Most liberals who rail against the Supreme Court’s Citizens United case probably don’t realize they’re useful pawns for a sinister cause. These earnest chanters of slogans and sporters of bumper stickers say they want to overturn the case or amend the Constitution to “get big money out of politics.” They think they’re just fighting for clean government. In reality, they’re cheerleading for the Obama administration to wage a broader battle in the long war to intimidate and silence conservative America.
Like a horror movie’s teasing scenes, where campers laugh, oblivious to the monster in the shadows, this report is more about what would have happened without Citizens United. But the danger is easy to see and the monster’s not dead, as activists and liberal journalists fan a simmering movement to keep the issue alive, even passing a number of state initiatives and referenda, calling to amend and limit the First Amendment.
The initiatives are broadly popular among a public that believes fighting Citizens United is just common sense. But almost everything the public has heard and believes about the case is wrong. As the Left and its media amplifiers describe it: “The Supreme Court said corporations are people with constitutional rights. So, nothing can stop big business from spending billions of dollars to buy elections and control politics. And that’s wrong. People have constitutional rights; corporations don’t.”
Space doesn’t permit explaining all the factual and legal confusion in that simplistic blurb. But even the briefest thought should destroy the childishly appealing arguments. Of course companies enjoy constitutional protections. They should. The alternative sounds like Ted Kennedy’s deceitful hallucination about Robert Bork’s America: Police could kick down doors and seize materials without warrants or cause; Officials could deny permits or shut businesses down without reason or due process. Governments could confiscate equipment, property, or land without just compensation. Companies could be charged and convicted of crimes without juries or even trials.
That all sounds outrageous because we understand that Constitutional protections like the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments prohibit such abuses. Critics of Citizens United have to explain why they believe the First Amendment, unlike other Constitutional rights, applies only to people, not organizations.