Thursday, January 21, 2010

Corporate contribution ban deemed unconstitutional

From Fox News:

In a stunning reversal of the nation's federal campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday that as an exercise of free speech, corporations, labor unions and other groups can directly spend on political campaigns.

Siding with filmmakers of "Hillary: The Movie," who were challenged by the Federal Election Commission on their sources of cash to pay for the film, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that banned corporate and labor money. The decision threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

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.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the main opinion, which reads in part that there is "no basis for allowing the government to limit corporate independent expenditures."

"There is no basis for the proposition that, in the political speech context, the government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers," he wrote. "The government may regulate corporate speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether."

Dissenters included Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

"The notion that the First Amendment dictated [today's ruling] is, in my judgment, profoundly misguided," Stevens wrote for the others.

"In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant. Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it," he added.

The ruling is sure to send a jolt to political campaigns throughout the country that are gearing up for the 2010 midterm elections. It will also impact the 2012 presidential race and federal elections to come.


ew-3 said...

The fact that we have 4 supreme court justices that think it is OK to control a company or unions expenditures is very troubling.
Fortunately these are the 4 liberal members of the court.

Anonymous said...

You do realize this means a return to the developers funding the candidates, right?

Anonymous said...

There goes democracy (or the illusion thereof).

georgetheatheist said...

'A corporation is a union of human beings in a voluntary, cooperative endeavor. It exemplifies the principle of free association, which is an expression of the right of freedom. Any attributes which corporations have are attributes (or rights) which the individuals have-including the right to combine in a certain way, offer products under certain terms, and deal with others according to certain rules, for instance, limited liability.

An individual can say to a storekeeper, 'I would like to have credit, but I put you on notice that if I can't pay, you can't attach my home-take it or leave it'. The storekeeper is free to accept those terms, or not. A corporation is a cooperative productive endeavor which gives a similar warning explicitly. It has no mystical attributes, no attributes that don't go back to the rights of individuals, including their right of free association." - Leonard Peikoff, "The Philosophy of Objectivism" lecture series (1976), Lecture 9

Klink Cannoli said...

Oh, this is so juicy, I'm salivating. Ha.

*Off to find the Court ruling papers*

Interesting quote, georgetheatheist. I'll have to read up on some Leonard Peikoff.

georgetheatheist said...

Always glad to be of service.

kingb said...

"You do realize this means a return to the developers funding the candidates, right?"

i have a feeling that most readers here do NOT realize that

Snake Plissskin said...

Newswires in classic Orwellian twist state that court overturns ruling permitting 'Freedom of Speach'.

I think I will vent my anger by going out to that 'shoppers paradise' in Flushing, then finishing a perfect day by dining in that 'world of choices' under the Corona/Elmhurst el.

Perhaps reading the ads from Congressman Ackermans' Tribune to get ideas for later in the evening.

ew-3 said...

developers were aleady funding candidates anyway, just not openly.

just as the unions were funding candidates.

this will make the process more transparent and up front.

Anonymous said...

this makes the political game a more level monetary
playing field. why should K."DUNKIN DONUTS "KIM get three times the funds than the new CM. Dan Halloran ,REPUBLICAN-CONSERVATIVE of N. Queens?

the decision also protects freedom of speech on the airwaves.

Americans just were rewarded with more constitutional LIBERTY.


Klink Cannoli said...

For those interested in the Court ruling paper...

To georgetheatheist: "The Collective". *smiles wide*

Anonymous said...

People organizing to advocate a political viewpoint. Its called freedom of speech. Now lets go for Kelo.....

Liman said...

Hey, Anon, You have it backwards... welcome back to democracy.

Anonymous said...

so george and other corporatists: if you believe that corporations should have the same rights as people, shouldn't you also believe that corporations should receive the death penalty or some sort of similar punishment if they kill people or commit some other serious crime?

georgetheatheist said...

Corporations already have the death penalty:

The Sherman Anti-trust Act, 1890

Anonymous said...

@george - what, what's all? not broad enough.

Anonymous said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

What part of "abridging" is not understood by readers of Queens Crap?

Anonymous said...

corporate bankruptcy is the punishment for bad business practice.

unless your company is named GENERAL MOTORS, with a predator AUTO WORKERS UNION which donates heavily to Marxist type democrat politicians. then you get bailed out with the taxpayers money. and controlled by obama's CAR CZARS.

Anonymous said...

This sad day marks the last breath of individual rights in America. The supreme court will allow payola to our elected officials at the expense of our individual rights. From this day forward if its not profitable for the multi-national mega corporations, it will be eliminated. Slavery is back, only this time, it will be for any person, who the corporations feel don't consume enough.

Anonymous said...

I guess that Selig Zeisis, etc. (and Dukun Kim's Korean pals) will now be delivering sacks of cash to Ackerman's office unimpeded.

I'm moving to Cuba...where at least there is no pretext of democracy!

I hear they've got a good government health care program too and the weather is great.

But alas...I'll be missing "Queens Crap" and I'll have to learn to keep my mouth shut.

(With a tear in my eye) it looks like Washington, Jefferson & Adams toiled for nothing.

It's back to monarchy...or corporate oligarchy!

It's sad that the "glorious revolution and great American experiment is coming to an end folks!

The final chapter has just been written by the "Suck-cream Court"!

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that businesses will now get their voices heard even more above the taxpayer?

I wonder if this effects NYC's Campaign Finance laws, developers will now completely run the city!

Anonymous said...

Money has been buying "justice" for years.

Now it can buy off democracy!

I guess that Multi media and Parkside will be reaping more benefits from this!

Nussbaum won't need his whore adds to keep the Trib afloat.

Anonymous said...

Next attraction coming soon folks:

THE SHUT DOWN OF THE FREE INTERNET...under the guise of the need for more security!

It's already in the works.

Anonymous said...

"History of America Part Three":

The CEO's and developers are saying, "It's nice to be king".

Anonymous said...

The shut down of the free internet.

This is not China.

Incredulous Lino said...

"Anonymous said...

corporate bankruptcy is the punishment for bad business practice.

unless your company is named GENERAL MOTORS, with a predator AUTO WORKERS UNION which donates heavily to Marxist type democrat politicians..."

That is really one of those through the looking glass statements.

"Marxists" bailing out General Motors?

Lay of the magic mushrooms for a while. And stay away from that AM radio.

Anonymous said...

The shut down of the free internet.

This is not China.


Read much?

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if this effects NYC's Campaign Finance laws, developers will now completely run the city!"

Yeah, those laws work really well.


Mayor Bloomberg

Alan Gross said...

As many of you know, I have no problem putting in my 2 cents on issues that I feel passionate about. The deadline to submit comments to the FCC regarding the issue of the Internet passed at midnight on January 14th. I managed to post this comment:

I am writing to express my concerns about losing the right to use the Internet free from blocking,
censorship, and other discriminatory practices. People have come to depend on the Internet for
commerce, social networking, and other experiences. I am calling on you to leave the Internet alone and not to change a thing. Consider the anger of the American public if you were to destroy Net Neutrality. Judging from news polls, comments on blogs, and other measurements of the attitude of the American people, there is a lot of pentup anger and frustration. The consequences of such an action has the potential to be catastrophic on many levels. I wish to join my voice with millions of others and encourage you to leave the Internet alone. Let me remind you that this is supposed to be a government of, by, and for the people and not greedy banks and corporations. Please do the right thing and support the rights of Americans to access the Internet freely and without interference of any kind. Thank you for your consideration.
Alan Gross

Anonymous said...


the "Che/Castro" communist killers would put a bullet in your head the moment that you expressed your civil rights, given to you by our constitution.

Castro flew doctors to Havana from Spain, in order to save his communist murderous life.

Read "the bay of pigs".see "Lost City" by Andy Garcia .
his family exiled from Cuba in the late 1950's.

Cuban exiles are still mourning their loss of relatives to Castro. be tolerant.

Anonymous said...

RE:lino,the liberal loyalist.
what has happened to Obama's White House communications director,Anita Dunn,since she admitted that she was a "MARXIST/MAOIST ?

Could you tell us where Van Jones"green czar" self admitted COMMUNIST,is hiding behind the scenes at the White House ?

what is the connection of Frank Marshall Davis to obama?

if this is too much for you to handle, in your illness,

Steve Behar said...

Full Public Financing of Public Elections or "Clean Elections" is the only way to take the special interest money out of politics!