In January 2010 the United States Supreme Court made a landmark decision in the case of “Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.” The case was a challenge against so-called campaign finance rules adopted by Congress and enforced by the FEC that limited the ability of businesses to participate in the political process by contributing money for things like issue based advertising.
In a 5-4 decision the Court ruled that this law was a violation of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Justices found that corporations and the shareholders who own these businesses have the same rights to free speech as any other groups or individuals, including labor unions. This decision infuriated those on the far left to the point that President Obama took the unprecedented action of publicly scolding the members of the Court when they sat in front of him during his State of the Union address. He claimed that the ruling opened the door to foreign corporations to influence our elections. That is not true.
However, since the liberals in Congress are now facing the prospect of heavy losses in the upcoming November 2010 elections they have introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to adopt new regulations that would clearly violate the ruling of the Supreme Court and the provisions of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution. As usual, this is a lengthy and complicated piece of legislation but the intent is clear. The free speech right of businesses and other groups that traditionally support conservative Republican candidates will be severely limited in future elections. On the other hand, the groups such as labor unions that traditionally support liberal Democrats in elections will be allowed to basically do as they please. Their rights are not limited under the provisions of this legislation.
Members of Congress and the Obama Administration who have drafted and support this legislation are well aware that it violates the Constitution and will inevitably be struck down by the Supreme Court. However, the game plan is obvious. The legislation will be rammed through Congress using any means necessary. Much of the work is being done in secret and the proposed legislation, HR 5175, has already passed a key House Committee and will soon be brought to the House floor for a full vote. Then it will immediately go to the Senate for Action.
The new law is designed to go into effect 30 days after it passes and is signed by the President. This means the FEC will begin enforcement well prior to the November elections. Businesses, particularly small family owned corporations will not have the money or personnel to begin to understand the law and meet its requirements. They will be forced to sit out the upcoming elections or face penalties for violating the new law.
The liberals are also counting on the fact that the Supreme Court will not have an opportunity to hear any lawsuits challenging the radical law until after the election. The Democrats feel that enforcing these unconstitutional limitations on free speech will give them the edge they need to win many close elections for Senate and House seats. This type of tactic violates everyone’s rights.
I encourage all of my readers to immediately contact their Senators and Representatives and let them know that the American people are well aware of what is happening here and will not tolerate it. The legislation is also referred to as “The Disclose Act.”