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Let's Repeal Freedom of Speech?
Townhall.com ^ | June 29, 2014 | Paul Jacob

Posted on 06/29/2014 1:19:29 PM PDT by Kaslin

The First Amendment, I think I’ll keep it.

Not so for 44 sitting U.S. Senators — all Democrats. They’re proposing Senate Joint Resolution 19, which would amend the U.S. Constitution by scratching out a sorta important part of the Bill of Rights.

Senate Joint Resolution 19 would repeal the First Amendment.

Well, not all of it, actually: just our right to speak out politically, to engage in political action and campaign for or against those in power.

The new amendment would remove all protections against Congress regulating our speech, at least insofar as we have to spend even a plug nickel for a megaphone in what they deem to be their campaigns. Yes, the idea is to reward incumbent politicians — the same dudes earning the approval of less than one in ten Americans and suffering from a screaming conflict of interest — with the carte blanche power to pass any rules and regulations and limits they so desire on both the raising and spending of money by their challengers and organizations opposed to their policies.

SJR 19’s lead sponsor, Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) states that his goal in re-writing our rights is to “give the power back to the Congress.”

But, wait, that would constitute amending reality as well. Congress never had any such power. The instructions in the Constitution’s First Amendment were written quite soberly, and remain crystal clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

SJR 19 would simply remove those words “freedom of speech” above from our highest law and allow Congress to make any speech-regulating law they damn well feel like.

The guts of the new amendment reads: “Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on — the amount of contributions to candidates for nomination for election to, or for election to, Federal office; and the amount of funds that may be spent by, in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.”

So, were Congress to pass a law prohibiting campaigns from spending more than $10,000 on a run for office — thereby denying challengers the ability to spend enough to compete with the superior name recognition of longtime incumbents — it would then be constitutional, instead of, as now, unconstitutional.

If Congress outlawed “outside groups” (associations other than the candidate’s campaign committee) from spending any money to publicize the name and track record of incumbents, it would become, instead of a gross violation of the First Amendment, an enforceable and lawful regulation.

Our brand new First Amendment would not contain a single word of restraint regarding the regulation of political speech. Instead, powerful congressional incumbents would wield complete and total control over all money to be raised and spent by their competitors and by everyone engaged in any way, shape or form in the debate.

The whole point of the First Amendment was to protect the people’s right to criticize those in power. It was meant to restrain Congress. That’s why it begins, “Congress shall make no law . . .” The whole point of SJR 19 is to do the opposite, to protect politicians from citizens by providing Congress precisely what our Founders denied to it: any power to restrain the speech of citizens by legislation.

In fact, this new amendment’s negation of rights is so sweeping that the text’s authors felt the need to include this statement in the amendment: “Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.”

No, just abridging freedom of speech. For now.

The New York Times and the Washington Post need not worry.

When I alerted readers of my Common Sense e-letter to the danger of SJR 19, one savvy commenter insisted that SJR 19 stands little chance of passing. Indeed, in this session of Congress, “freedom of speech” stands little chance of being ripped out of the Bill of Rights via SJR 19.

It would require two-thirds support — 67 votes in the Senate.

But how placid should we be about 44 percent of the U.S. Senate favoring a return to government absolutism?

Plus, the number of supporters may be greater than just the 44 sponsors. The Democratic Senate leadership has announced that Senate Joint Resolution 19 — what you and I should think of as the “Remove Freedom of Speech from Our Constitution Act” — will be brought to a vote this year.

Let’s hope it is well before the election. We need to know where all the Senators stand on reversing the First Amendment to put Congress in charge of what can be said in politics.

Those aware of the many exhortations to the IRS from Senate Democrats in recent years, urging an official Washington clampdown on political groups, are not surprised at SJR 19’s blatant assault on fundamental rights and the basic notion of small-d democracy.

The word “extremist” gets tossed about easily in Washington, at least when aimed at tea party activists, libertarians and conservatives. But what could be more extreme than proposing to machete the First Amendment and cross out “freedom of speech” from our rights?


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: firstamendment; freedomofspeech

1 posted on 06/29/2014 1:19:29 PM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

If they can get The First Amendment killed .it’s all over for the US


2 posted on 06/29/2014 1:24:28 PM PDT by molson209 (Blank)
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To: molson209

We must never allow them to do it.


3 posted on 06/29/2014 1:26:00 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

Udall is up for re-election this November in New Mexico.
What a fine time to let him feel the power of the people.

Oh, and here is the complete list of Senate co-sponsors from the body of the bill:

Mr. Udall of New Mexico (for himself, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Schumer, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Tester, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Coons, Mr. King, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Franken, Ms. Klobuchar, and Mr. Udall of Colorado) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


4 posted on 06/29/2014 1:27:12 PM PDT by plangent
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To: Kaslin

Sounds like Communism , and one Party politics !!
When did they forget to represent "We The People "
you know the little people who vote ?


" Our brand new First Amendment would not contain a single word of restraint regarding the regulation of political speech.
Instead, powerful congressional incumbents would wield complete and total control over all money to be raised and spent by their competitors
and by everyone engaged in any way, shape or form in the debate."
5 posted on 06/29/2014 1:31:20 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Political Correctness is Tyranny .. with manners ! Charlton Heston)
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To: Kaslin

They used to teach in school that the Bill of Rights was the shining example for the world of what the USA was all about, and that it was sacrosanct and untouchable. It used to be thought that no one would ever dare to even suggest modifying a single word in the Bill of Rights,

That’s obviously changed now!


6 posted on 06/29/2014 1:31:27 PM PDT by Star Traveler (Remember to keep the Messiah of Israel in the One-World Government that we look forward to coming)
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To: Kaslin

Is it time to submit for all politcal Partys to say :
We are BORG ! You all belong to me !!" ??


7 posted on 06/29/2014 1:33:58 PM PDT by Tilted Irish Kilt (Political Correctness is Tyranny .. with manners ! Charlton Heston)
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To: molson209

“If they can get The First Amendment killed .it’s all over for the US.”

Uhhh, waiting for that to happen is sort of like waiting around for the coroners inquest. You don’t need it to know that someone has gone to their eternal reward.

It’s time for a divorce.


8 posted on 06/29/2014 1:39:20 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Be a part of the American freedom migration: freestateproject.org)
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To: Star Traveler

Which is very unfortunate and you can thank the left for it


9 posted on 06/29/2014 1:39:45 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Star Traveler
It used to be thought that no one would ever dare to even suggest modifying a single word in the Bill of Rights,

That’s obviously changed now!

The advent of the low-information voter.

10 posted on 06/29/2014 1:42:34 PM PDT by ConservingFreedom (A goverrnment strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.)
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To: plangent

All rats, so it does not surprise me . How far have they been able to go with it?


11 posted on 06/29/2014 1:44:44 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin
Tyrants. The type the founders warned you:
12 posted on 06/29/2014 1:54:27 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Kaslin
Tyrants. The very type the founders warned you about:

13 posted on 06/29/2014 1:55:18 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: plangent

Oh, and here is the complete list of Senate co-sponsors from the body of the bill:

Mr. Udall of New Mexico (for himself, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Schumer, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Tester, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Coons, Mr. King, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Franken, Ms. Klobuchar, and Mr. Udall of Colorado) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

No surprise at all Schumer, Boxer, King, and Frankenstein are on the bill...


14 posted on 06/29/2014 1:59:28 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: Kaslin
A few extra items about the Udall Amendment that weren't mentioned in the article:

1 - the amendment would give each State the same authority regarding State elections that it gives Congress for federal elections.

2 - the amendment also allow for the regulation or prohibition of "in-kind equivalents", which sounds like saying anything supporting or opposing a candidate (even if no money is spent or raised).

3 - even though the amendment says that it does not permit Congress to abridge freedom of the press, it does not say the same thing regarding the States; this suggests the powers each State would be given could be used to control all forms of the news media within a State's borders.

Even though this amendment has no chance of being adopted (for now at least), it does show that a growing number of Democrats have become so arrogant that they feel that they can openly call for the silencing of their critics.

15 posted on 06/29/2014 2:00:17 PM PDT by Repeal 16-17 (Let me know when the Shooting starts.)
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To: Kaslin

they want to take out free speech on the very core subject it was put in there to guarantee - political speech.


16 posted on 06/29/2014 2:11:14 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Kaslin

The Second Amendment is there to guarantee the sanctity of the First. These azzholes better think about that.


17 posted on 06/29/2014 2:20:42 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED.)
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To: 43north

The Democrats don’t like any of the bill of rights


18 posted on 06/29/2014 2:22:53 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Kaslin

Only 44 RATs? Make ‘em all run on that.


19 posted on 06/29/2014 2:47:51 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Do The Math)
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To: GeronL

“The Democrats don’t like any of the bill of rights”

Not exactly. They love the amendment that guarantees a woman’s right to abort babies. Let’s see, which number is that one again?


20 posted on 06/29/2014 2:57:24 PM PDT by 43north (BHO: 50% black, 50% white, 100% RED.)
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To: Kaslin
Total list of cosponsors; Date Signed:
Sen. Bennet, Michael F. [D-CO]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Harkin, Tom [D-IA]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Shaheen, Jeanne [D-NH]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Tester, Jon [D-MT]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Boxer, Barbara [D-CA]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Coons, Christopher A. [D-DE]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. King, Angus S. Jr. [I-ME]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Murphy, Christopher S. [D-CT]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Wyden, Ron [D-OR]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Franken, Al [D-MN]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Udall, Mark [D-CO]* 06/18/2013,
Sen. Johnson, Tim [D-SD] 06/19/2013,
Sen. Menendez, Robert [D-NJ] 06/19/2013,
Sen. Reed, Jack [D-RI] 06/19/2013,
Sen. Blumenthal, Richard [D-CT] 06/20/2013,
Sen. Heinrich, Martin [D-NM] 06/24/2013,
Sen. Merkley, Jeff [D-OR] 06/27/2013,
Sen. Feinstein, Dianne [D-CA] 07/17/2013,
Sen. Begich, Mark [D-AK] 07/17/2013,
Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD] 07/23/2013,
Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY] 09/09/2013,
Sen. Hagan, Kay [D-NC] 10/08/2013,
Sen. Mikulski, Barbara A. [D-MD] 10/28/2013,
Sen. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI] 10/28/2013,
Sen. Markey, Edward J. [D-MA] 10/28/2013,
Sen. Warren, Elizabeth [D-MA] 11/20/2013,
Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH] 04/02/2014,
Sen. Walsh, John E. [D-MT] 04/02/2014,
Sen. Durbin, Richard [D-IL] 04/02/2014,
Sen. Reid, Harry [D-NV] 04/28/2014,
Sen. Hirono, Mazie K. [D-HI] 04/28/2014,
Sen. Carper, Thomas R. [D-DE] 04/29/2014,
Sen. Murray, Patty [D-WA] 04/30/2014,
Sen. Schatz, Brian [D-HI] 05/01/2014,
Sen. Sanders, Bernard [I-VT] 05/06/2014,
Sen. Rockefeller, John D., IV [D-WV] 05/08/2014,
Sen. Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI] 05/12/2014,
Sen. Booker, Cory A. [D-NJ] 05/20/2014,
Sen. Heitkamp, Heidi [D-ND] 06/02/2014,
Sen. Manchin, Joe, III [D-WV] 06/05/2014
21 posted on 06/29/2014 2:57:37 PM PDT by SES1066 (Quality, Speed or Economical - Any 2 of 3 except in government - 1 at best but never #3!)
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To: SES1066

I see both Senators from Minnestoopid. Figures. The only state I have lived where vandalism is considered legitimate political expression - if one is a democrat.


22 posted on 06/29/2014 3:17:37 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (The Democratic Party is now the operational arm of the CPUSA)
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To: 43north
They love the amendment that guarantees a woman’s right to abort babies. Let’s see, which number is that one again?

That's Amendment 0.

23 posted on 06/29/2014 3:21:14 PM PDT by Repeal 16-17 (Let me know when the Shooting starts.)
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To: Kaslin

Repeal the First Amendment? Hell No!!!


24 posted on 06/29/2014 3:48:20 PM PDT by ExCTCitizen (I'm ExCTCitizen and I approve this reply. If it does offend Libs, I'm NOT sorry...)
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To: Fred Hayek
I see both Senators from Minnestoopid. Figures.

Well, in fairness, there are multiple states with the "What Constitution" syndrome! Starting in the Northeast and working out ...
MA - Warren & Markey,
RI - Whitehouse & Reed,
CT - Murphy & Blumenthal,
NY - Schumer & Gillibrand,
NJ - Menendez & Booker,
DE - Coons & Carper,
MD - Mikulski & Cardin,
WV - Rockefeller & Manchin,
MN - Franken & Klobuchar,
CO - Bennet & Udall,
OR - Wyden & Merkley,
CA - Boxer & Feinstein,
HI - Schatz & Hirono.

25 posted on 06/29/2014 4:31:27 PM PDT by SES1066 (Quality, Speed or Economical - Any 2 of 3 except in government - 1 at best but never #3!)
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To: Kaslin
I thought it took a lot more than a vote in Congress to amend the Constitution.


26 posted on 06/29/2014 4:33:57 PM PDT by magooey (The Mandate of Heaven resides in the hearts of men.)
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To: magooey

States have to pass it too.

The Article V Convention people welcomed the Democrats aboard.


27 posted on 06/29/2014 4:35:28 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: Kaslin

What has happened that 44 senators, RAT or not, would want this to happen...


28 posted on 06/29/2014 4:37:45 PM PDT by uncitizen (Buckle up! We're on the Facism Fast Track!)
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To: SES1066

Great, yet another reason to continue to despise the idiotic senators from Maryland. WE need term limits and we need them NOW!


29 posted on 06/29/2014 4:41:38 PM PDT by memcindoe (My ancestral motto: This I Will Defend!)
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To: GeronL
The Article V Convention people welcomed the Democrats aboard.

What do you mean?

30 posted on 06/29/2014 4:51:34 PM PDT by Repeal 16-17 (Let me know when the Shooting starts.)
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To: magooey
I thought it took a lot more than a vote in Congress to amend the Constitution.

Absolutely RIGHT, but it always gets started somewhere. Article V of the U.S.Constitution lists the requirements; two-thirds of each chamber of the U.S.Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the U.S.State Legislatures. Note that the U.S.President has no voting role here.

Some problems that have popped up over the years in this process are;
1) No Time Limit for the States to pass,
2) No provisions for a State, having passed but then rescinding its approval.

The other method is a Constitutional Convention which bypasses Congress but still needs the States to ratify.

31 posted on 06/29/2014 4:56:56 PM PDT by SES1066 (Quality, Speed or Economical - Any 2 of 3 except in government - 1 at best but never #3!)
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To: Repeal 16-17

Article V Promoter Praises Democrat Leadership in Movement

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/18591-article-v-promoter-praises-democratic-leadership-in-movement


32 posted on 06/29/2014 5:05:03 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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