Voting rights seen as protected under First Amendment

James C. Nelson, retired Montana Supreme Court justice, COUNTERPUNCH, February 21, 2022, suggests that the right to vote is a right of free speech. The Constitution protects symbolic speech, that is, nonverbal expressions in the form of protests, demonstrations, wearing buttons, t-shirts with messages, etc. Nelson says that voting is clearly a from of symbolic speech. For a Supreme Court that rules in Citizens United that money equals speech, it would seem that it should require strict scrutiny to state regulation of voting rights.

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