In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that campaign finance laws barring businesses and unions from running issue ads before an election violated the right to free speech.
Theodore Olson, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said the ruling was "a victory for the First Amendment and the right of all Americans to participate in the political process.
"Speech about our government and candidates for elective office lies at the heart of the First Amendment," he said, "and the Court's decision vindicates the right of individuals to engage in core political speech by banding together to make their voices heard."
The McCain-Feingold law passed by members of Congress and signed into law by President George
W. Bush, in Olson's words: "restricted the right of individuals joined together in corporate form or in a union to engage in political speech when it mattered most — in the period immediately preceding an election."
That's a fundamentally un-American idea and a real threat to liberty.
Yet as law professor Bradley A. Smith, commissioner of the Federal Election Commission from 2000 to 2005 and now chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics, noted recently in the Wall Street Journal, some liberals are still determined to muzzle free speech.
"A national coalition, Move to Amend, seeks a constitutional amendment providing that 'artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities . . . shall have no rights,' " Smith wrote.
"The coalition seems oblivious to the fact that this would apply to campaign committees and nonprofits such as the NAACP and the Sierra Club, and would