Murphy Proposes Constitutional Amendment to Limit Free Speech, Press. Would Eliminate Centuries of Safeguards.
The war on free speech moves into the open with a constitutional amendment proposed by Senator Christopher Murphy (D-Conn) and Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont) to restrict the rights of media, non-profit and religious organizations. A constitutional amendment is beyond the usual exercise along the scale of whimsy, artifice and demagoguery that marks so much of politics. It must be taken seriously.
Here’s the proposed amendment:
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. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do 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.
Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, freedom of association and all such other rights of the people, which rights are unalienable.
Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, provides a chilling analysis of what the amendment would mean for organizations like the ACLU, the Sierra Club, the NRA and Planned Parenthood:
The proposed amendment would authorize Congress, states, and local governments to, for instance, (1) restrict what most newspapers publish, (2) restrict what most advocacy groups, such as the ACLU, the Sierra Club, and the NRA, say, (3) restrict what is said and done by most churches, and (4) seize the property of corporations without just compensation. (It might also allow restrictions on the speech of unions, depending on whether they are seen as “corporate entities.”)
Read more at the The Washington Free Beacon, which reports that the amendment “would eliminate all constitutional rights not only for for-profit corporations but also for nonprofit groups and many churches.”