Occupy the Constitution

Peter Shane suggests that we Occupy the Constitution.

Maybe he’s on to something?

(But why not just go all out and say that for purposes of the First Amendment, at the very least, a for-profit corporation shall not be considered to be a person?)

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4 Responses to Occupy the Constitution

  1. nedu says:

    With careful drafting, and some political willpower, you might possibly be able to come up with an amendment that would overturn First National Bank of Boston v Bellotti. And, at the same time, leave untouched NAACP v Button.
    I have seen no sign of that political will, though. Instead, I seem to see a whole bunch of “progressives” who —without any sense— seek to overthrow NAACP v Button.

  2. nedu says:

    I should have added, too:
    This constitutional amendment overturning Bellotti, it leaves untouched New York Times v Sullivan? By carving out a special place for the for-profit newspaper corporations?
    Or do all you “progressives” agree with the remarks Justice Scalia recently made about disliking Sullivan?

  3. nedu says:

    It’s awfully quiet in here. Silence equals assent? Everyone agrees with Scalia, and New York Times v Sullivan was wrong.
    Or maybe everyone’s just politely ignoring my earlier faux pas in hitting “post” too soon. In which case, I’ll just follow up on myself a third time. To provide a Florida angle, there’s Florida Star v BJF. That would have to fall—if for-profit newspaper corporations had no First Amendment protection.
    But there’s more recent, topical news out of Broward, courtesy of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press:

    A South Florida mayor pledged this week not to speak to reporters unless they register as lobbyists.
    Under a new county ethics code, all elected city officials in Broward County, Florida must record the names of any lobbyists with whom they meet. To Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan, that includes reporters.
    “Though reporters do not necessarily consider what they do is lobbying, their work is provided to the editors who use their research to write editorials,” Kaplan wrote in an email to a Sun-Sentinel reporter. Editors try to influence the decision-making process indirectly, which, Kaplan wrote, is lobbying.

    So, do for-profit newspaper corporations have a special entitlement under the First Amendment? Apart from, say, television stations, which lobby the FCC.

  4. Brett Bellmore says:

    “But why not just go all out and say that for purposes of the First Amendment, at the very least, a for-profit corporation shall not be considered to be a person?”

    Because every book, magazine, ,movie, TV and radio show in the US is produced or transmitted by a for profit corporation? So that’s a recipe for reducing the First amendment to protecting face to face communications, hand written letters, and craft publishers?

    Deliberately a recipe for that, too. As far as I can tell the only reason for wanting to deny corporations 1st amendment protection, is so that the speech and publishing that passes through them can be censored. And, as the last couple of decades of campaign ‘reform’ have demonstrated, censors always seek to expand their reach, because it’s the message they’re trying to censor, not the speaker.

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