To the editor,
In a recent letter to The Thistle, a writer expressed his opinion that the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United was “correct.” But clearly this decision, which unleashed an unprecedented flow of money into politics, remains in dispute, as it was at the time when four of the nine judges dissented.
Writing for the minority, Justice John Paul Stevens represented a longstanding legal tradition that distinguished between “natural persons,” or human beings, and “artificial persons” such as corporations. The 14th Amendment cited by The Thistle writer, which was passed in the wake of the abolition of slavery, grants legal protection of the law to “All persons born or naturalized in the United States.” Thus, many constitutional scholars believe it should not apply in all instances, such as political campaign spending, to “artificial persons.”
In any case, the point of a constitutional amendment that would allow for the regulation of campaign spending is to establish clarity on this issue. Therefore, I encourage the citizens of McFarland to vote “yes” on the advisory referendum that is on the April 3 ballot.