The Fecal Five strike again. In a very disappointing but not surprising ruling, the Supreme Court rejected corporate spending limits, thus affirming Citizens United. This morning, in a 5 to 4 vote (big shock there) the U.S. Supreme Court declared that corporations may spend as much money as they wish to influence elections, thus striking down the Montana law limiting corporate campaign spending.
The five conservative activists judges maintain the “personhood” identity to corporations: “corporations have a constitutional right to be heard in election campaigns.” Let me understand this. We will give corporations huge tax breaks, or not tax them at all, but they have the right to spend endless amount of money to support a candidate? Does this disturb anyone else?
Very sad for Montana, which was trying to limit corporate spending, so as to help prevent any type of corruption. The New York Times reports:
But Montana aggressively defended its 1912 law against a challenge from corporations seeking to be free of spending limits, and the state Supreme Court sided with the state. The state court said a history of corruption showed the need for the limits, even as Justice Anthony Kennedy declared in his Citizens United opinion that independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
While Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer pointed out the obvious flaws in Kennedy’s argument around corruption and corporate spending, their efforts were to no avail. My chief concern right now is the potential for the corrupt purchase of the Presidential election. More from the Times:
Ginsburg issued a brief statement for herself and Breyer saying that campaign spending since the decision makes “it exceedingly difficult to maintain that independent expenditures by corporations ‘do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.'”
Ginsburg appeared to be referring to the rise of unregulated super PACs that have injected millions of dollars into the presidential and other campaigns. She said the case “will give the court an opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”
Another larger looming question is what do we do with the Fecal Five who seem to have complete control over the Supreme Court?