Commentary: A different view of Citizens United

By Lorrie Gloede

I would like to comment on an Opinion piece by Judith Butler (“Overturning Citizens United is the right thing to do,” Feb. 29). Judging from other comments, I seem to be in the minority.

We are a representative constitutional republic, not a democracy. There is a difference.

It is not only congressional representatives who do the bidding of Big Money special interests. Ms. Butler mentions the Article V convention process as one way to propose amendments to the Constitution. It has been said there is Big Money behind the push for a convention. Money is an influencer at all levels of government.

Publius Huldah, a constitutional expert and retired attorney, says, “The ostensible purpose of Wolf PAC’s proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution is to circumvent or repeal the US Supreme Court’s opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010). The proposed amendment would permit the federal government to restrict political speech and campaign contributions by corporations. Such a proposed amendment would be a major step in eliminating free speech and the private use of money in this country.

She goes on to say: “1. The federal government does not now have the constitutional authority over the country at large to restrict any form of speech, to restrict campaign contributions, or to limit the spending of money. These are not enumerated powers delegated to the federal government. Furthermore, the exercise of such powers is expressly forbidden by the First Amendment… .

“2. The effect of the Wolf PAC amendment would be to increase the powers of the federal government over The People by delegating to the federal government the power to prevent or restrict certain groups and combinations of people from speaking in the public square on the critically important area of political speech.”

So, there is a serious downside to this amendment; namely, freedom. And it certainly is not fair because some people would be freer than others.

Publius believes that if our representatives were doing what they swore to do when they took office, we would not be having this discussion. There would be no need or desire to pay large sums of money to influence.

A state representative’s main job is to keep his or her state sovereign. Who even knows that, let alone does it?

The problem is not our Constitution and the need for it to be amended; it is a document full of enumerated, limited powers. The problem is that we ignore it. We need education at all levels, and to elect representatives who understand what their job is and who are not afraid to say no when an unconstitutional law or regulation comes our way.

If you don’t think we need education, ask candidates what the purpose of government is. It’s right there in black and white in our founding documents. Many will have to conjure up a reply because they do not know. Support the ones who do. That is the first step.

Lorrie Gloede is a resident of Dover.