Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The First Amendment protects freedom of speech. It says Congress “shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,” etc.

The Founders assumed that individuals might sometimes combine to pursue common ends. Indeed, the First Amendment also safeguards our right of peaceable assembly, often called freedom of association. Obviously, we have this right not only up until the moment we assemble, but also even as we are assembling — even as we constitute a group pursuing a common cause.

In light of this, the gnashing of teeth over the Supreme Court’s expanding — really, recognizing — the right of persons in corporations to exercise freedom of speech seems silly. The rights of an individual, whether to utter a political thought, buy an ad or shop for groceries, do not disappear when he formally cooperates with others. But some persons regard corporations as such as morally suspect, and therefore properly subject to special restrictions.

An example is Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate of New York City. His official website lists non-media corporations that have not promised to gag themselves this campaign season. The website supplies the phone numbers of these companies so you can call to bemoan their offensive belief in reserving their rights.

Blogger Eugene Volokh has a different idea: Call de Blasio’s office to complain about his offensive belief in preemptive self-censorship. The number is (212) 669-7200. You can also send an email from the Public Advocate website.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

3 Comments

  1. Jay says:

    UNIONS, INCLUDING “PUBLIC SERVICE” UNIONS WERE ALSO GIVEN THIS RIGHT.

    WHY NO MENTION OF THIS? COULD IT BE THAT THEY ARE (PREDOMINANTLY) ( THE LEADERS, ANYHOW) LIBERAL AND ( THE LEADERS, AT LEAST) PRO-DEMOCRATS, PRO-BIG GOVERNMENT, REGARDLESS OF THE RANK AND FILE?

    AND THE RIDICULOUS BOYCOTT OF TARGET- BY THE GAYS-IN CAL., BECAUSE TARGET GAVE MONEY TO A CANDIDATE THEY DISLIKE, AND WANT TARGET TO GIVE TO THEIR CAUSE?

    SOUNDS LIKE BLACKMAIL AND/OR EXTORTION TO ME.

    I don’t buy at Target, because I choose not to; i don’t care who they (or Wal Mart or Penney’s or anyone else) gives to-I buy fro convenience and price and quality, in my mind. Nothing more nor less.

  2. ForFreedom says:

    Why hasn’t Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate of New York City, gagged himself? Should government employees be using taxpayer dollars to promote their political beliefs? No – because it’s tyranny. Bill should first be using his own money if that’s what he believes, but then he should gag himself. At least I’d feel better.

  3. Drik says:

    Public versus privat.

    People banding together in a company to do activities that people outside the group can voluntariy decide to participate in or not, and where both parties benefit,

    That’s bad?

    People banding together and then deciding that they will do activities that people outside the group who do not want to participate WILL participate and will be accosted at gunpoint to force their participation,

    That’s good?

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