To the Daily:

In his recent column, Chris Koslowski applauds the Supreme Court’s recent decision to strike down laws prohibiting unlimited corporate contributions to political action committees (A just defense of free speech, 02/09/2010).

This disturbing decision should not be applauded. It gives corporations unchecked monetary influence on our government, the same government that protects us from self-interested corporate attacks on everything from our financial markets to our environment. In other words, the Supreme Court has decided that the fox gets unlimited say over who guards the henhouse.

Koslowski argues that corporate contributions are protected by the First Amendment right to free speech. But the First Amendment isn’t an unlimited license. We have the right to prohibit free speech that endangers our society, like shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. The dangers of giving oil, banking, insurance and other powerful corporations unlimited power to influence government have been on display for decades.

Our founding fathers designed the Constitution to prevent powerful special interest groups from gaining too much influence and hijacking the government at our expense. The justices that voted to uphold campaign finance law were upholding the Founders’ original intent. They were defending the Constitution, not practicing judicial activism.

Our democratically elected representatives passed campaign finance laws to keep our government from being bought. We should applaud the four justices who almost succeeded in preserving them.

Paul Shearer

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