Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supreme Court Overturns Corporate Campaign Spending Limits

The Supreme Court just struck down a key campaign-finance restriction that bars corporations from pouring money into political ads, and the ruling divided the court along ideological lines with the newest justice, Sonia Sotomayor, joining the liberal wing in dissent.
The ruling is a victory for Washington-based Citizens United, the corporation that created “Hillary: The Movie.” The 90-minute film, which creators sought to air on a video-on- demand channel during Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, features interviews with a number of prominent critics of the New York senator, including Ann Coulter and Newt Gingrich.
Guess who helped fund Citizens United? Wealthy sources, like the Betsy & Dick DeVos Foundation.

So, what's at stake? This is what a constitutional law expert had to say.
"American citizens have repeatedly amended the Constitution to defend democracy when the Supreme Court acts in collusion with democracy's enemies, whether they are slavemasters, states imposing poll taxes on voters, or the opponents of woman suffrage. Today, the Court has enthroned corporations, permitting them not only all kinds of special economic rights but now, amazingly, moving to grant them the same political rights as the people. This is a moment of high danger for democracy so we must act quickly to spell out in the Constitution what the people have always understood: that corporations do not enjoy the political and free speech rights that belong to the people of the United States." [emphasis added]
Voter Action, Public Citizen, The Center for Corporate Policy, and the American Independent Business Alliance have started an organization - Free Speech for People - in an effort to correct the damage the Supreme Court has done to the First Amendment, and the only way that's possible is to pass a constitutional amendment of our own that puts people ahead of corporations.

Please read their resolution and sign your name in support. What the Supreme Court did today dramatically dilutes the vote and the voice of every American who does not control a large corporate treasury. And the decision unleashes billions of dollars in corporate money to dominate legislatures and elections. The problem actually goes beyond money in politics and elections, "The courts have used the fabrication of the First Amendment corporate rights doctrine to strike down a range of democratic enactments in recent years, from those concerning clean and fair elections; to environmental protection and energy; to tobacco, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, and health care; to consumer protection, lottery, and gambling; to race relations, and much more."

Free speech is for people — not corporations. Please join their campaign and protect our democracy.

(Cross-posted at Blogging for MI.)


Jolly Roger said...

I don't know what disgusts me more-the fact that the SCOTUS is packed with a cabal of dishonorable hacks, or that our supposed "representatives" allowed them to get there.

Stick a fork in us. We're done.

Kvatch said...

"American citizens have repeatedly amended the Constitution to defend democracy when the Supreme Court acts in collusion with democracy's enemies..."

...which, this time around, has absolutely no chance of working.

This SOTUS decision guarantees that no member of Congress will dare to go against the interests of corporations, who can now simply unseat any errant politician. And that includes an representative that dares to bring a constitutional amendment to the floor that would strip corporations of their new rights under Amendment 1 of the Constitution.

Game over.

K. said...

It was a terrible decision, explicable only when viewed through the prism of extreme right-wing judicial activism. (I love saying that about them!) The one hope -- and it's for down the road -- is that the decision has been so widely derided for contorted logic and for going beyond the scope of the original case that its ripe for being overturned.