Below, two chilling excerpt from an article by Haley Sweetland Edwards in the Washington Monthly Magazine online. Read the excerpts, shudder, then read the entire terrifying piece here:
"And if industry goes on to win the war—if they collect a body of First Amendment case law establishing that corporations’ First Amendment-protected speech cannot reasonably be fettered by economic regulation—our society will be in a world of hurt. There will be no corporate transparency whatsoever. No way to enforce workers’ rights. No way to compel companies to protect investors or shareholders. And all regulations that require corporate disclosure, including most financial regulations, will cease to exist in any meaningful way."
***"By claiming that the government cannot, under the Constitution, compel companies to 'engage in speech they would not otherwise issue,' NAM is essentially undercutting nearly alleconomic regulation. 'If that seems alarmist, it’s not,' wrote University of Tulsa law professor Tamara Piety, the author of Brandishing the First Amendment. In the legal context, the current definition of 'speech' is famously fuzzy and could, depending on the situation, include very nearly everything a company does, from advertising and performing financial transactions to transferring data and utilizing computer algorithms. So if NAM’s claim were true, it’s very possible that the government couldn’t regulate any of those activities. 'If you cannot regulate commercial speech,' Piety wrote, 'you cannot regulate commerce, period.'”