The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment has long been understood to protect the political speech of the American people, individually and in groups, from government interference. But today's Democrats, evidently upset that there is too much political speech going on in the election process, think it is deficient and want to change it. And this is not merely a back-bench effort, but one supported by the Democratic leadership, in the person of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., has proposed a "People's Rights Amendment" to the Constitution that would exclude corporations -- that is, groups of people that organize under a particular legal structure for economic or altruistic reasons -- from acting with the same freedoms that the Constitution and our laws currently guarantee to "persons" or "people." The intended effect is to reverse the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which has allowed corporations, unions and other groups to spend money on politics from their treasuries. But that would not be the only effect. Indeed, were we less protective of the Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees, it would almost be worth letting this amendment go into effect, just to see liberals stunned by its unintended consequences.
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