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Nye Bevan

(25,406 posts)
Fri Jan 3, 2014, 12:06 PM Jan 2014

Should the First Amendment be modified so that speech influencing elections can be regulated? [View all]

As an example, the following constitutional amendment would narrow the First Amendment to enable Congress to restrict independent expenditures intended to influence elections:

Insofar as it relates to freedom of speech, the First Amendment to this Constitution shall not apply to speech that refers to candidates in Federal or State elections, within the six month period prior to such elections.

In the Citizens United case the Supreme Court ruled that independent expenditures such as third parties making movies or publishing books about election candidates is protected speech under the First Amendment. Modifying the First Amendment so that this is no longer the case would enable Congress to restrict such expenditures by (for example) limiting the amount of such spending in the run-up to an election.

Such an amendment would also enable the US to institute a system such as elections being financed exclusively by public funds, or to ban all political TV advertising in the run-up to an election (as is the case in the UK, for example).


14 votes, 1 pass | Time left: Unlimited
Yes, the First Amendment should be modified to enable speech influencing elections to be regulated.
1 (7%)
No, the First Amendment should not be modified to enable speech influencing elections to be regulated.
13 (93%)
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that's a very broad exception--congress could criminalize criticizing their favorite candidates fishwax Jan 2014 #1
Their "favorite candidates" are themselves. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #3
the exception is much broader than spending money though fishwax Jan 2014 #4
In the US today, it is almost impossible to get your message out without spending money. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #8
The wording in the OP would eliminate protections against criticizing candidates in private fishwax Jan 2014 #13
Perhaps the word "public" could be inserted immediately before the word "speech" Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #14
but that would still remove protections against going to a park with a bullhorn fishwax Jan 2014 #18
Yep. Circumscribing free speech is a very tricky thing. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #22
No. Ranchemp. Jan 2014 #2
The whole point of the 1st amendment is to protect political speech I thought? Am I missing el_bryanto Jan 2014 #5
An amendment stating that "money isn't speech" would be devastating to the First Amendment. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #7
Unless you had to buy the bullhorn. Igel Jan 2014 #16
Uh Guys, this is what McCain Feingold did. Savannahmann Jan 2014 #6
I have FreeJoe Jan 2014 #11
Absolutely NOT........ Swede Atlanta Jan 2014 #9
In the United States today, money is speech. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #10
There's a simple response to this. Igel Jan 2014 #26
Jerry Brown versus Meg Whitman is an interesting example (nt) Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #38
What's up with all the threads suggesting freedom of speech is too free? WillowTree Jan 2014 #12
I personally oppose messing with the First Amendment. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #17
Pass dipsydoodle Jan 2014 #15
I feel free to weigh in on other countrys' affairs when I feel like it. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #23
None of those refer to their constitutions dipsydoodle Jan 2014 #24
A little OT, but I feel strongly that the UK should have a written constitution. Do you agree? Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #25
Yes - UK has no single constitutional document. dipsydoodle Jan 2014 #30
Wow. Absolutely not. onenote Jan 2014 #19
And the UK Government (for example) has the power to do all of that stuff already, Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #20
Because the government is handling itself so responsibly Ms. Toad Jan 2014 #28
Congress does nothing in a reasonable manner. nt geek tragedy Jan 2014 #29
If you don't want Congress (or a state government) to exercise the power, don't give it to them. onenote Jan 2014 #55
I voted no, but on the other hand MurrayDelph Jan 2014 #21
The solution to an overexpansive reading of the First Amendment by the SCOTUS geek tragedy Jan 2014 #27
"Money is not speech" would be a breathtaking circumscription of the First Amendment. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #31
And all are also economic activity that is regulated. geek tragedy Jan 2014 #32
So you think that it should be constitutional to ban books that mention election candidates Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #34
The First Amendment covers books through freedom of the press Bjorn Against Jan 2014 #66
The problem is money and the capture of the media, not anything in the Bill of Rights. nt bemildred Jan 2014 #33
The Citizens United decision is based upon the First Amendment (nt) Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #35
And it is WRONG. And it will be FIXED. nt bemildred Jan 2014 #36
How? With a constitutional amendment? Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #37
I expect the two parties to cooperate to bring it about. bemildred Jan 2014 #39
"Money is not speech" would be a breathtaking dismemberment of the First Amendment. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #41
Bullshit. Speech is speech. Try to put some in the bank. bemildred Jan 2014 #42
Should Congress be allowed to ban expenditure on speech to whatever extent they like? Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #44
Congress should ban private money in politics altogether. bemildred Jan 2014 #47
With the current First Amendment, Congress does not have the power to do that. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #48
Congress can and does get amendments passed, this one should be quite popular. bemildred Jan 2014 #49
You do realize that Congress cannot, by itself, pass constitutional amendments? (nt) Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #51
Yes, I do. nt bemildred Jan 2014 #53
You realize you're throwing the union baby out with the Citizens United bath water. Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #57
Not the union baby, the union-money baby, unions will have more power than ever. bemildred Jan 2014 #68
Are you advocating for corporations to be allowed to spend unlimited money on elections? Ohio Joe Jan 2014 #40
I agree with the current ban on corporate campaign contributions in Federal elections. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #43
Open support for Citizens United on DU... Ohio Joe Jan 2014 #45
Yes, I openly support the decision. And so does the ACLU. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #46
The ACLU supports what is in the constitution... That does not make it best for our country Ohio Joe Jan 2014 #50
... Zorra Jan 2014 #78
There should be consequences when a lie used to slam an opponent randr Jan 2014 #52
Yes, overt, demonstrable, political lies should have consequences. bemildred Jan 2014 #54
Faux isn't a publicly licenswed network onenote Jan 2014 #64
All of their local stations are certainly licensed randr Jan 2014 #69
The First Amendment guarantee of free speech COLGATE4 Jan 2014 #56
"...if restrictions are reasonable as to time and place (i.e. X months before an election)..." Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #58
That's your prerogative. My point was limited COLGATE4 Jan 2014 #59
I'm at a loss to see how that could be legal/constitutional. Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #60
The same way that advertising is not nearly COLGATE4 Jan 2014 #62
The 1A isn't designed to sell soap bubbles, it's meant to allow people to challenge the gov't Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #63
So, is it your position that political speech COLGATE4 Jan 2014 #74
There should be restrictions Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #75
Brilliant response. Shows your high COLGATE4 Jan 2014 #76
Laws aren't made by experts; they're made by politicians and by that I mean Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #77
The law draws a line between "commercial" speech and political speech onenote Jan 2014 #65
That's exactly what I said. But if COLGATE4 Jan 2014 #72
Your problem is that it only takes a court decision that takes exception to banning books. Nye Bevan Jan 2014 #70
No more of a problem than a court decision that COLGATE4 Jan 2014 #71
Proposed 501(c)(4) tax amendments sort of accomplish part of this goal Gothmog Jan 2014 #61
Really? NaturalHigh Jan 2014 #67
Some speech may be construed as harassment and/or threats. So I can argue this either way. KittyWampus Jan 2014 #73
Yes, but only in the sense of limiting the amount and nature of financial and in kind contributions. tblue37 Jan 2014 #79
It's already regulated where I vote. idendoit Jan 2014 #80
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