Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Catastrophic Blow to Democracy

Just when you thought that every last vestige of Democracy had already been shot down, now it's official.  Corporations no longer have to hide the cash they invest in our elections.  Thanks to the recent decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, corporations now have the right to donate unlimited amounts of money to politicians.

The 5-4 ruling reverses a century’s worth of federal legislation and court decisions limiting the influence of corporate money in politics.  From now on, all elected officials and the laws they enact will be funded by big corporations.  It is the worst decision made by the Supreme Court since Dred Scott in 1857, when the the Court ruled that people of African descent were not protected by the Constitution, could not be US citizens, and no law could prohibit slavery in federal territories. The Dred Scott decision resulted in the Civil War.

I wonder if Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will instigate another civil war?

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1 comment:

  1. Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor concurred in dissent hholding that The Court’s ruling "threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution."

    The dissent also held that The Court declaring §203 of BCRA facially unconstitutional was a ruling on a question not brought before them by the litigants, and so the majority "changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law."

    Stevens concluded his dissent with:
    "At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics."