Congressman John Yarmuth

Typically, we don’t think of attorneys as a rowdy bunch, but this Louisville Bar Association event could generate some heated exchanges.

The LBA is presenting U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and author Jeffery Clements for “Corporate Speech, Campaign Finance & the First Amendment” Friday at the LBA offices, Sixth and Main streets.

Yarmuth and Clements will offer an in-depth analysis of Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision establishing the concept that corporate speech is protected under the 1st Amendment.

Citizens United declared corporations “people,” and thus protected by 1st Amendment Free Speech rights, opening up campaign funding to unlimited spending by corporations and trade unions.

(The New Yorker has a detailed story here on how the Roberts Court orchestrated the Citizens United case and assured a predetermined outcome.)

Yarmuth, Third District representative from Louisville, has emerged as the most vocal congressional opponent of the Roberts Court ruling. Last December, Yarmuth introduced a proposal to amend the Constitution stating that financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment.

Yarmuth also proposes congress establish a public financing system that would be the sole source of funding for federal elections.

Jeffrey Clements, an attorney and author of “Corporations Are Not People,” is co-founder of Free Speech for People, a national, non-partisan campaign to overturn Citizens United.

 The LBA’s Public Interest Section in putting on the talk in partnership with the American Constitution Society.

The talk is scheduled 11 a.m. through  1 p.m.

Now that we have you all excited, this is not a free event, but considered continuing legal education, with fees up to $120.

That said, the LBA sometimes will suspend fees for the public. We’re checking ….

For more information, email questions to: [email protected]

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2 thoughts on “LBA presenting Rep. John Yarmuth and author Jeffrey Clements Friday on 'Citizens United,' 'corporations are people' ruling

  1. John Yarmuth is misleading the public. Prior to Watergate and the creation of the federal election commission. Natural persons “We The People” had the same freedom to pool money to pay the cost of printing and distributing materials advocating the election or defeat of a candidate as newspapers and broadcast stations.

    “Yarmuth introduced a proposal to amend the Constitution stating that financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment.”  He did not tell his constituents that  fortune 500 newspapers,  broadcast corporations and magazine publishers are exempt from the definition of “contribution, expenditure and coordination”!

    Since Watergate the “speech and press rights” of every living citizen, political party and organization in these United States have been restricted by campaign finance regulations that apply the definitions of “contribution, expenditure and coordination” to federal election campaigns!

    The campaign reforms following Watergate included a “press exemption” 2 USC 431 (9) (B) (i) which exempts only newspaper,  broadcast corporations and magazine publishers from the definition of “contribution, expenditure and coordination”. 

    These so called campaign finance reforms allow newspaper and broadcasters to raise and spend an unlimited pool of stockholder money from around the world to influence the political process in the United States including foreign owned newspapers and cable networks.

  2. John Yarmuth is misleading the public. Prior to Watergate and the creation of the federal election commission. Natural persons “We The People” had the same freedom to pool money to pay the cost of printing and distributing materials advocating the election or defeat of a candidate as newspapers and broadcast stations.

    “Yarmuth introduced a proposal to amend the Constitution stating that financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment.”  He did not tell his constituents that  fortune 500 newspapers,  broadcast corporations and magazine publishers are exempt from the definition of “contribution, expenditure and coordination”!

    Since Watergate the “speech and press rights” of every living citizen, political party and organization in these United States have been restricted by campaign finance regulations that apply the definitions of “contribution, expenditure and coordination” to federal election campaigns!

    The campaign reforms following Watergate included a “press exemption” 2 USC 431 (9) (B) (i) which exempts only newspaper,  broadcast corporations and magazine publishers from the definition of “contribution, expenditure and coordination”. 

    These so called campaign finance reforms allow newspaper and broadcasters to raise and spend an unlimited pool of stockholder money from around the world to influence the political process in the United States including foreign owned newspapers and cable networks.

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