[FoRK] Justice Defends Ruling on Finance

Joe Fish reverend.joe at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 13:29:14 PST 2010

>  I don't see the bright line of logic in the sentiment that a corporation
> has no free speech rights.

no such bright line is needed, for no one is arguing that a
corporation should have "no free speech rights".

not being able to spend unlimited funds in any conceivable way to try
to buy elections / politicians  !=  NO rights to free speech

there are all kinds of situational limitations to both individuals'
and corporations' rights to say whatever they want, that i can't
really see how this one limitation has been such a theoretical or
actual tragedy.

free speech, for example, is unimportant enough that i can be jailed
for 5 years and subject to hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines
for a crime as harmless as whistling the tune to an Elvis song within
earshot of 10 or more people ... and the justification for this
limitation to my individual free speech rights is that we need to
incentivize Elvis' (ghost) to write more hit songs?

in light of that, somehow, i never managed to get myself all worked up
about corporations being slightly limited in their speech in this one
specific situation in a way that possibly had some balancing effect on
something as important as electing public officials.

otoh, its not like the restrictions the supremes struck down were
really doing much good anyway -- or is it just me that had the
perception that corporations really aren't going to be able to
influence our elections much more than they already were?


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