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Can I criticize Congress now?

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The First Amendment to the Constitution is designed as an impediment to government. “Congress shall make no law,” it begins. It shall make no law telling you what you can say, when you can say it, how much money you can spend spreading your message and expressing your opinion. It shall make no law abridging your freedom to speak, especially if you express your opinion of government and the people who run it.

And yet, that is exactly what many in Congress yearn to do. They wish to control who says what about whom and when they say it. They are particularly annoyed that certain conservative billionaires would spend large sums criticizing congressional incumbents, promoting their political opponents and expressing their opinions on public policy with the goal of persuading voters to their point of view. Thoroughly annoyed that the Supreme Court read the First Amendment and agrees this egregious conduct is allowable, they seek to amend the Constitution to void that annoying “no law” stuff. They wish to make many laws abridging freedom of speech, cloaked by a poll-tested veil called campaign finance reform.

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