Congressman John Yarmuth

Typically, we don’t think of attorneys as a rowdy bunch, but this Louisville Bar Association event could generate some heated exchanges.

The LBA is presenting U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth and author Jeffery Clements for “Corporate Speech, Campaign Finance & the First Amendment” Friday at the LBA offices, Sixth and Main streets.

Yarmuth and Clements will offer an in-depth analysis of Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, the 2009 U.S. Supreme Court decision establishing the concept that corporate speech is protected under the 1st Amendment.

Citizens United declared corporations “people,” and thus protected by 1st Amendment Free Speech rights, opening up campaign funding to unlimited spending by corporations and trade unions.

(The New Yorker has a detailed story here on how the Roberts Court orchestrated the Citizens United case and assured a predetermined outcome.)

Yarmuth, Third District representative from Louisville, has emerged as the most vocal congressional opponent of the Roberts Court ruling. Last December, Yarmuth introduced a proposal to amend the Constitution stating that financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment.

Yarmuth also proposes congress establish a public financing system that would be the sole source of funding for federal elections.

Jeffrey Clements, an attorney and author of “Corporations Are Not People,” is co-founder of Free Speech for People, a national, non-partisan campaign to overturn Citizens United.

 The LBA’s Public Interest Section in putting on the talk in partnership with the American Constitution Society.

The talk is scheduled 11 a.m. through  1 p.m.

Now that we have you all excited, this is not a free event, but considered continuing legal education, with fees up to $120.

That said, the LBA sometimes will suspend fees for the public. We’re checking ….

For more information, email questions to: [email protected]