.e. we know what porn is and isn’t, but translating those precepts into solid legal language is just about impossible.

  • Free Speech People, Free Speech.  For to be Without equals Death.  Surely you know that for not Free Speech, Injustice would not exist…

  • Zorro

    It was Italy under Mussolini.

  • IstvanIN

    Take a way free speech for anyone and you end up with how we lost freedom of association, and that was done by judicial and legislative fiat.  No, sorry, I do not want the UK here in America where neither the man in the street, nor the sovereign, nor political parties (think BNP) have freedom of speach, association or thought.  Unelected beaurocrats get to say what you can say.

  • IstvanIN

    Do you really want to nibble away at free speech?

  • J.P.

    From what I understand unions, especially the teachers unions are the number one contributors to the Democratic party. I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head, but I know they contribute more to the Democrats then say big oil to the Republicans.

  • SintiriNikos

    I think he’s just pointing out the absurdity of the piece written by that liberal Armenian.

  • SintiriNikos

    why not both? lol

  • This is irony.

  • MikeofAges

     Long ago I figured out, they win when they win and they win anyway when they lose. Or at least they (the liberals) believe that’s the way it should be. But they’re not going to change some things, like the electoral college for example. Not unless they want to break up the United State tout entiere. Then they can elect the president of New York-New Jersey-East Pennsylvania-Lower New England any way they want.

    Oh, wait. I forgot to ask. Who gets the nukes?

  • MikeofAges

     Depends.

  • Oligarchy has not been kind to whites or to any people trying to protect their integrity as a people.  Of course, as whites cease to be a majority in the country their fathers founded, true republicanism will become less and less advantageous.

    I would encourage you to vote for any amendment that limits the interpretation of corporations as people.  National corporatism (or socialism) might be friendly to our people, but the corporatism (or socialism) of our denationalized elites is not.

    Had we had a strong state that quashed the role of the hostile elite in our media takeover, we would not find ourselves in the situation we are in.

  • Pelosi and chit are one in the same.

  • Screamin_Ruffed_Grouse

     That may be true, partially, where private sector unions are concerned. Public sector unions, however, wield enormous influence over the Democrats. And more than a little over the Republicans.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    We used to burn witches like Nancy Pelosi at the stake!!

    After reading the first paragraph, which I thought was satire, I realized Pelosi is deadly serious and thought:  “Well, maybe the botox has gone to her head.”

    Control freaks like Nancy Pelosi despise Freedom of Speech because it curtails their lust for unrestrained power. Stalin himself would be proud!

    Folks, she is close to achieving her goal. If one more Supreme Court justice retires or dies, five to four lefty majority and PRESTO, First Amendment amended and ON to the Second!!

    The Founders of the US foresaw sea hags like Pelosi,  one of the reasons why they included a provision to amend the Constitution while making it difficult to amend it at the same time.

    an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress to regulate political speech when it is engaged in by corporations as opposed to individuals.

    The very next day, all individuals, by law, will be considered corporations.

    Bon

  • John Maddox

    These people hate the Constitution and everything that it stands for. Pelosi likes ti invoke the founders and that word democracy at every opportunity. The fact is that she is in reality a Marxist. The Constitution is a road block to establishing a full blown socialist state. First off the first ten amendments also known as the Bill of Rights cannot be modified or amended away. Secondly corporations are creatures brought into existence by legislation their existence is not guaranteed by the Constitution, but as long as they are allowed to exist by law- a law that forces special interest groups and PACs to incorporate for tax and other legal purposes – they are still composed of individuals organized for a common purpose and therefore protected under the Bill of Rights.

    This woman’s objective is clear and ought to be opposed on every front. In fact she ought to be censured for even suggesting such a thing. It either reflects a degree of ignorance that is inexcusable in a member of Congress or out right exposes her as an enemy of We the People for potentially proposing
    an act of treason.

  • This story shouldn’t be here.  It’s not about race. 

  • chickensandkittens

    If Obama wins re-election and the Democrats have congressional majorities, the Constitution is toast!

  • Hirene

    Only if it includes NEA money.

  • For the demcrats this is just a minor effort to tidy up the loose ends.  There is no reason for them to worry in the long run about corporates, most have or are falling to the political correctness that gives the democrats unlimited power.  It’s just that some are not patient to wait for the inevitable decline and finish of traditional America.  After all, how do we turn back 100 million immigrants that have weakened the American Race?  Or where do we go, at what complaint window do we get a refund on that 15-20 trillion dollars in welfare and socialists governmental programs? The options for us to survive are narrowing to but a few and worrying about what is left of the Constitution isn’t one of them. Not when your opponents play dirty.

  • Dave4088

    True, corporations were never intended to have the same right as persons, but all major media outlets are now owned by corporations and their biased news reporting can be considered a form of speech and a tacit endorsement of the anti-white, multiracial paradigm.   Pelosi and her fellow Bolsheviks in the Democratic party better be careful what they wish for as her plans could well muzzle her far left wing allies in the media.  Of course, that would be a welcome development.