Kentucky Republican state Senator: the First Amendment protects my right to receive bribes


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Let me be the first to say it: Christ, what an asshole.


Well, does it? Money is Speech, and corporations that bribe are “people”. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be true. Though I could see courts ruling without ruling.



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I think that maybe, the first amendment protects someone’s right to offer a bribe but it doesn’t protect someone’s right to receive one.


Well yes. Seems like a perfectly reasonable interpretation of Citizens United to me.

It makes me almost think that these senators are doing this deliberately to highlight the absurdity of the law.


I think he is completely right, as the law exists now. If corporate money is speech, then that speech gets all the protections of any other speech. Of course that also means that ordinary speech by individuals is irrelevant now.


Offering a bribe to someone else is conspiracy to commit a crime, if they follow along.

(No sure if “attempted bribery” is on the books.)


Um. I apologize for stating the obvious, but I suppose somebody must do it.

The US Constitution doesn’t forbid limits to action or speech. It allows us to limit crime, for the good of society. Any limit to criminality will limit action or speech. If it doesn’t limit action or speech, it will not limit the crime. Balancing conflicts like this is the essence of the US Constitution.

The discussion on limiting bribes and influence over government actors is more ancient than the Phoenicians. There is no new legal ground here. John Schickel and his cronies must have a pretty low opinion of the law and the courts.


This is the natural extension of Citizens United, McCutcheon, and the slew of other SCOTUS decisions that have been slowly transmogrifying money into speech since before I was born.


I have to appreciate his candor here.


Ordinary billionaires can have as much speech as any other ordinary billionaire, collectivist.


Seriously, is there a huge distinction between the unchecked systemic control over the US government through legal donations and bribes? Rule of law aside?


Civics Class was apparently not part of his edumacation.


The Senator has just provided the best argument against Citizens United I’ve heard so far. The ruling undermines the very fabric of our republic by eroding the foundations of democracy as it allows for naked bribery of the elected class in direct opposition to the mandate of the people.


General question: Using the senators logic, wouldn’t taxation - of any kind - then be a violation of 1A as that would be suppressing my “speech” by taking away my ability to “put my money where my mouth is”? The income taxes I pay “clearly” represent bribes that I don’t get to make because the ability to do so was taken away from me :cry:


You can’t compel me to speak, and money is speech.

Could work (It’ll have a lot to do with the bent of the judge this eventually gets in front of). Against the IRS? Less likely.


Fundamentally, the first amendment is about the “Freedom to Contract”, the right to o trade a quid for a quo. The political and religious implications are largely a side effect.


According to whom? Perhaps my own ignorance of the history behind this, but it sounds to be a particularly Tea Party/Bircher interpretation (most visible in their demands that they can constitutionally refuse service to gay persons and ethnic minorities)