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Disagree with Shaw

Posted: March 19, 2010 10:47 p.m.
Updated: March 20, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Regarding Diana Shaw's column "So much for judicial restraint" (Feb. 7), I disagree on several bases.

First of all, restoring fundamental rights and liberties isn't "judicial activism." "Judicial activism" is inventing rights that don't even exist, like the "right of privacy" that didn't exist prior to Roe v. Wade.

All we've had prior to this decision is a situation in which select corporations have been able to electioneer all they want in the days leading up to an election, under essentially a preferential and privileged status, those corporations being the (mostly liberal) media and the major political parties.

Anybody here want to see them monopolize the discourse? Anybody? Bueller?

Now everybody gets to play. The NRA, Citizens United, Planned Parenthood, People for the American Way - everybody. And we'll be the better for it.

America is better off when the public square is raucous with the noise of public debate, with all ideas being able to compete, affording a wide range of choice to the electorate.

As to the ideas for "improving" the system:

"Public financing of elections": It's been tried; it was a flop. Also, who gets "financed?" Anyone who wants to run? Where's my check?
"Requiring companies to disclose money used to influence political opinion": Disclosure laws remain unchanged. They already exist. What does "influence public opinion" mean? Ads for their products?

"Requiring approval of the majority of shareholders for political expenditures": I'm sure that if the majority of shareholders object to such expenditures right now, the board is going to have a problem on their hands.

"Amending the Constitution": Perfectly legitimate. Go for it.

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