Supreme Court Ends Limits on Corporate Campaign Contributions
A strongly divided Supreme Court voted today to end Federal limits on campaign spending by big corporations. The Court voted 5-4 in favor of ending limits placed on campaign contributions by both big business and worker unions.
Sure, I know the Supreme Court is tilted to the right, but I never thought I’d see a Supreme Court, any Supreme Court, make such a bold decision in opposition to their own past findings.
Remember the McCain-Feingold Law of 2003? Apparently the Supreme Court doesn’t either. That law, also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, strictly limited the amount of money that corporations and unions could contribute to political campaigns. The Supreme Court found in 1990 (Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce) that a Michigan law that limits campaign spending funded by corporations should be upheld. For the court to turn around and make a decision in direct opposition to a position not even 20 years old is a disgrace.
So why should you be upset about today’s decision? The conservative wing of the Court determined that these limits were unconstitutional because they violate a corporations right to free speech. I suppose in this context “free speech” means the ability to dump hundreds of millions of dollars into a political candidate’s war chest.
I don’t know about you, but to me “free speech” means the freedom to speak without limitation or censorship. Stuffing Benjamins into a political ally’s hand at a cocktail party doesn’t seem like what the founders of our nation intended when they fought for the First Amendment.
We all know why the right-wing Court found this way. It is politically expedient (even politically necessary) for the GOP to allow corporate money to funnel in their doors as quickly and easily as possible. Big Corporations tend to back right-wing candidates if for no other reason than they want to escape regulation and high taxes. Allowing unlimited corporate contributions will ensure that we may never see a Democrat in the White House, at least until this foolishness gets cleaned up.
Remember this date — January 21st, 2010. Remember it so you can tell your children where you were when democracy curled up into a ball. Remember that date so you never forget the day that corporations were granted the same civil rights as citizens.