In a misguided decision, the Supreme Court yesterday declared corporations ‘persons’ and as such are able now to pour billions of dollars into backing whatever lawmaker will benefit the corporation’s bottom line. Is this a good thing? Probably not.
A 63-year-old law limiting political spending by labor and big business was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court today in a landmark decision that called any ban a restraint of free speech. With a stroke of the pen, five justices wiped out a century of American history devoted to preventing corporate corruption of our democracy.
Conservatives, though, hailed the ruling. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader, praised the court for “restoring the First Amendment rights” of corporations and unions.
“By previously denying this right, the government was picking winners and losers,” McConnell said. I wonder how this is fact Mitch?
On NPR, Newt Gingrich said that today’s Supreme Court decision was a victory for the American middle class. I wonder how? No citizen is needed in the electoral process any more.
What about the small donor who because of their financial situation is limited in the amount they can offer to a candidate. No longer are corporations limited to the amount they can spend on a candidate, using vast profits to accomplish. They can now drown out the middle class.
Think about this for a moment. I don’t have the scratch necessary to create a commercial yet Exxon Mobile has tons to pour into commercial after commercial promoting a different candidate with no oversight what so ever.
That is just wrong. The decision essentially means that if a corporation wanted to spend millions of dollars of its own money on its own issues ads in support of a candidate, it may do so.
So a candidate who wants to get elected so he can vote for a climate change bill may be confronted with a deluge of cooperate monies from fossil fuel companies to shout him down. You could probably think of your own examples.
In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens, calling the decision a “radical change” in the law, said, “The court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.”
On NPR, Newt Gingrich said that today’s Supreme Court decision was a victory for the American middle class. I wonder how? Citizens may not be needed in the electoral process any more.
This decision is ugly. What is their agenda? Who bought them?
“This is the worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott case,” Alan Grayson the freshman congressman from Florida said. “It leads us all down the road to serfdom.”
He predicts “If we do nothing, then before long, there won’t be senators from Oklahoma or Virginia, there will be senators from Citibank and Wal-Mart.” And he muses, “Maybe they will wear insignias on their $500 suits, like NASCAR drivers do.”
Grayson has already introduced five bills to curb the court’s ruling and “save our democracy.”
There was a time when corporations could not donate directly to candidate. The court’s decision drops that proviso so that now they can use unlimited monies now. It is not individuals donating monies, it comes from the profits these companies earn.
Kiss health reform good-bye or banking reform legislation so the global economic crisis that brought the world to its knees would not happen again.
I’ll end with Justice Paul Steven’s desenting remarks which he gave in open court yesterday.
“The court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.”
The opinion is “a rejection of the common sense of the American people.” Corporations “are not themselves members of’ We the People,’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”