The Supreme Court on Thursday dealt a major blow to democracy, which will reverberate throughout the American political system for a long time, unless somehow the Congress can overcome the decision by legislation, which is highly unlikely, certainly in the short run! 🙁
In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the five member conservative Court majority of Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts radically reversed one hundred years of campaign law, including the more recent McCain-Feingold legislation, and allowed corporations unfettered access to involve themselves in any way they wish and in any amount of funding they wish to invest in electoral politics in America.
The Gilded Age of 1868-1896 was infamous for the corruption that was endemic with corporate support of politicians who backed corporate monopoly. This is what led to the Progressive Era, New Deal, Great Society and more recent efforts to restrict corporate ability to affect the American political system.
Now, in one fell swoop, the political system goes back to the late 19th century mentality, and highly benefits conservatives and Republicans over liberals and progressives and Democrats. At a time when it is obvious that there is too much coziness as it is between corporate America, conservatives and Republicans, the majority Republican court picked by Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes now has the capacity to dominate the future of American politics, and defeat Democrats, liberals, and progressives attempting to equalize opportunity for those people and classes that have never had a fair shake in our country, and have seen brief bursts of reform followed by constant retrenchment once the conservative forces regained supremacy.
The chances of real change and reform now under President Obama are greatly restricted by this Court decision, and it makes a mockery of the idea that the Scalia influenced Court majority that is supposedly “originalist” and believers in limited powers, is pursuing that, as this marks another example of the radicalism and activism of the Court, as was the case in the infamous Bush v Gore case on the 2000 presidential election.
Now conservatives talk through both sides of their mouth, about limited government while establishing more activist government in favor of the rich and the powerful over the masses of Americans who are not rich and powerful.
Now the corporations with their unlimited treasuries can blackmail politicians to do their bidding or they will be defeated by funding campaigns that will make past spending look like a minor investment! To call this case free speech is a mockery of the First Amendment, as how can corporations be considered “people”? It is similar to the Gilded Age period when the Supreme Court corruptly used the 14th Amendment, originally passed to promote “due process” and “equal protection” for African Americans and other minorities, to protect corporations’ rights to develop into monopolies!
Have we come through a whole century of working toward electoral reform to see it destroyed by this radical Court majority that shows it has no principle but its own aggrandizement? 🙁 Chief Justice Roberts has been a sore disappointment, as he pledged a limited Court approach during his confirmation hearings in 2005, but now has been dazzled by the “activist conservative” approach of Antonin Scalia, who has “twins” named Thomas and Alito to copy him as if he is a deity! And Justice Kennedy, who occasionally swings to the left, unfortunately two thirds of the time swings to the right and seems more than ever to be the only hope for those on the left, but less and less often as each case arrives and he, more than ever, goes to the right!
More than ever, it is essential somehow to convince Justice Kennedy to reconsider his move to the right or else some other way gain a fifth vote to reverse the damage to democracy this horrible case has wrought! 🙁
Certainly, this is one of the very worst decisions of the Supreme Court in recent times, and really, in all the history of the Supreme Court. The Court majority should be condemned openly for what they have done, working against our democratic system! 🙁