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News Amendment XXVIII?

  1. Feb 3, 2010 #1
    Congresswoman Donna Edwards has introduced http://freespeechforpeople.org/amendment" [Broken] (And it is not a ban on same sex couples.)


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Q6cehXA5mHo&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Q6cehXA5mHo&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Feb 3, 2010 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    If this passes, what is to stop Congress from banning corporate or union spending in favor of the minority party? Or for that matter, requiring corporate or union spending in favor of the majority party?

    This is democracy?
     
  4. Feb 3, 2010 #3

    russ_watters

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    I'm not sure I agree or disagree but at least she understands that an amendment is required for this. An awful lot of people including politicians don't seem to get it.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2010 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    I think an amendment is in order, but getting the language right will take some doing.

    Yes, this is how democracy works. I don't understand the objection; or is the objection strictly in regards to the language proposed here?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  6. Feb 3, 2010 #5

    BobG

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    But the Contract Clause of the Constitution still can limit Congress and the States?

    This was included to stop "powerful" people from having their debts dismissed (State legislature would dismiss the debt, as bankruptcy laws didn't exist back then). A major side effect was to limit the ability of Congress and/or individual states to modify the corporate charters of corporations, once formed. You can't change the rules after the fact. Another side effect of this clause was that it was used to justify denying the right to secede to the Confederacy.

    I'm not positive, but maybe her wording should be more specific (similar to the section making sure there was no confusion over freedom of the press). I don't think it would be good to inadvertantly repeal the Contract Clause of the US Constitution.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  7. Feb 3, 2010 #6

    CRGreathouse

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    What an awful amendment. It would allow laws like "Unions can't spend money to support candidates" or even "The Democratic party can't spend money to support candidates".

    If you're going to mess with free speech, you'd better do it carefully -- you're playing with fire.
     
  8. Feb 3, 2010 #7
    Not any corporation, just certain ones.
     
  9. Feb 3, 2010 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    How does this affect corporate charters or the obligation of contracts?
     
  10. Feb 3, 2010 #9

    BobG

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    I think her wording is pretty clear - especially when compared to the Second Amendment. It just pays to make sure that the wording can't be misconstrued. While I think it's clear that the Amendment is saying the First Amendment can't be considered a restriction, the things the article mentions are things the Contract Clause prevents from being modified after the fact.

    For example, New Jersey issued bonds to finance the World Trade Center back in the 60's and had contractually promised the bondholders that the collateral would not be used to finance money losing rail operations. Later, New Jersey attempted to modify law to allow financing of railway operations, and the bondholders successfully sued to prevent this from happening. Eventually, the case wound up in the US Supreme Court, with the suit being upheld based on the Contract Clause prohibiting changing the contract after the fact through legislation.

    I'm not saying the Contract Clause would prevent the Edwards Amendment from taking affect, since the Amendment would overrule the clause in the Constitution. I'm just saying the clause serves a useful purpose and it wouldn't be good to have people think it's been overruled.
     
  11. Feb 3, 2010 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    A general comment: I have already emailed my Senators and Congressman, indicating our support for a Constitutional Amendment to correct this aberration in the law of the land. I urge all other US citizens here to do the same. Tell your friends to do the same.
     
  12. Feb 3, 2010 #11

    CRGreathouse

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    I hope you don't support it in its current form, though! Any suggestions for fixing it?
     
  13. Feb 3, 2010 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I didn't reference any particular language or this particular proposal. I may have some comments about the specifics later, but for now I can only say that an amendment is needed. I agree that this is dicey territory and we need to be very careful.

    For me, the SC decision only helps to accentuate a problem that has long required attention.
     
  14. Feb 3, 2010 #13

    russ_watters

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    The objection for me is that I like the first amendment and it makes me very nervous to cut into it, even though the general idea of campaign finance reform is appealing to me. Specifically, though, the proposed amendment is very broad - too broad.

    As the long thread on the recent USSC decision showed, a great many people just haven't thought through the full implications of such laws/amendments. Liberals don't seem to get that restricting Merck from giving money to politicians has implications for unions and MoveOn, as well.
     
  15. Feb 3, 2010 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    I agree. But I think your objections apply to people of all political brands. Liberals [typically meaning Dems], Conservatives [typically meaning Reps] of various types, and probably most Independents can get behind something like this and perhaps overreact.

    Most Liberals will also be quick to defend free speech.
     
  16. Feb 3, 2010 #15

    BobG

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    Would it be so bad if it had implications for the Republican Party and Democratic Party, as well?

    Personally, I'd be for eliminating any party affiliation from ballots. If a voter can't even remember the name of the candidate they want elected, then their choice probably isn't any better than a random choice, anyway.
     
  17. Feb 3, 2010 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    One difference that I see between a body like a union, and a corporation, is that presumably The Union represents the majority view of all people within the organization, whereas a corporation can exploit the wealth of many to promote the views of an elite few.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  18. Feb 3, 2010 #17

    BobG

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    Technically, a corporation might exploit the wealth of many to promote a view no one shares.

    If the individuals running the corporation do their job the way they're supposed to, they should take whatever (legal) action brings in the most money for the corporation - even if it's something they personally don't approve of doing.

    It might be in a corporation's best interest to do something like run attack ads against the vicious dolphins fouling the nets of the poor, but honest, tuna fishermen.
     
  19. Feb 3, 2010 #18
    This is an issue that needs to be debated.

    Amending the Constitution should only be done sober... with much deliberation.
     
  20. Feb 3, 2010 #19

    BobG

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    Does this apply to every amendment? Surely it can't apply to both the 18th and the 21st Amendment.

    I always like the amendment to Colorado's Constitution that created article XXVI - Nuclear Detonation. In the middle of the cold war, Colorado banned nuclear explosions in our state. The USSR was totally stymied, which is why the Air Force has so many bases in the state.
     
  21. Feb 3, 2010 #20
    I said that is how it should be amended. I didn't mean to imply that is how it is done historically.

    The 14th IMO is one most in need of repeal.
     
  22. Feb 3, 2010 #21
    I do not like section 2. I feel it conflicts with section 1. I would delete section 2. We can limit incorporated entities. This will leave elections to be decided by the spending of rich individuals. My... that will not be much of a change.
     
  23. Feb 3, 2010 #22

    CRGreathouse

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    I would be most interested in your thoughtful opinion on the subject.
     
  24. Feb 3, 2010 #23

    russ_watters

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    Being applied evenly across party lines isn't the only issue - it isn't even the biggest issue. The biggest issue is whether the general concept of restricting people's ability to pool their political influence is a good or bad thing.
    I would agree with that....doesn't have a whole lot to do with the thread, though...
     
  25. Feb 3, 2010 #24

    russ_watters

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    ?? Both a union and a corporation represent everyone in them. People choose to be a part of both, even if they don't agree with every specific act!

    Ie:
    Individuals can and do often have conflicting or contradictory points of view, but externally what matters is what you do. A company exists to make money and an employee works for the company to make money. That's perfect harmony.

    If a person works for a tuna company and feels bad that the tuna company is killing dolphins, that's their own hypocrisy causing the stomach ache - it is not a conflict between the employee and the company. If it hurts enough to matter, quit (and if it hurts enough to go against the company, get fired). Can't quit because you need the money? Well, you've just decided which is more important, haven't you?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  26. Feb 3, 2010 #25

    CRGreathouse

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    Bad comparison, russ. Employees are free to work or not work for a company, but companies represent the stockholders not the workers.
     
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