Agree/Disagree
_______ 1. Government should be able to punish the Sierra Club if it were to run an ad immediately before a general election, trying to convince voters to disapprove of a Congressman who favors logging in national forests.
_______ 2. Government should be able to punish the National Rifle Association if it were to publish a book urging the public to vote for the challenger because the incumbent U. S. Senator supports a handgun ban.
_______ 3. Government should be able to punish the American Civil Liberties Union if it creates a website telling the public to vote for a presidential candidate in light of that candidate’s defense of free speech.
_______ 4. “The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.”
_______ 5. “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”
_______ 6. “When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

  • Should private companies, corporations, and labor unions be able to give as much money as they wish to support candidates sympathetic to their interests?
    • How have various campaign finance laws restricted the political activities of groups, including corporations and unions.
  • Do you believe these companies, corporations, industries, and labor unions hope to receive political favors in return for the financial contributions? If so, what form might they take?
  • Do limitations on campaign contributions from individuals who represent certain companies, industries, and labor unions infringe upon their First Amendment freedom of speech? Explain.
    • Do you believe that the First Amendment should protect collective speech (i.e. groups, including “special interests”) to the same extent it protects individual speech? Why or why not?
    • “A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.