– Re: FREE SPEECH - FIRST AMENDMENT
In Reply To
CITIZENS UNITED v. FEC, U.S. Supreme Court, decided 1-21-10 at:
2. Austin is overruled, and thus provides no basis for allowing the Government to limit corporate independent expenditures. Hence, §441b's restrictions on such expenditures are invalid and cannot be applied to Hillary. Given this conclusion, the part of McConnell that upheld BCRA §203's extension of §441b's restrictions on independent corporate expenditures is also overruled. Pp. 20-51.
(a) Although the First Amendment provides that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech," §441b's prohibition on corporate independent expenditures is an outright ban on speech, backed by criminal sanctions. It is a ban notwithstanding the fact that a PAC created by a corporation can still speak, for a PAC is a separate association from the corporation. Because speech is an essential mechanism of democracy--it is the means to hold officials accountable to the people--political speech must prevail against laws that would suppress it by design or inadvertence. Laws burdening such speech are subject to strict scrutiny, which requires the Government to prove that the restriction "furthers a compelling interest and is narrowly tailored to achieve that interest." WRTL, 551 U. S., at 464.
This language provides a sufficient framework for protecting the interests in this case. Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints or to distinguish among different speakers, which may be a means to control content. The Government may also commit a constitutional wrong when by law it identifies certain preferred speakers. There is no basis for the proposition that, in the political speech context, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers. Both history and logic lead to this conclusion. Pp. 20-25.
The UBCJA has a very limited quasi-legislative role, limited to minor rule-making under the A.P.A. and Federal Registers guidelines. The same premise applies to the NLRB with their additional duty as a quasi-judicial body.
Neither however can usurp the roles of all three branches of government under the Federal Constitution and subsume the role of the legislature, executive or judicial branch and claim more rights than that allotted to the Government.
The UBC cannot criminalize free speech rights of Union Rank & File members, via fine, suspension or expulsion without violating the precedents established in Belotti or Citizens United. The UBCJA has no proprietary trades secrets, inventions, patents or processes to protect and none are filed on the record. The proscriptions of the Kevin Price case amplify all of the aforementioned cases.