State Supreme Court Delivers a Body Blow to Free Speech

Author: Rory B. Bellows

New Jersey’s Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the 2005 Pay to Play Law. This law forbid contractors who made donations in excess of $300 to state candidates from doing business with the government.

While some may celebrate this ruling as a victory for “clean” government, it is anything but. Limiting campaign contributions based soley on occupation is rationing speech. The State Constitution protects the rights of free speech when it says, “Every person may freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right. No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press.”

Funny, I see the phrases “every person may speak freely” and “No law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech,” but I see no mention of Government contractors or campaign contributions.

Once again, you have the State Supreme Court injecting feel good liberalism into what should be an easy decision that renders the Pay to Play law unconstitutional. Time and time we have seen the Supreme Court of this state pay no mind to the document they are bound to uphold. If you want the constitution to change with the times, you amend it. You don’t go around saying it means whatever you think it means at that moment in time. Otherwise, there is no point in having a constitution or any elected representatives. We might as well live in a dictatorship.

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