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Does the First Amendment Cover Books, Movies or Netflix?: New at Reason

Monday, October 10, 2016 9:25
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At last night’s debate, Hillary Clinton promised to work to reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. That would be awful First Amendment protections most people, outside of the fog of partisanship, would agree are important.

A. Barton Hinkle writes:

Back in August, Netflix added a couple of political movies to its streaming service. The first was Funny or Die Presents: Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal: The Movie—an entertaining, extended jab at this year’s GOP presidential nominee. The second was Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

The question America now must ask itself is simple: Should Netflix be allowed to do this?

The answer to that, you might think, should be obvious. And yet to three members of the Federal Election Commission, it is anything but.

The FEC is split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. This leads to many stalemates and causes much teeth-grinding rage among those who would like it to crack down harder on political speech, especially by incorporated nonprofits such as the NRA and Planned Parenthood, which spend money on elections without disclosing their donors.

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