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Political Speech and Money

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  • Steve Gresh
    The purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to authorize a few specific, enumerated, and limited powers to the federal government. The powers not delegated to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18 10:47 AM
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      The purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to authorize a few specific, enumerated, and limited powers to the federal government.  The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.  The purpose of the U.S. Constitution is not to grant people or the States any powers or rights.  Individuals' rights are unalienable.  The Bill of Rights enumerates only a few, specific examples of prohibitions or limitations on the powers of the federal government that the Founding Fathers thought were essential for inclusion to win ratification of the Constitution.  Those examples are neither a comprehensive list of all the restrictions on the powers of the federal government nor a comprehensive list of all the rights or powers reserved to the people.

      Where in the U.S. Constitution do you find any power authorized to the federal government to restrict anyone's use of their own money for any purpose?  The 1st Amendment is not the only Constitutional provision related to the freedom of speech.  The fact that the federal government has never been authorized any Constitutional power to restrict how people spend their own money for the purpose of political speech is the only consideration that's relevant to this issue.

      Most people who consider themselves to be Constitutional scholars, including most judges and U.S. Supreme Court Justices, don't comprehend that the purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to authorize the federal government to have a few specific, enumerated, and limited powers.  That's the main reason why so much time is wasted debating the constitutionality of what the federal government does.  The correct answer to almost every question requires nothing more than an application of the basic principle that the federal government has no powers that aren't authorized to it by the U.S. Constitution.  Robots programmed to follow that simple instruction would render correct decisions more often than most of the lamebrains who wear black robes.

      Steve Gresh
      VP of the CO chapter of the RLC and
      Republican candidate for CO State Representative, House District 20

      -- Ray Holtorf <rayholtorf@...> wrote:
      I keep going back and forth on the Constitutionality
      of banning money. The Constitution guarantees us the
      right of free speech. While the SCOTUS has equated
      speech and money, I am not certain the Founding
      Fathers would. The language in the document is
      "speech" and does not indicate a right to purchase
      access to speech... I'm not big on the idea of
      interpreting the Constitution.

      --- Peter Bearse <peterjamesbearse@...> wrote:

      > To Bill Westmiller and other RLCers: I spent many
      > years tracking, discussing and analyzing the
      > McCain-Feingold legislation and other efforts to
      > achieve campaign finance reform as a member of the
      > Business Advisory Committee of the Campaign Reform
      > Project. The common denominator of these,
      > ironically, was that they focused only on money.
      > They ignored the value of people's time in a system
      > where time is all that 95% of the American public
      > have to contribute. See the final chapters of my
      > book for a new approach and let me know if you want
      > to see any other pieces that I've written on the
      > issue. A few pieces were "published" online via in
      > the online journal THE ETHICAL SPECTACLE
      > (www.spectacle.org). PETER BEARSE, Ph.D.
      > westmiller@... wrote:
      > RLC-Action@yahoogroups.com writes:
      > > I was one of 800 who responded  to the FEC notice
      > ...
      >     Excellent!
      >     We have quite a few members in DC, but none
      > that
      > have taken up the leadership task or coordinated all
      > the activity.
      > > The Court decision referred to was one passed  ...
      >     I did read the court case and watched  testimony
      > on C-Span, but simply didn't have the time to pursue
      > it beyond being aware.
      > Bill
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