September 12, 2014

Campaign Finance Amendment Fails in the Senate

The Senate failed 54-42 to pass a proposed constitutional amendment restricting political speech Thursday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) voted against the measure, meaning it’s completely dead. If he wanted to bring it back, Senate rules dictate he’d have to vote “no.” As Sean Lengell of the Washington Examiner correctly notes, that means the amendment was “mostly intended as a campaign season stunt.” Reid has turned his fixation with the Koch brothers into a lame attempt to rally the leftist base, but restricting political speech should be a nonstarter. In fact, as Reason’s Jacob Sullum argues, “If clamoring for a clampdown on freedom of speech really does help Democrats get out the vote, that’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of their party. I find it hard to fathom why they want to be known as the team that tried to amend the First Amendment.” But that’s exactly what they tried to do. We’re glad they failed.

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