Letter: Citizens United decision didn't give corporations same rights as people

February 17, 2014 

Regarding the letter, "Reverse Citizens United," in the Feb. 16 Herald. The writer claims the Supreme Court ruled, "corporations are persons, entitled by the U. S. Constitution to the same rights as people."

The court found congressional prohibition of showing a political TV program within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election by a corporation violated the First Amendment.

The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Nowhere does the court's decision say "corporations are persons." It doesn't grant rights such as the right to vote, worship or run for elected office, which citizens have.

Annulling free speech to corporations would prohibit organizations such as the National Rifle Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Jewish Appeal, Fox News, the Republican and Democratic parties, to name a few widely diverse groups, from promoting their opinions.

Political conflict permits us to consider all sides of an issue in order to make good decisions and good laws.

JERRY GREENFIELD, Richland

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