Montana ACLU Divided Over Free Speech

Aaron Flint posted on April 09, 2012 15:14 :: 988 Views

Taking a stand in support of the First Amendment and the right to free speech should be a no-brainer for anyone attending an ACLU convention, but that apparently was not the case here in Montana recently. 

The Billings Outpost, a liberal newspaper, had this:

The ACLU’s defense of Citizens United has also created controversy, not only outside the ACLU but within its half a million members. The vote by ACLU directors on whether to support Citizens United was reportedly 36-33. When I asked the Montana ACLU director, Scott Crichton, about the chapter’s position on this issue, he said it was “nuanced.”

You really do have to check out this comical read in full from The Outpost. 

Kyle Gray countered that Fox News (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.) is a media company, and media companies would be exempt from controls over corporate speech. So overturning Citizens United would create the “Fox News Can Speak, Ben and Jerry’s Can’t Speak Law.”

Ellingson remarked that “ACLU is not absolutist,” and insisted that “the First Amendment is limited in certain accepted instances.” How can corporations “speak,” he asked, when they do not have “the ability to think, or have a conscience?”

I get it that some folks like Ellingson may not like the freedom of association.  I just find it hilarious that they show up at an ACLU convention and claim to stand up for civil liberties. 

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