Bigger than Senator Brown: Rolling Back Democracy

21 Jan

The Supreme Court has overturned restrictions on campaign financing by ending the century-old bans on unions and corporations financing of elections.  I had meant to write that this decision was pending and going to have massive implications, but I never got around to it.

Citizens United, a small non-profit corporation, made a documentary called Hillary the Movie. Under long-standing law dating back to Theodore Roosevelt, corporations are forbidden from political advertising and donations.  This small corporation was forbidden from distributing the movie under election laws after losing a Federal Election Commission lawsuit.  This case went to the Supreme Court with Citizens United arguing that corporations are people and are entitled to free speech under the First Amendment and therefore the McCain-Feingold law of 2002 and other related campaign laws are unconstitutional.  This seemingly invalidates state laws against corporate contributions like in Texas, where Tom DeLay was indicted and the Texas Association of Business convicted for their illegal donations in the 2002 state elections.

The Supreme Court agreed (5 to 4) in what is to be one of the worst-ever decisions made in the history of Supreme Court.  Now corporations and unions will freely spend to better buy our corrupt democracy.

My solution?  Repeal the doctrine of corporate personhood which applied the Fourteenth Amendment rights of people to corporations.  In a bizarre 1886 decision called Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific, the Court held that corporations were people!  The implications of this decision are huge and must be seen in the Canadian documentary, the Corporation.  Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor thinks the original decision was wrong.

Let’s fight back!

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One Response to “Bigger than Senator Brown: Rolling Back Democracy”

  1. Nabeel January 21, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Terrible decision…I’m more for the reversal of the original case that states that corporations are “people.” Soon enough we will have corporations running for political office and wanting more tax breaks.

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