Supreme Court Overturns Campaign Funding Laws 14 replies

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Phoenix_22 Advanced Member

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23rd September 2004

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#1 11 years ago

Not a fan of politicians seeking the money and support from corporations and unions? Well guess what, it's about to get worse:

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

By a 5-4 vote, the court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for their own campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

It leaves in place a prohibition on direct contributions to candidates from corporations and unions.

Critics of the stricter limits have argued that they amount to an unconstitutional restraint of free speech, and the court majority apparently agreed.

"The censorship we now confront is vast in its reach," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion, joined by his four more conservative colleagues.

However, Justice John Paul Stevens, dissenting from the main holding, said, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation."

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined Stevens' dissent, parts of which he read aloud in the courtroom.

The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

Advocates of strong campaign finance regulations have predicted that a court ruling against the limits would lead to a flood of corporate and union money in federal campaigns as early as this year's midterm congressional elections.

The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, removes limits on independent expenditures that are not coordinated with candidates' campaigns.

The case also does not affect political action committees, which mushroomed after post-Watergate laws set the first limits on contributions by individuals to candidates. Corporations, unions and others may create PACs to contribute directly to candidates, but they must be funded with voluntary contributions from employees, members and other individuals, not by corporate or union treasuries.

While I can understand why they would make such a ruling based on the current bullshit laws that say corporations are people and thus are entitled to certain rights (like free speech in campaign advertising), ultimately this presents a major problem for democracy and the foundations of our political system.

Having corporations and unions with millions of dollars to donate to politicians means that when campaigns are getting going (which is pretty much all the time), those who are running for office will seek more support from corporations and unions instead of their constituents. In a sense, "government of the people, for the people," ceases to exist as we start to creep further into a dangerous union between government and business.

At least, more than what we have already.




Quetron

USA

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28th August 2006

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#2 11 years ago

Bad bad bad, If anyone wants to research, but when written they accidently put in that a corporation was a "person" as a typo. So now a corporation has the same rights as one person, and why the supreme court seems to be working against the people, I just don't know. sux bigtime It was over some train companies deal,they went to the guy on his death bed, the guy who typed it,he said it was a typo, but it never got changed. Look up Thom Hartman to find the correct story. oh, AND corporations back then where taxed 90%, wich was to force the corporations to opt to re-investing into the company that was less than paying the tax AND so they couldn't get to be "to big to fail" wich was one main reason they got away to start USA. In england the business had morw power than the govmt,and they didn't want to repeat that.




emonkies

I'm too cool to Post

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16th July 2003

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#3 11 years ago

Welcome to your new Republican Congress, House, and Senate bought and paid for with Corporate funds.

Brought to you by your Republican appointed Judiciary. Thank you again G.W. Bush. And here we thought with Bush out of office he could do no more harm.




Quetron

USA

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28th August 2006

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#4 11 years ago
Anlushac11;5217239Welcome to your new Republican Congress, House, and Senate bought and paid for with Corporate funds. Brought to you by your Republican appointed Judiciary. Thank you again G.W. Bush. And here we thought with Bush out of office he could do no more harm.

Not because of Bush or republicans, sheesh.




gravy666

I pretend I'm cooler than AzH

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20th August 2007

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#5 11 years ago

Eh... this is terrible for Democrats, terrific for Republicans.

Fox News. When people think "biased news source," Fox News is the first thing that comes to mind. Super-right-wing conservatives hogging up the airwaves.

Well, Fox News is part of Fox, which is part of News Corporation. Just to give you an idea of how huge this corporation is, they also own Myspace, IGN, GameSpy, Photobucket, Hulu, FX, Speed Channel, the National Geographic Channel, GQ Australia, The New York Post, Dow Jones & Company (including the Wall Street Journal), and book publisher HarperCollins-- just to name a few.

And the king of it all, Rupert Murdoch, is a Republican.




Guest

I didn't make it!

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#6 11 years ago

gravy666;5217278Eh... this is terrible for Democrats, terrific for Republicans.

Fox News. When people think "biased news source," Fox News is the first thing that comes to mind. Super right-wing conservatives hogging up the airwaves.

Well, Fox News is part of Fox, which is part of News Corporation. Just to give you an idea of how huge this corporation is, they also own Myspace, IGN, GameSpy, Photobucket, Hulu, FX, Speed Channel, the National Geographic Channel, GQ Australia, The New York Post, Dow Jones & Company (including the Wall Street Journal), and book publisher HarperCollins-- just to name a few.

This is terrible for anyone who wants fair elections. This will greatly benefit both the Democrats and Republicans as both essentially form a single power-block that shuffles power back and forth between the two every once in awhile.

Fox already contributed the best thing possible to the Republicans, that being publicity. More money from them wouldn't mean much.




Commissar MercZ

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29th January 2005

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#7 11 years ago

This ruling was in response to a trial about the Hillary Clinton smear movie. Hillary's campaign wanted it removed because they said it violated campaign finance laws on account of it being funded by business groups and corporations.

The court ruled against this and said this argument was not valid, because a corporation should be allowed to spend their money freely like an individual, or at least in the argument of the judges who voted in ruled in favor of that opinion. So by not recognizing the Clinton campaign's arguments about this issue, they essentially said it was ok for corporations to have more political influence as an "individual" would.

From what I'm reading about the 5-4 decision, it highlights the idealogical and party loyalties of the judges. I really won't be surprised if Anton Scalia voted in favor of this, for instance.

Those who know the leanings of these judges will see how they voted quite clearly.




Dot Com

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26th June 2000

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#8 11 years ago

Our fine democracy in action. :)




Quetron

USA

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28th August 2006

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#9 11 years ago

I don't think it's media corporations (fox) that needs to take advantage, or try and sway anyone, as Fox is the ONLY news around that aint in love with Obama.They will take money for commercials though, without having a stake in the game.

But I am thinking, these corporations are not all owned by Americans, also the raw power over wheat,mining, things that you would have a reason to make profit, we don't need fox, we do need food.

I was also thinking, if they pick a bad candidate it may hurt that particular company for backing manX woman X.




Commissar MercZ

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#10 11 years ago

As I suspected, the 5-4 ruling was in this way,

5 ruling in favor of "Citizens United"

-Chief Justice Roberts -Scalia -Thomas -Alito -Kennedy

And against,

Ginsberg Breyer Stevens Sotomayor

For more on the ruling look at "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission".

The decision is essentially down the ideological lines.




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