HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Senate to Vote on Bill of Rights Limitation in September

Senate to Vote on Bill of Rights Limitation in September

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has made clear that, during the Senate’s brief pre-election legislative session in mid-September, not only would he like to take another shot at undermining the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but he also intends to call up for a vote an amendment to the Unites States Constitution that could have serious consequences for all the freedoms of the First Amendment.

At issue in the latter case 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 earlier this year. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) last summer proposed a constitutional amendment (S.J.Res.19) to overrule these cases, and support for the amendment has grown to 49 Senators (none are Republican).

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, has called this proposal “convoluted” and “unacceptable,” and warned it would be “detrimental to liberty and equality, preparing the way for the government to prefer one voice over another – or to suppress one voice under another.” In a letter to the Chairman and to the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dr. Johnson particularly highlighted that this constitutional amendment includes a section reiterating the freedom of the press, but is silent on the other First Amendment liberties – namely, religion, speech, assembly, and petitioning the government. Dr. Johnson noted, “In essence, this would establish the press as a super-class of speaker (without defining what the press is), but could well leave expression by the rest of Americans at the mercy of the federal government. “

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has declared this attempt to be “an all-out assault on the right to free speech” and “a clear sign of just how desperate elected Washington Democrats have become in their quest to hold onto power.”

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

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: August 1, 2014

Latest News

NRB Calls for Defunding Planned Parenthood

As undercover videos have revealed key Planned Parenthood officials describing and negotiating the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, anger and scrutiny are increasing against the nation’s largest abortion organization.

Key Senator Expresses Concern with Supreme Court

Reflecting on the most recent Supreme Court term, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) this week said that the Court had a “very liberal bent this last term” and “more worrisome...

LPTV Highlighted at House Hearing

In a hearing featuring FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, low power television (LPTV) received significant attention, particularly from Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)...

Poll Explores Sentiment on Race Relations

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll showed that Americans generally have a negative impression of the state of race relations, noteworthy after tragedies around the nation, including at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nominate Your Organization for a 2016 NRB Media Award!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 14, 2015. A long-standing hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of the association’s most valued traditions.

Life Without Limbs Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Launches ‘Stand Strong’

Life Without Limbs, the international non-profit ministry of speaker, author, and evangelist Nick Vujicic, recently marked its 10th anniversary and launched a new campaign in celebration.

Want to Make an Impact in DC? Join the NRB President’s Council

From among its membership, NRB has been building up a select group of strategic partners who wish to bolster the work of the association through additional commitments of time, support, and financial resources.

NRB Members: Highlight Your Organization in NRB Today – for Free!

We are soliciting descriptions about NRB members to feature in our weekly e-newsletter, NRB Today, and on the NRB.org website.

Senate Funders Take Aim at Agencies

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee this week advanced legislation with provisions to restrict several agencies, particularly the FCC and the IRS.

Justice Alito Gives Insight into the Supreme Court

In a lengthy interview with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito provided insight into the high court’s procedures, commentary on recent cases, and some thoughts on baseball.

More News