Sen. Ted Cruz is throwing down the gauntlet at Senate Democrats so driven by partisan zeal – and the sinking popularity of a Democratic president – that they’re trying to rewrite the First Amendment to squelch the political speech it was intended to protect.
“Where are the liberals today? Why is there not a liberal standing here defending the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment?” Cruz demanded Tuesday at a Senate Judiciary Hearing on a proposal to gut the First Amendment, according to the Washington Times.
In a move that’s both breathtaking and doomed, 41 Senate Democrats and Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, are co-sponsoring a proposed constitutional amendment as a way of overturning Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance that they disagree with.
Simply put, they want Congress to have the power to decide what speech is permissible and what speech isn’t. It would be the beginning of the road to tyranny if it had a chance of passage. (See Cruz’s Wall Street Journal op-ed explaining it here.)
But amending the Constitution is no easy thing – thanks to the Founders. In addition to a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, an amendment would also need to be ratified by two-thirds of the states. That’s not going to happen with the First Amendment as long as the Republican Party controls either the Senate or the House.
And it probably won’t happen in the lifetime of anyone reading this.
Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate minority leader, called out the movement for what it is – a game initiated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to toy with America’s founding documents for the potential of political gain – or at least minimizing political losses – in the upcoming midterms.
“This proposal is never going to pass Congress,” McConnell said. “This is a political exercise and that’s all it is. The goal here is to stir up one party’s political base so they’ll show up in November.”
But the point is troubling.
Reid and his brethren Dems – would-be totalitarians – are willing to toy with the foundations of American democracy to try to save his “majority leader” title from voters tired of the last six years.
In comments quoted by Politioo, Cruz put the matter plainly.
“If this amendment passes, Congress can say, ‘you the citizens are no longer citizens, you’re subjects. Because we’ve repealed the First Amendment and taken away your ability to speak,” he said.
That, to answer his question, is where liberals are today.
Cruz was interviewed by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on the amendment Tuesday night. Check it out here. (Amendment discussion starts about the 1:30 mark.)
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