Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Laughs Just Keep Coming

Because we don’t already live in a plutocracy brazen enough to satisfy the company men at the Supreme Court, we now have this, a decision rendered in part in favor of Citizens United over the FEC—and Bush’s FEC at that. CU didn't want to have to release the names of its donors in order to smear Hilary Clinton with the release of a propaganda film just before the primary. While the court agreed that CU needed to disclose its donors, it went further and gave the whole oligarchy a belated Christmas present:
Erin Miller:
Justice Kennedy writes for the Court...Reversed in part, affirmed in part, and remanded...Austin v. Mich is overruled...And so is the part of McConnell v. FEC that upheld the restrictions on independent corporate expenditures...In dissent, or partial dissent is Stevens, joined by Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Breyer...Thomas also filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part...The Court does uphold the disclosure requirements for organizations like Citizens United...Justice Stevens' partial dissent is 90 pages...The majority opinion by Justice Kennedy is 57 pages

Tom Goldstein:
Much will depend on the wording, but today's decision is a small revolution in campaign finance law...The Court's decision overturns the previously settled distinction between corporate and individual expenditures in American elections...We will link to the opinions as soon as they are available...The decision presumably applies equally to state and local elections, given that the Court recognizes a First Amendment right...And the ruling almost certainly applies to both corporate and union treasury funds.
Zachary Roth writes at TPM that the concept of personhood for corporations is at the heart of the ruling. Basically, this means that because Constitutional rights are granted to those who are legal persons, and because corporations are considered to have legal personhood, their right to buy off the electorate via a saturation campaign funded by bottomless coffers fed mostly by contributers who have no control over where their money is going has been deemed by these 5 lackies as a right to free speech. This, coming out of a political philosophy that has striven for years to ensure actual human beings are allowed no Constitutional rights, and a court where 4 of the 5 justices actually dissented from giving those rights to untried men. Can I tell you how deeply I have loathed this legal precedent, which has withstood the test of time and, since it was first conceived, has caused untold misery to untold numbers of real live persons? Well, the floodgates are open now, and let the games begin! The risible part of all this is how the unions get tagged along with corporations, as though the AFL-CIO could match blows with Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, or ING.

Yes, it’s been an amusing week, alright. I wonder when some wise guy will come up with a Fouth Amendment defense to fend off the Freedom of Information Act?

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