Democrats Want to Change First Amendment to Allow Regulation of Corporate Speech

This is just grandstanding.  Constitutional amendments are very difficult to get enacted  -- as the ERA  proponents found

The Democratic party’s temper tantrum over Citizens United v. FEC has ratcheted up to a new level – now, instead of arguing that the ruling is wrong and the constitution doesn’t protect corporate speech, they’re arguing that the first amendment does protect corporate speech, so they’re going to change it! At least this time, they’re following the process prescribed by the Founders.

The bill in question is called the “Peoples’ Rights Amendment,” and its goal is to explicitly allow Congress to regulate corporate speech however it wants:

    Section 1.  We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

    Section 2.  People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulation as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.


Note that Labor unions are not mentioned.  They are apparently to be above regulation by Congress.


  1. Once upon a time conservatives were always suspicious of concentrations of power. As were libertarians too.

    Never mind too that you cannot be both a conservative and a so called libertarian. Libertarians always, sooner or later, undermine the institutions that traditional conservatives try to preserve. With no exceptions - such is the nature of so called libertarianism.

    I wonder what George Orwell would have said about the concept of corporate "speech"? Isnt it essentially an oxymoron?

    In his essay in response to Sept 11 titled The Idea of a Local Economy the impeccably conservative Wendell Berry pointed out that corporations are entirely soul-less abstract entities or essentially money-making machines which have no living-breathing-feeling characteristics, and which have to intrinsic interest to the health and well-being of small town America, or healthy communities.

    Simultaneously pointing out that such healthy communities were/are the very essence and community space/theater/crucible wherein human being learn and practiced the traditional virtues and restraints of being a responsible adult human being.

    Which is to say that corporations cannot speak - only living-breathing-feeling human beings can speak, and essentially one at a time too.

    Meanwhile many multi-national corporations are much bigger and thus more powerful than most nation states, including the relatively free democracies.

    Who are these corporations answerable too? Certainly not to the people who live in these relatively free states. Certainly not to anything remotely connected to anything like the messiness of a democratic community process.

    Plus in the context of USA politics in particular the unions have miniscule power as compared to the corporations which control almost every aspect of USA culture and of course the media, especially the major "news"-papers, and of course TV. Or more accurately, propaganda central which reduces everyone to units of consumption pursuing their own self-interest (as defined by TV, especially the "advertisements").

    All of which is to say that the power of industry and of big money has actually become senior to the power of governments, and is now controlling the entire world.

  2. And of course under the doctrine of so called corporate "free speech" the individual human being, and all small communities too, stand co-equal in the market=place of ideas, and of course in the court of law too.

    Never mind that the mega-corporations which now effectively rule the planet have access to essentially unlimited piles of money with which to intimidate any individual of community group which dares to challenge their power. Even worse, such corporations can claim their legal Expenses as tax deductions too.


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