Activist Right-Wing SCOTUS Judges Overturn Decades Old Campaign Spending Limits

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

Source

The biggest problem with our elections is there’s too much money involved, and candidates become indebted to these big spenders, so what does SCOTUS do? The allow for even more spending!

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.”

There are restrictions to freedom of speech. You can’t yell “fire!” in a crowded movie theater, you can’t slander someone, you can’t cause a public disturbance… There may be ways of fixing this, like requiring ads to display who paid for them.

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18 Comments to “Activist Right-Wing SCOTUS Judges Overturn Decades Old Campaign Spending Limits”

  1. Ben,
    It’s always worth my time to visit your site. I can honestly say I’ve never ever ever seen the words ” Activist Right-Wing SCOTUS Judges Overturn” used in a sentence before. I tip my right-wing-zombie-hunter hat to you my friend for being the first there. I never really understood this case at all, but then again it is still football season and I’ve been distracted. I’m assuming if it’s considered Activist Right Wing then I’ll like the decision. But, I will hold such judgement until I actually look at it. I may be conservative, but when it comes to the Supreme Court decisions are not always as they seem and I never take them at face value. Too many second and third order effects come into play.

    Now on to other things. This week’s politics must have inspired you to put pencil to paper and grace us with a new cartoon!

  2. There is already plenty of money in politics. The rules have not stopped the money flow at all. The axiom is that money seeks it’s own level and will flow around all obstacles. This is like the repeal of prohibition. Just the admission of fact. It could even have a decorrupting effect.

  3. Finally! Someone now has the same rights as Unions.

    • Actually, they had the same restrictions as corporations. The ruling frees up unions to spend as much as they want now. It should create a lot of jobs for ad agencies that make commercials, though, but we’re going to be bombarded by nasty ads.

      • It’s called freedom of speech. What’s ticking off the democrats is that Obama’s been making enemies of corporations all year long. Does he think they’ll give to the Democratic coffers now?

      • [It’s called freedom of speech.]

        No, it means money is now considered speech. And it gives corporations a much louder voice than anyone else. It’s another step towards corporatism (otherwise known as fascism).

      • Actually, they had the same restrictions as corporations

        Not so true. See, I don’t have to be a member of a Union to work at my job. Many places you do. Further, if my company wants to form a PAC, they have to hope I join. If a union wants to form a PAC, they do, and then just raise the Union dues, which are mandatory on the part of union employees, which is mandatory if you wanna work for that company, to fund said PAC.

        Try to keep up. Sheesh 😉

    • Exactly! For “decades” unions have been allowed to finance election campaigns yet corporations for the same period of time have been prevented of doing the same. I tend to think it was because of the unions campaign giving that put the nail on this coffin. With the unions being allowed to finance campaigns, it’s called discrimination which then becomes an issue of freedom of speech.

      • [For “decades” unions have been allowed to finance election campaigns]

        Unions were bound by the same restriction as corporations, but NOW free to do whatever the hell they want.

  4. “you can’t slander someone”
    How would the Liberals breathe without that? 🙂

  5. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” It’s another step towards corporatism (otherwise known as fascism). ”

    Corporatism, new word for me to look up. I found Progressive Corporatism, which is unionizing. That Corporatism, I’m guessing is OK with you.

    I always learn new things and pretty new words on this site.

    • Apparently there are several meanings of the word “corporatism.” The one I meant was “to bring under the control of a corporation,” which could also be called corporate statism.

  6. “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.”

    This is a new low watermark for the American system of democracy.

    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.”

    On the upside perhaps a few cases of egregious corporate spending might be exposed in the future and people could gain insight into the rot that is affecting the system.

    • And right-wingers will continue to follow blindly until our democracy is completely destroyed.

      • It is interesting Ben, that certain segments of society seem to endorse causes that are fundamentally against their best interests.

        I see the anti-union sentiment here, and wonder if they appreciate the hard fought benefits unionized labour has won for them. It was not a civil process, blood was shed so that workers could have a more equitable share of the profits.

        (I apologize for the Union tangent, but see it as a good analogy for how people can be persuaded to actively work against their own interests.)

        It is here we should cue up the braying of the libertarians and their ‘rugged individual’ and the market hypothesis. Fine. Go achieve what you can on your own. However, you must cede what collective action has won for you, a small list to get started:

        Paid Vacations, Holidays, Sick Leave, Seniority Rights, Wage Increases, Health and Insurance Plans, Safety Laws, Workers Compensation Laws, Overtime, Unemployment Benefits and job security. (A Canadian list, so all might not apply to the US audience).

      • This is an astonishing thread with the usual voices celebrating what will hurt them terribly in coming years. Corporations, mostly the for-profit ones, are not our friends. They don’t have an ideaology. They have a motive only. They know no borders.

  7. Arbourist,

    ” Paid Vacations, Holidays, Sick Leave, Seniority Rights, Wage Increases, Health and Insurance Plans, Safety Laws, Workers Compensation Laws, Overtime, Unemployment Benefits and job security. (A Canadian list, so all might not apply to the US audience). ”

    I personally enjoy all of these things, but to not recognize that they all have a cost to the employer is naive. You seem never to have been on the management side of business. Your employer has to compete against other evil corporations. If their costs get out of line, your employer loses money and you lose your job. Ask any union auto worker in Michigan.

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