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Democrats Planning Vote On Their Partisan DISCLOSE Act Next Week‏ | Missouri Political News Service

Democrats Planning Vote On Their Partisan DISCLOSE Act Next Week‏

July 12th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

The Hill reported yesterday, “Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and eight other Senate Democrats proposed new legislation on Tuesday that seeks to counteract the 2010 Citizens United case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the government cannot limit political spending by corporations, unions or other groups.”

And according to National Journal today, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is packing the summer schedule with symbolic, campaign trail-themed votes. . . . Democrats also plan next week to force a vote on a new version of the DISCLOSE Act, a bill to require disclosure of campaign spending by corporations and other groups.”

Of course in his speech to AEI last month, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained what Democrats’ partisan DISCLOSE Act is really all about: “This is the Democrats’ legislative response to Citizens United, in which the Supreme Court correctly ruled that Congress may not ban political speech based on the identity of the speaker. The DISCLOSE Act aims to get around this ruling by compelling certain targeted groups to disclose the names of their donors, while excluding others, such as unions, from doing the same. . . . What this bill calls for is government-compelled disclosure of contributions to all grassroots groups, which is far more dangerous than its proponents are willing to admit. Because if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon. And that’s precisely what those who are pushing this legislation have in mind. This is nothing less than an effort by the government itself to exposes its critics to harassment and intimidation, either by government authorities or through third-party allies. And that should concern every one of us. Those pushing the DISCLOSE Act have a simple view: if the Supreme Court is no longer willing to limit the speech of those who oppose their agenda, they’ll find other ways to do it.”

Indeed, in its Citizens United opinion, the Court explained, “Premised on mistrust of governmental power, the First Amendment stands against attempts to disfavor certain subjects or viewpoints. … the government may commit a constitutional wrong when by law it identifies certain preferred speakers. … The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each. … We find no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the Government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.”


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