During the speech, the President leveled forceful and unprecedented criticism at the Supreme Court for its decision in Citizens United vs. FEC.
The Internet lit up!
The case was of interest to the Court as it involved censorship of a documentary film with a political message. The film (“Hillary: The Movie”) portrayed Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton in a negative light, and was to be screened before the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.
The President apparently believes that our First Amendment rights should be amended to restrict the viewing of this movie and similar ones. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, sided with the principle of freedom of speech and ruled that censorship of the film was unconstitutional.
While there are specific exceptions to the right of free speech, restrictions on political speech need protection rather than censorship. We carve out exceptions to free speech in our media (defamation – the use of slander and libel – is a notable example) and in our courts (perjury is justifiably restricted). But when we restrict political speech based upon the timing of the message and the messenger, we are on dangerous ground.
In the United States, our federal government has a decidedly anti-Republican slant. Federal agencies, like our colleges and universities, have few Republicans in their ranks. In addition, the Democratic Party now assigns administrative “Czars” to reward and correct (intimidate?) individuals who have business with the federal government. When these influences are combined with the Legislative and Executive branches being led by the Democratic Party, you get a sense of the tilt to the political “playing field.”
The Supreme Court is (currently) balanced by conservatives and liberals, with Justice Kennedy acting as the swing vote on the more significant decisions. The President perceives that with the United decision, the Supreme Court “crossed the line.” He wants to move the court to the correct (left) side of the political spectrum, and intends to work hard to achieve that result.
Our Constitution embraces the concept of Separation of Powers. While that idea in itself is not being challenged, a de facto usurpation of that provision is at work, and our Supreme Court is standing alone.
Increasingly, American politics is coming down to one central question:
Do you wish to be governed by the Democratic Party or by the Constitution?