Keith Paul Bishop reports on yet another attack on Citizens United by the California Democrat assembly caucus:
Earlier this month, Senators Benjamin Allen and Mark Leno decided to take another run at putting an advisory vote on the ballot. They gutted SB 254, a bill amending the Streets and Highways Code, and inserted legislation calling a special statewide election to be consolidated with the November 8, 2016 general election. At this special election, the voters will be asked to vote on the following “advisory” question:Shall the Congress of the United States propose, and the California Legislature ratify, an amendment or amendments to the United States Constitution to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010) 558 U.S. 310, and other applicable judicial precedents, to allow the full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another, and to make clear that the rights protected by the United States Constitution are the rights of natural persons only?
First, it is a little puzzling that the Democrats are so opposed to corporate political campaign contributions since corporations are increasingly shifting to supporting the progressive left on social issues.
Second, corporations have a lot more constitutional rights than just the ones protected by Citizens United:
- First Nat’l Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 784 (1978) (corporation has First Amendment right of free speech)
- Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43 (1906) (corporation gets Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures but not protected by Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination)
- Minneapolis & St. Louis Ry. Co. v. Beckwith, 129 U.S. 26, 28 (1888) (corporation entitled to due process of law under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments)
- Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co., 118 U.S. 394, 416 (1886) (corporation entitled to equal protection of the law under the Fourteenth Amendment)
Just out of curiosity, which of those rights do the Democrats think corporations should not be allowed to exercise? And how do the Democrats intend to protect the rights go shareholders and stakeholders that would be adversely affected if corporations could not exercise those rights?