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The New Effort to Get Our Rights Back: Move Over Citizens United

Photo courtesy of the North Texas Light Brigade.

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Remember way back in 2010 when we thought our democracy was lost when our political system turned bribery into an expression free speech? Remember how mad we were about the Citizens United ruling? Well, move over Citizens United. We want our basic rights back.

In the landmark case of 2010, Justice Stevens wrote in his dissenting opinion:
“If taken seriously, our colleagues’ assumption that the identity of a speaker has no relevance to the Government’s ability to regulate political speech would lead to some remarkable conclusions. Such an assumption would have accorded the propaganda broadcasts to our troops by “Tokyo Rose” during World War II the same protection as speech by Allied commanders. More pertinently, it would appear to afford the same protection to multinational corporations controlled by foreigners as to individual Americans: To do otherwise, after all, could “enhance the relative voice'” of some (i.e., humans) over others (i.e., nonhumans). … Under the majority’s view, I suppose it may be a First Amendment problem that corporations are not permitted to vote, given that voting is, among other things, a form of speech.”

People became outraged that our representation as constituents would be purchased away from us by any corporation or foreign nation that hides behind domestic super PACs. Our forefathers did not intend for corporations from Germany or Yemen to have the same rights of political speech in our capitol as US citizens. The Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to the republic with that ruling.

Now we need to talk about the Bill of Rights. Virtually all of our rights are now flimsy rhetorical obstacles to Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court. We are asked to “trust them” because they have found the right “balance.” [cont’d.]

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