Tom Steyer, the wealthy industrialist, endorsed California’s proposition 59, a non-binding resolution asking Congress to overturn Citizens United, a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. If it is overturned, so is our First Amendment.
Hillary Clinton has pledged to overturn Citizens United if she is elected.
If this were to happen, any assault by Congress on any organization could be implemented with simple legislation without any consideration of the US Constitution.
What this proposition asks for is, as The Federalist wrote, to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow the government to regulate religious sermons, tap the phones of the American Civil Liberties Union, seize phone record and Internet search histories on a whim, and give bureaucrats veto power over the content of The New York Times.
California newspapers are claiming it will keep the big money out of politics but it won’t. It will hobble every organization in the nation but it will allow the free flow of money in politics by the elites with the deep pockets.
SB354 is the bill that put Prop 59 on the ballot. It says, “Corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.”
Those rights they speak of, include not just the right to free speech that produced the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision, but also rights to due process, a jury trial, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Prop 59 calls for a constitutional amendment to nullify all these rights.
The legal definition of “corporations” includes not just for-profit entities but non-profits, charities, labor unions, churches, and virtually every other association recognized under the law.
None of them will be protected by the Constitution.
If the government wants information from one of those organizations, particularly a political enemy they could tap their phones, seize phone records, bug offices, conduct sweeping Internet and physical searches, and in the end, the government would be free to regulate religious sermons, control newspaper content, and seize corporate assets because corporations would have no constitutional rights.
The Sixth Amendment guaranteeing against unjust seizure would no longer apply.
Once one Amendment goes, they all go.
Newspapers could be shut down if the government decides they don’t like their content, sermons could be controlled, and organizations like he ACLU could be without assets.
Steyer, who is suddenly concerned about money in politics, never mentions the separate Supreme Court case that has allowed Steyer to almost single-handedly finance one of the wealthiest political groups in the country.
Stranger yet, the SuperPac Citizens United has nothing to do with the organization and Citizens United itself would be unaffected.
Speech Now vs. FEC, that is not mentioned in the text of Prop 59 or SB 254, is the case that struck down limits on the amounts of money individuals could donate to groups that spend unlimited sums to elect or defeat a candidate, as long as those groups don’t coordinate with candidates themselves.
They will not be affected by taking freedoms away from corporations.
Citizens United allowed corporations to donate to such groups, creating a system whereby these groups could solicit limitless funding from corporate entities to spend on explicitly political activity.
Overturning Citizens United would eliminate corporations’ abilities to finance super PACs, but extremely wealthy individuals would still be allowed to finance these independent expenditure groups to their hearts’ content, which is what Steyer does with NextGen Climate Action, and nothing in this will stop the money he puts into campaigns. but the Chamber of Commerce would be hobbled.
Steyer and his organization will be untouched but the rest of us would lose our freedoms and our voices.
This is what these leftists want for all of us.
Far-left groups like California Common Cause, Move to Amend and Money Out, Voters In, have pushed to get the measure on the ballot in California and in other states across the country.
Prop 59 is asking Californians to stop the big money system in politics but that is a lie and people are voting for it based on misinformation.
California Democrat Senator Bob Allen compared this propositions, which would deprive Americans of their rights, to the Civil Rights battles of the mid-nineteenth century, “The Constitution is not changed overnight,” he said. “The folks who went out and protested segregation in the south before the Brown v. Board decision didn’t do their work in vain. That didn’t change anything overnight on its own, but it was part of a collective movement that ended up making enormous changes… So this is part of a movement. It’s part of a trajectory.”
Organizations such as churches and newspapers give voice to the common man, they provide checks and balances and act as watchdogs. If they don’t have freedom neither do we.
Even the LA Times did understand it somewhat in relation to their own freedoms.
…the measure also suggests that a constitutional amendment would “make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.”
That’s a powerful, even poetic, pronouncement, but what does it mean? Would corporations lose only free-speech rights or other rights as well, such as the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures at their places of business or to due process of law if they were sued? Would nonprofit as well as for-profit corporations be affected? What about the 1st Amendment rights of corporations that publish newspapers or broadcast the nightly news?
The answer to that is of course, yes, If they don’t have the rights of human beings, though they are all only comprised of human beings, then they have no rights. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
Supporters of the constitutional amendment want to let Congress decide when rights are being trampled — act without a Constitution on these issues in other words.
Hillary Clinton, for one, has made it clear that she would appoint justices likely to reconsider the ruling. (She also says she would fight for a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling “if necessary.”)
The case came about because of an unflattering movie about Hillary Clinton that she and her campaign wanted banned.
She is upset for that reason and wants to control all political messages.
When Congressional Democrats put such a bill up, Senator Ted Cruz addressed it, for which the left has maligned him. He is bringing light to the actual Amendment while the left is deliberately spreading propaganda and disinformation.