HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Senate Democrats Want Constitutional Limit on First Amendment

Senate Democrats Want Constitutional Limit on First Amendment

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Conference, has called for a vote on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would serve as a limitation on the First Amendment.  “The First Amendment is sacred, but… the First Amendment is not absolute. By making it absolute, you actually make it less sacred to most Americans. We have to bring some balance to our political system,” he declared during a hearing last week.

At issue is Democrats’ frustration with the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinions on campaign finance and political speech, specifically the Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision in 2010 and the McCutcheon v. FEC decision last month. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) last summer introduced a bill (S.J.Res.19) that would insert in the Constitution, “To advance the fundamental principle of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity of the legislative and electoral processes, Congress shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections…”  Thus far, 39 Senate Democrats, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), have co-sponsored this bill.

In a scathing Op-Ed titled “Rewriting the First Amendment,” the Wall Street Journal stated, “The larger story here is how far the American left is willing to go to cripple their political opponents. They're even willing to write a giant loophole into America's founding charter so Congress can limit political speech.” 

Amendments to the U.S. Constitution require the 2/3 support in both the House and the Senate, and then ratification by 3/4 of the States.

  • Watch this hearing, featuring former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
  • Find the full text of Senator Tom Udall’s proposed constitutional amendment.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: May 9, 2014

Latest News

NRB President to Speak on Free Speech, Marriage at Values Voter Summit 2014

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, will lead a powerful dialogue about recent attacks to our freedoms of religion and speech during this weekend’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.

Worldwide Prayer Vigil for Imprisoned Pastor Saeed Abedini on Friday, Sept. 26

Naghmeh Abedini, whose husband has been imprisoned for his faith in Iran for nearly two years, is inviting Christians around the world to band together on Friday September 26 - the two-year anniversary of Pastor Saeed Abedini’s sentencing to an Iranian prison.

NRB Chairman Bill Blount Speaks at BJU Media Forum

NRB Chairman of the Board Bill Blount was the distinguished speaker last week for the Media Forum of Bob Jones University's Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.

In Memoriam: R. B. ‘Jack’ Turney, Founder and Chairman of Spoken Word of God Ministries

R. B. "Jack" Turney, Founder of Spoken Word of God Ministries, went home to be with the Lord on September 15 at the age of 91.

NRB Cautions Against House ENDA Petition

Many House Democrats this week made a procedural move that, if successful, would threaten religious liberty.

Samaritan’s Purse Doctor Testifies on Ebola

President Barack Obama and Members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee heard directly from a Samaritan’s Purse doctor who had...

NRB Hosts Roundtable on ‘The Internet Highway and the Rules of the Road’

Last week, NRB’s John Milton Project for Free Speech and The Heritage Foundation co-hosted a roundtable discussion on the future of Internet regulation, the FCC’s “net neutrality” proposal, and the dynamics of innovation/free market and citizen free speech on the Web.

FCC Chairman Testifies Before House Panel

Activities at the FCC, including the net neutrality proceeding and FCC process reform, were topics of interest at committee hearings across Capitol Hill this week.

NRB President’s Council Members Gather for Capitol Hill Media Summit

Members of the NRB President’s Council gathered in Washington, DC, last week for the 2014 Capitol Hill Media Summit.

Franklin Graham Festivals in North America Draw More than 65,000

The Franklin Graham Festival of Hope in Toronto, Canada, drew a highly diverse crowd last week, and counselors ministered to inquirers in six various languages.

More News