Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 :::

It appears that a year ago Robin Hanson asserted a point that I asserted to Steve and Eric at least ten years ago: that the right to free "speech" should be considered a right of the listener at least as much as the speaker.

He particularly (somewhat gently) alludes to "corporate speech", viz. the Citizens United decision; with the usual disclaimer that constitutional law is different from a discussion of natural law, I made my feelings on the constitutional question known a year ago:
The suggestion that corporations shouldn't have free speech rights because they aren't people would be more compelling if the first amendment said something like "people have a right to free speech" instead of
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ...
In this case, Congress has clearly made a law abridging the freedom of speech.
I seem not to have previously made explicit that the Court may have ruled more broadly than necessary in Citizens United. I stand by the assertion, though, that even people who oppose the general protection of corporate political speech and believe that it's not Constitutionally required are simply being dishonest if they look at the details of this particular case and claim that the plaintiffs shouldn't have won. Which leaves three current Justices dishonest.


::: posted by dWj at 1:00 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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