Tom Udall: the anti-first amendment Senator from New Mexico

What a badge of honor for New Mexico; Our senior senator, Tom Udall is the lead sponsor of legislation that would put Congress in control of our free speech rights. Remember, the First Amendment which used to be really popular on the political left. That First Amendment says

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

As Paul Jacob points out at his “Common Sense” commentary, Udall’s proposed Constitutional Amendment, Senate Joint Resolution 19, would rewrite the First Amendment to give powerful congressional incumbents “complete and total control over all money to be raised or spent by their competitors.”

These are the same incumbents that “already enjoy a tremendous name recognition advantage over their challengers.” As Jacob asks, “What happens when incumbents limit campaign spending too low for challengers to compete?”

Good questions. The sad thing is that Udall’s misguided amendment has the support of 35 of anti-speech Democrats including the junior Senator from New Mexico, Martin Heinrich.

To their credit, the ACLU which supports “campaign finance reform,” also supported free speech in the Citizens United case on campaign finance. I’ll be checking with the ACLU to get their views on Udall’s anti-First Amendment amendment.