Monday, January 25, 2010

Democracy?


 Seated left to right: Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Justice John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Clarence Thomas. Standing left to right: Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr., Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Photo Credit: Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States


 Here it is and I can't believe they got away with it

 
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), the Court ruled that federal restrictions on corporate electoral advocacy under the BCRA were unconstitutional for violating the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The Court overruled Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), which had previously held that a law that prohibited corporations from using treasury money to support or oppose candidates in elections did not violate the First or Fourteenth Amendments. The Court also overruled the part of McConnell that upheld such restrictions under the BCRA.[9]

Here at the Pagan Sphinx blog, I cannot let another day go by without expressing my outrage over the recent U.S. supreme court ruling  on campaign financing. The effect of the ruling is that corporations and unions can now spend freely on political ads directly related to a candidate, and with no time restrictions.

There isn't enough time before our planet is truly on its death-bed to recover democracy in the U.S. The Supreme Court has now officially given our country's elections up to the entities that have the most money: the corporations. He who spends most wins the most twisted votes.

The corporations already have the most power. They don't need more freedom to speak. Do we want the same bunch that have ruined our environment and our economy, now deciding who we should vote to protect their interests? I can't believe this is what we want in the U.S. But then again, I never dreamed a Republican would replace Ted Kennedy in the Senate, either.

from an opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor

But on reflection, the idea that more speech is always better should seem just as ridiculous as the idea that corporations should have equal moral standing with people. Speech is plainly bad for democracy if it misleads voters. It might even be bad if it affects views by repetition rather than persuasion, if it is simply so pervasive that it effectively drowns out competing voices. Read the whole article here.


 Shoddy Scholarship

Huffington Post:  Supreme Court Rolls Back Campaign Finance Restrictions


6 comments:

  1. I'm happy to see your post. I have not been able to express my feelings on this. I am literally speechless. (and how appropriate is that?)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Talk about a "bloodless coup!"

    This is the most undemocratic (though typically American) turn our country could possibly have taken, and I agree that the time remaining to fix this has just about run out - especially since any efforts in that direction will now be swimming upstream against a tsunami of corporate sewerage.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A corrupt 19th Century Supreme Court created the legal fiction of "corporate personhood" which is the basis of this ruling. That legal fiction must be overturned.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bobbie: yeah. kinda gets to you, doesn't it?

    CR: I just got through listening to our daughter explain to me all of the subtleties of this ruling. I now feel humbled at how much I don't know about these things. Sometimes I feel like one needs to be scholar of constitutional law to have a full understanding of the proceedings that led up to such decisions. Me, I'm just trying to get a grip on the basics of this, which doesn't take a scholar to figure out that this is the wrong decision for democracy.

    libhom: as I said above, there is a lot I don't know. I didn't know that corporate personhood was the basis for the ruling. Thanks. I'll have to mention that aspect of it to SG1 so I can learn more. She is my teacher in these matters, since I don't really have a head for politics. I guess I would say that I am political only because I feel a moral obligation to try to understand the actions of my government and try to act when I feel it is wrong.

    ReplyDelete

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