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Wednesday, August 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Brown and free speech

In her June 23 Guest Opinion, Lisa Brown advocates overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.

Citizens United, a political advocacy group, wanted to purchase advertising promoting an anti-Hillary film within 30 days of the 2008 Democratic primary. Provisions of the 2002 McCain-Feingold Act prohibited corporations or unions spending money on “electioneering communications” naming a candidate within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. They were prohibited and appealed the ruling, finally reaching the Supreme Court, where that and other portions of the McCain-Feingold Act were ruled unconstitutional. That decision upheld our fundamental rights to equal treatment under law and freedom of speech.

McCain-Feingold treated corporations differently. A media corporation could say anything about anybody at any time. A non-media corporation or union could not. On the face of it, this is unequal treatment, and restricts free speech, under the guise of taking money out of politics.

Lisa Brown’s opinion on this issue suggests that she doesn’t understand equal treatment under law or free speech. Would she be OK with “hate speech” laws like in Canada and Europe as advocated by some of our left? Who decides what is “hate speech”?

Tom Horne

Nine Mile Falls

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

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