George Will gets to the essence of this grotesque assault on civil liberties, fed by demagoguery over the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision:
McGovern [Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.] stresses that his amendment decrees that “all corporate entities — for-profit and nonprofit alike” — have no constitutional rights. So Congress — and state legislatures and local governments — could regulate to the point of proscription political speech, or any other speech, by the Sierra Club, the National Rifle Association, NARAL Pro-Choice America or any of the other tens of thousands of nonprofit corporate advocacy groups, including political parties and campaign committees.
Newspapers, magazines, broadcasting entities, online journalism operations — and most religious institutions — are corporate entities. McGovern’s amendment would strip them of all constitutional rights.
Incredibly, versions of this radical rights-stripping measure has been endorsed through resolutions by the state legislatures of Vermont, Hawaii, and New Mexico, with backing from groups like Public Citizen. [Ilya Shapiro and Kathleen Hunker, Cato; Hans Bader, CEI; earlier] More: Professor Bainbridge (“utterly moronic”)] Among sponsors of this extraordinary measure: Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), David Cicilline (R.I.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), John Conyers, Jr. (Mich.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.), Sam Farr (Calif.), Bob Filner (Calif.), Gene Green (Tex.), Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), Janice Hahn (Calif.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Ill.), Walter B. Jones, Jr. (N.C.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), Jim McDermott (Wash.), Christopher Murphy (Ct.), Richard Neal (Mass.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), John Olver (Mass.), Chellie Pingree (Maine), Louise McIntosh Slaughter (N.Y.), Adam Smith (Wash.), John Tierney (Mass.), and Peter Welch (Vt.). Murphy is running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut.