1st Amendment Rights for Resident Aliens

July 3rd, 2014

In Justice Ginsburg’s Hobby Lobby dissent, in her efforts to stress that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, argues that resident aliens are “sheltered by the First Amendment.”

Continuing with the Court’s example, resident aliens, unlike corporations, are flesh-and- blood individuals who plainly count as persons sheltered by the First Amendment, see United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U. S. 259, 271 (1990) (citing Bridges v. Wixon, 326 U.S. 135, 148 (1945)), and a fortiori, RFRA.

Yet, the Court summarily affirmed the D.C. District Court in Bluman v. FEC, which found that resident aliens have restricted rights of free speech. It is odd that corporations have greater constitutional rights than resident aliens. But that means that Bluman was wrongly decided.