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As one of our over 6.6 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote NO on S.J. Res. 19, a proposed Constitutional amendment that would enshrine into law the government’s ability to restrict political free speech. Sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and co-sponsored by 48 of his colleagues, this amendment would take the unprecedented step of amending Americans’ First Amendment rights.
Free and open political discourse is the lifeblood of a democratic form of government – so essential to freedom that the framers of our Constitution placed its protection as the very first limitation on government power enshrined in the Bill of Rights. This amendment, in the name of limiting corporations’ influence over politics, would in fact allow the government to regulate any expenditure that they deem to be intended to “influence an election”.
The only limitation placed on this sweeping power is that the amendment should not “be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.” The very fact that this qualifier exists shows that the government would be allowed to restrict any other expression of a political opinion that costs money. This could include books, movies, and radio programs – not to mention the expressions of any tax-exempt organization (churches, think-tanks, even unions) that touch upon political issues.
Simply put, the federal government should never be allowed to restrict any non-violent expression of political opinion by any group or individual – and that includes when private funds are being used to disseminate that expression.
Therefore, we hope that you will call your senators and ask them to vote NO on the Udall Constitutional amendment to limit free speech. FreedomWorks will count this vote as a Key Vote when calculating its Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2014. This scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes Members of Congress who consistently vote to support economic freedom.
Matt Kibbe President and CEO, FreedomWorks