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National Review: Obama vs. Free Speech, Again

The Editors of National Review denounce President Obama for trying to get around the courts and Congress with an Executive Order that attacks the Constitutional free speech protections Citizens United v. FEC restored:

In its Citizens United ruling, the Supreme Court held that Americans do not forfeit their First Amendment rights when they join together to form businesses. This hardly remarkable conclusion produced howls of indignation among Democrats, who summarily denounced both the justices and the “corporations,” about which they are inclined to whisper darkly. Now the president is contemplating the imposition of free-speech restrictions through executive fiat.

Democrats’ main response to Citizens United was the DISCLOSE Act (if you must know and can stomach it, that’s the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act) which, among other things, would have encumbered private, individual political donations made by employees of firms that bid on federal contracts. Unhappily for Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the DISCLOSE Act’s sponsors, their campaign to chill Americans’ political speech did not fare well in Congress, and the bill foundered. Democrats sought to impose similar restrictions through the Federal Election Commission, again with no success. Having been defeated both in the democratic forum and in court, Pres. Barack Obama has had drafted a diktat to simply impose DISCLOSE limitations by White House decree. You might wonder: Upon what constitutional authority might the president issue a directive abridging Americans’ First Amendment rights, recently reconfirmed by the Supreme Court? We wonder, too, and suspect that President Obama is getting a little big for his constitutional britches.  …

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Read the full editorial on National Review Online

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Citizens United