Signature needed: Senate will vote on Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United


The Daily Kos has a petition discussed in the post  Signature needed: Senate will vote on Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United.

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions opened the floodgates of unlimited campaign spending by the 1%, which threatens our democracy.

And the Court will keep ruling this way, as long as we subscribe to the absurd notion that money is “speech.”

However, Senator Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) has sponsored a constitutional amendment to give Congress the power to pass campaign contribution limits and spending limits. A vote is expected in the coming months.

I signed the petition, and added the comment:

We should have a constitutional amendment banning the use of invalid syllogisms as a justification for any ruling.

The link above shows that Google has the definition of syllogism as “a formal argument in logic that is formed by two statements and a conclusion which must be true if the two statements are true.”

Note that is is very important that the two initial statements must be true for the conclusion to be true. If either of the two initial statements are “money is speech” or “corporations are people”, then you know that the logic does not validate that conclusion that corporations are allowed to make unlimited political contributions.

Maybe I ought to be referring to WikiPedia‘s explanation of the actual meaning of begging the question.

Begging the question means “assuming the conclusion (of an argument)”, a type of circular reasoning. This is an informal fallacy where the conclusion that one is attempting to prove is included in the initial premises of an argument, often in an indirect way that conceals this fact.[1]

Maybe the footnote 1 above is even a better definition of the problem.

Garner, B.A. (1995). Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. Oxford Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. Oxford University Press. p. 101. ISBN 9780195142365. LCCN 95003863. “begging the question does not mean “evading the issue” or “inviting the obvious questions,” as some mistakenly believe. The proper meaning of begging the question is “basing a conclusion on an assumption that is as much in need of proof or demonstration as the conclusion itself.” The formal name for this logical fallacy is petitio principii. Following are two classic examples: “Reasonable men are those who think and reason intelligently.” Patterson v. Nutter, 7 A. 273, 275 (Me. 1886). (This statement begs the question, “What does it mean to think and reason intelligently?”)/ “Life begins at conception! [Fn.: ‘Conception is defined as the beginning of life.’]” Davis v. Davis, unreported opinion (Cir. Tenn. Eq. 1989). (The “proof”—or the definition—is circular.)”

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