Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has taken it upon himself to offer suggestions to rewrite the Bill of Rights. I don’t know why he thinks rewording amendments needs to be done since the Supreme Court has been rewriting the Constitution for two centuries.
Stevens wants to add words to the Second Amendment so it reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.”
Stevens also has some things to say about the First Amendment. He believes it needs some restrictions, especially when it comes to campaign financing.
Adam Liptak of the New York Times writes:
“The new amendment would override the First Amendment and allow Congress and the states to impose ‘reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.’”
“Reasonable limits”? When have the government and its courts ever been reasonable? Who in the government would ever want the government to define what’s reasonable for the government? Our founders understood this. That’s why the First Amendment begins with “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. . .”
Liptak went on to ask “whether the amendment would allow the government to prohibit newspapers from spending money to publish editorials endorsing candidates.” Justice Stevens “stared at the text of his proposed amendment for a little while. ‘The “reasonable” would apply there,’ he said, ‘or might well be construed to apply there.’”
Today’s leftist media most likely would not object because their people are pulling the strings of power. They love Executive Orders and rulings from the Supremen Court they see limiting the limits on the Constitution. Here’s what Wayne Rogers who played Trapper John on M*A*S*H and now a successful businessman and investor had to say about the media:
“I mean, you read Andrew Rosenthal [the op-ed page editor] in the New York Times, I mean, he’s an apologist. These are people who are constipated by their own ideology, that they cannot see that this man is telling a bold-faced lie right to their face…. Nobody nails this guy. And when you read, as I said, if you read the op-ed page of the New York Times, you’d think you were living in a different country. These people don’t do anything.”
The rest of the article goes on showing Stevens making up rules and regulations on the fly, like he did when he adjudicated from the bench.
The problem isn’t with campaign cash or the First Amendment; the problem is with the growth, size, and scope of the federal government. Groups, organizations, and business entities use the power of the purse — campaign cash — to support candidates that will rule favorably in areas where they do not have constitutional authority.
If a group or business couldn’t improve its political prospects because there weren’t any given the limitations found in the Constitution, there wouldn’t be any need to lavish so much money on a particular candidate or party.
What we don’t need is more power given to the courts to determine what constitutes free speech. Consider this statement from Stevens:
“The opinion [McCutcheon v. FEC] is all about a case where the issue was electing somebody else’s representatives…The opinion has the merit of being faithful to the notion that money is speech and that out-of-district money has the same First Amendment protection as in-district money… I think that’s an incorrect view of the law myself.”
He thinks. It’s his opinion, as it is with the unelected Supreme Court justices. None of what he advocates would do anything about the hundreds of millions of dollars that pour into the Democrat Party via unions.
If anything needs to be added to the Bill of Rights it’s the requirement that Congress, the President, and the courts should have to follow it. But even that won’t work since they already take an oath to uphold the Constitution.
We could also pass an amendment limiting the terms of Senators and Representatives so they don’t gain the power to be such an influence in lawmaking. Two Senate terms and three terms for Representatives.