Steve Simpson on the Threat of Campaign Finance Laws
Freedom of speech is under siege. Not by the “amplified” voices of billionaires and corporations, but by the sundry spokesmen for “the public” demanding that government should have the power to silence individuals via campaign finance laws.
In his new op-ed in The American Spectator, “Gutting the First Amendment,” ARI’s director of legal studies Steve Simpson outlines this dangerous development:
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment that would let government limit contributions to candidates and spending by and on behalf of them. The House will take up a similar proposal soon. To see where this amendment would lead if enacted, consider that the law in Citizens United prevented a group from distributing a film that criticized Hillary Clinton during her last presidential bid. During arguments in the case, the government’s lawyer admitted that the law could apply to books as well.
At the core of this effort is the very dangerous view that freedom of speech isn’t an inalienable individual right — a right to say what you want regardless of what others think — but a privilege that we exercise at the sufferance of “the public.”
Read the whole thing here. And if you agree, make yourself heard and spread the word!