[FoRK] Justice Defends Ruling on Finance

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Thu Feb 4 15:39:40 PST 2010

On Thu, Feb 4, 2010 at 1:47 PM, Damien Morton <dmorton at bitfurnace.com> wrote:
> Here's a way of drawing the line: make a distinction between a corporation
> formed for the purposes of speech and one formed for the purposes of
> business. ...

Even in the days of the founders, the companies that ran the presses
were formed to make a profit. And it was those companies to which the
1st amendment specifically refers to as "the press," and in equal
terms with freedom of speech. There is no reasonable way to parse the
1st amendment as providing less protection of expression for NBC than
it does for you and me.

An alternative to trying a run around the 1st amendment, either
legislatively or by repeal, is to focus on reforming electoral
mechanics. Money has a large influence on elections not simply because
money is influential, but also because current electoral mechanics is
focused on maintaining party politics, and gives voters only a very
restricted kind of choice. Admittedly, that reform also seems distant.
But it would be healthier, in my opinion, than trying to cut through
the 1st amendment.

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