Letter: First Amendment applies only to people

May 23, 2019
Greg Coleridge

The May 6 op-ed “Government shouldn’t dictate views we’re allowed to hear” by Bradley Smith presented a false choice of what to trust — the proposed 28th Amendment or the First Amendment.

Move to Amend’s proposed We the People Amendment (House Joint Resolution 48) declares that “artificial entities such as corporations do not have constitutional rights” and that political election spending “is not free speech.”

The First Amendment was intended to apply solely to human beings, not corporate entities. If money equals free speech, those with the most money have the most speech, which overwhelms the political voices of most people.

Regarding free speech and corporations, what gives the press its First Amendment rights is the fact that it’s the press, and not corporations.

First Amendment sacredness isn’t absolute. Smith can’t demand to speak for hours before Columbus City Council claiming “free speech rights” and the right of attendees to hear him.

The real choice isn’t between the First or proposed 28th Amendment. It’s between people possessing the legal authority to self-rule that promotes the health, safety and welfare of people, places and the planet ... or not.

Greg Coleridge, outreach director, Move to Amend Coalition, Cleveland Heights

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