Free speech is over! (if you want it)

Over at The Right Coast, University of San Diego Law Professor Tom Smith follows up on President Obama’s critique of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in the State of the Union Address last week. President Obama suggested that he wants Congress to do something about the Court’s protection of the First Amendment rights of corporations; Professor Smith obliges with the text of a proposed constitutional amendment (Amendment 1A) for Congress to present to the states:

This amendment shall be known as the “Power to the People, Power to the People Right On!” Amendment. Nothing in the amendment right before this one shall be construed as allowing persons to say Bad Things. Bad Things shall be defined by Congress anytime before November, 2010. Congress shall have the authority to establish a Special Administration for the Liberation of Speech for the People, Right On, and may promulgate regulations regarding speech by Big Corporations or anything that reminds them of such speech. Bad Things shall include any disrespectful nodding or word mouthing by Justices of the Supreme Court during Presidential addresses, especially if they touch upon freedom of speech, such as it may be. Nothing in this amendment shall be construed as giving anybody the authority to restrict the speech of law professors about any topic whatsoever at any time whatsoever. A law professor is anyone who has ever taught at a law school, whether or not on a tenure track.

Professor Smith’s pays tribute to John Lennon by naming the amendment the “Power to the People, Power to the People Right On!” Amendment. The tribute is a fitting companion to what we have characterized as Obama’s “WAR IS OVER! (IF YOU WANT IT)” approach to the war on terrorism.


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