Ted Cruz’s Amendment to the Citizens United Amendment: The First Amendment

June 20th, 2014

On Wednesday, the Senate held a meeting on the Amendment that would amend the First Amendments, giving Congress the power to regulate various aspects of speech and expenditures concerning elections. Alas, I went to attend the hearing, but it was full, and there was no overflow room. So I listened to it on the line in the hallway, watching it on someone’s iPhone. I was particularly disappointed that I couldn’t get in because Senator Ted Cruz gave a passionate defense of free speech. You know something is awry in our constitutional constellation when a Republican Senator from Texas is praising the ACLU on free speech, and 42 Democrats are bucking the ACLU on free speech. Though his best line was when he said he “had more faith in the Bill of Rights than in any elected official.” He later made clear that he doesn’t “trust politicians in Washington of either party, not with something as vital as liberty.”

And then he said there are no Madisons around today.

You think of the framers who crafted the Bill of Rights, you think of Madison, you think of Jefferson, you think of Hamilton, if you look around this committee you don’t see any Madisons or Hamiltons. I find it interesting that 41 democrats think they know better the framers…

(Jefferson didn’t frame the Bill of Rights, anyway). Cruz added that the 42 democrats who supported this bill should be “embarrassed” for thinking they are wiser than Madison and Jefferson and Hamilton.

I was told Senator Dick Durbin gave him a blank stare. I’ll note that Durbin cited Justice Stevens’s book as a model of how we should amend our Constitution.

Watch the video, and enjoy.