Jim McGovern came up with a genius plan to eviscerate Citizens United…

by wfgodbold

By amending the Constitution such that (H/T Eugene Volokh):

Section 1. We the people who ordain and establish this Constitution intend the rights protected by this Constitution to be the rights of natural persons.

Section 2. People, person, or persons as used in this Constitution does not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state, and such corporate entities are subject to such regulations as the people, through their elected state and federal representatives, deem reasonable and are otherwise consistent with the powers of Congress and the States under this Constitution.

Section 3. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to limit the people’s rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free exercise of religion, and such other rights of the people, which rights are inalienable.

Prof. Volokh focuses on the impact this will have on freedom of the press; since most media organizations are corporations, and Section 2 expressly excludes corporations from any constitutional protections of any kind (including freedom of the press), this will make it more difficult to raise capital.

That’s all well and good, but as I read Sections 1 and 2, it occurred to me that Jim “NRA F-rated” McGovern had inadvertently delivered the coup de grace to the “collective rights” argument for infringing on the Second Amendment (which, after Heller and McDonald, was already practically dead (you know, aside from certain reactionary holdouts)).

After all, if “people” refers to natural persons, how could it possibly mean the right to keep and bear arms in the service of a militia? Or as part of an army?

Sure, those aren’t corporations, but the Second Amendment refers to the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And if this new amendment explicitly states that the rights protected by the Constitution are the rights of natural persons (and an army or a militia is no more a natural person than a corporation is), I don’t see how you could consistently argue that in this one case, the right isn’t an individual right.

Well done, Jim McGovern.

In your misguided quest to infringe on free speech, you inadvertently euthanized the antiquated view that the right to keep and bear arms is not an individual right.

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