Cruz To Dems On First Amendment: Where Did The Liberals Go?

Democrats really want to amend the Constitution to restrict Americans’ first amendment rights. Senator Ted Cruz called them out on it and asked them “When did elected Democrats abandon the Bill of Rights? Where did the liberals go?” He went on to cite liberals such as the late Senator Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold.

Cruz concluded by saying “And by the way Citizens United was about fining a movie maker who made a movie critical of Hillary Clinton. Mr. Chairman Ray Bradbury would be astonished, because we are seeing Fahrenheit 451 Democrats. Today, the American people should be angry about this, and Mr. Chairman, the Senators that put their name should be embarrassed that they have signed up for repealing the free speech amendment to the first amendment.”

The Democrats don’t have enough decency to be embarrassed.

Here’s the video, the full transcript of his remarks is below. (Via Grabien)

Begin Transcript:

CRUZ: “America is an exceptional country. When our country was founded, we crafted a constitution that Thomas Jefferson explained would serve as chains to bind the mischief of government. There has never been more mischief of government than there is right now. And the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the constitution, are precious to every American. The Bill of Rights begins with the first amendment. For over two centuries Congress has not dared to mess with the Bill of Rights. This amendment here today, if adopted, would repeal the free speech protections of the first amendment. Mr. Chairman, when citizens hear that they gasp. As immune as we are to abuse of power of government, citizens are still astonished that members of Congress would dare support repealing the first amendment. And let’s be clear, this amendment doesn’t just do it to for corporation or just do it to billionaires. Nothing in this amendment is limited to corporations or billionaires. This amendment would give Congress absolute authority to regulate the political speech of every single American with no limitations whatsoever. This amendments is about power, and its about politicians, silencing the citizens. Mr. Chairman, when did elected democrats abandon the Bill of Rights? Mr. Chairman, where did the liberals go? In 1997, when a similar amendment was introduced, here’s what Ted Kennedy said about it: “In the entire history of the Constitution, we have never amended the Bill of Rights and now is no time to start.” It would be wrong to carve an exception to the first amendment. Campaign finance reform is a serious problem but it does not require we twist the meaning of the constitution. Mr. Chairman, here’s what Democrat Russ Feingold said: ‘Mr. President, the Constitution of this country was not a rough draft. We must stop treating it as such. The first amendment is the bedrock of the Bill of Rights. It has as its underpinnings that each individual has a natural and fundamental right to disagree with their elected leaders.” Not if this amendment passes. If this amendment passes Congress can say, ‘you the citizens are no longer citizens, you are subjects, because we repealed the first amendment and taken away your ability to speak.’ Senator Feingold in 2001 said the following about a very similar amendment: ‘This proposed constitutional amendment would change the scope of the first amendment. I find nothing more sacred and treasured in our nation’s history than the first amendment. It is the bedrock of the Bill of Rights. It has as its underpinnings that every citizen has the fundamental right to disagree with his/her government. I want to leave the first amendment undisturbed.” Mr. Chairman, I agree with Ted Kennedy and Russ Feingold. And where are the liberals today? Why is there not a liberal standing here defending the Bill of Rights and the first amendment? Mr. Chairman, 42 Democrats have signed their name to a constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to muzzle Planned Parenthood and the National Right to Life. 42 Democrats have signed their name to giving Congress the right to muzzle Sierra Club, the National Rifle Association, and the Brady Center on Handgun Violence. To muzzle Michael Moore and Dinesh D’Souza. To muzzle the Teamsters at the National Education Association. To muzzle the NAACP. To muzzle the Anti-defamation League. To muzzle pastors and priests and rabbis that organize their parishioners to be involved in politics. Mr. Chairman, today I am introducing two bills to further protect the free speech rights of individuals. I will be discussing those later in this hearing. But I would note that this amendment, if adopted, would give Congress power to ban books and to ban movies. And by the way Citizens United was about fining a movie maker who made a movie critical of Hillary Clinton. Mr. Chairman Ray Bradbury would be astonished, because we are seeing Fahrenheit 451 Democrats. Today, the American people should be angry about this, and Mr. Chairman, the Senators that put their name should be embarrassed that they have signed up for repealing the free speech amendment to the first amendment.”

End Transcript