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Thread: Bow to your Overlords: Supreme Court ends limits on corporate campaign spending

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    Default Bow to your Overlords: Supreme Court ends limits on corporate campaign spending

    Supreme Court ends limits on corporate campaign spending

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politic ... 37674.html

    By MICHAEL DOYLE
    McClatchy Newspapers

    WASHINGTON - A closely divided Supreme Court on Thursday swept away long-standing limits on campaign spending by unions and corporations.

    In a long-awaited decision, the court's emboldened conservative majority declared that the limits on so-called "independent expenditures" by corporations violate First Amendment free-speech rights. [!!!] The much-anticipated decision means that more money can be spent on federal elections, including this year's congressional elections.

    "The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether," Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the five-member majority.

    However, Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the four-member minority, warned that the ruling would harm the political system as well as the court's reputation. In striking down certain corporate campaign-spending limits, the court reversed its own earlier decision.

    "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation," Stevens wrote.

    The "independent expenditures" covered in the case called Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission are different from the campaign contributions that union and corporation political action committees make directly to candidates.

    Instead, the mostly closely watched political-speech case of recent years covers the money that corporations and unions spend from their own treasuries on ads and other advocacy efforts.

    The court's decision Thursday rolls back a key provision of the 2003 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold law. In doing so, justices took the relatively unusual step of explicitly overturning the court's own precedent.

    The PACs also can spend money independently, funding ads and the like. Under Section 203 of the McCain-Feingold law, however, unions and corporations couldn't directly finance from their own treasuries "electioneering" communications within 30 days of primaries and 60 days of general elections. These are messages that explicitly urge votes one way or another, or that are reasonably interpreted as having done so.

    The 1990 case Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce had upheld a state law that banned corporations from making independent expenditures using corporate funds to support or oppose candidates. The court's decision Thursday overturned the 1990 Austin ruling.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Fascism. Brought to you by the US Government and their corporate masters.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Yep. It's nearly full-on now.

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    Politicians should wear suits emblazoned with corporate logos showing who owns them just like athletes do.
    "If you are not outraged, then you are not paying attention," Heather Heyer's facebook quote.

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    Remember this day, everybody. This is one of those awful turning points in history.

    Jesus wept.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Goldman Sachs / AIG 2012!
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Really bad decision, but this was coming a long time ago.

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    Obama and some members of Congress are considering introducing a Constitutional Amendment to stop this, although it most likely won't happen, at least not yet. But there are other ideas and options:

    President Obama and congressional leaders have vowed to fight back against Thursday morning's Supreme Court decision rolling back restrictions on corporate campaign spending. Among the possible responses under consideration: an amendment to the Constitution.

    "It's time to take matters into our own hands to enact a constitutional amendment that once and for all declares that we the people govern our elections and campaigns, not we the corporations," said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) in a video produced by a coalition of progressive groups led by Public Citizen and Voter Action.

    "This is a ruling that really jeopardizes the rights of ordinary Americans to have a voice in the political process," Edwards told HuffPost.

    The suggested amendment would strip a corporation's personhood for First Amendment purposes. The Supreme Court ruled that federal restrictions on corporate money for campaign advertisements violated corporations' free speech rights.

    There is little chance that Democrats can amend the Constitution by Election Day this coming November. Election law professor Rick Hasen called the idea "ridiculous" in a blog post on Thursday.

    U.S. PIRG said that it is looking at other, more immediate options with the White House and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. Said PIRG's Lisa Gilbert, "We need to do something in time for the 2010 elections."

    One proposal is to reenact some corporate spending limits, though it's unclear how such a move could avoid an immediate and successful legal challenge. Another proposal, which Gilbert said has already been drafted, would give corporate shareholders a binding say over a corporation's spending on political advertisements. And several members of Congress have called for renewed support of the Fair Elections Now Act in the wake of the decision. The bill would create a public financing system for campaigns in which small donors' contributions are matched by federal funds.

    Donna Edwards, for her part, was skeptical of those options, saying the shareholder proposal would be ineffective because it would apply on a "corporation-by-corporation" basis. Besides, she said, shareholders already have that ability. In her view, the constitutional amendment, which would need to be ratified by two-thirds of both houses of Congress and three-quarters of the states, is the only way to go.
    Story continues below

    "I think the Supreme Court has actually left us with no choice," she said. "We hoped the court would have had a little more of a mixed ruling that would have left us with some options."

    Most Republicans have praised the ruling, but RNC chairman Michael Steele sounded an uneasy note: "While the Court's recognition that organizations have the freedom to speak on public issues and have their views protected from censorship is fundamental, the Court has now left an imbalance that disadvantages national parties in their ability to support their candidates."

    The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Democrats' ideas.

    The various proposals are still taking shape as policymakers scour the 183 page ruling. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said he planned to work with colleagues in the Senate to "explore every option to make sure that we do not turn back the clock on decades of precedent that was designed to prevent big corporation special interests from corrupting the political process."

    One Democrat, Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, didn't bother to wait for the court to deliver its widely-expected decision. Last week, the outspoken freshman introduced several bills, including the Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act and the Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act, to stymie corporate influence in elections.Constitutional Amendment Considered In Response To Supreme Court Decision On Campaign Finance (VIDEO)
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Well, we already have "Scott Brown! Brought to you by Playgirl!"

    Campaign buses from now on will look more like Nascar vehicles.

    Disgusting.

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Don't forget his rock chick wife.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    I want to see who Burger King supports!
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    I want to see who Tampax supports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brookie View Post
    I want to see who Tampax supports.
    Oh,lord yes! Would they have been honor bound to support Sarah Palin,no matter what?
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Honestly, a chill ran down my spine when I heard about this decision.

    On a related not, all those dumbshits out there who think they are populists and that the GOP is representing their interests are just letting themselves being manipulated by the corporations.

    Ugh, I want my country back.

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    All the dumbshits out there who think Democrats represent their interests are doing the same.

    Both parties are owned. Stop voting for either.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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