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US Supreme Court Ruling Likely to Have Huge, Unforeseen Effect on Elections


Last week, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations cannot be restricted in their political spending. With their 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court departed from over a century of precedent that had placed certain limits on corporate spending intended to influence voters. The controversial ruling has drawn criticism from many angles, including a rebuke from President Obama during the State of the Union Address.

One of the most vocal critics of the Citizens United ruling has been Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Leahy has accused the conservative majority of improper judicial activism, which he believes has endangered the integrity of political campaigns and elections. In particular, Leahy (and many others) feel strongly that the Court erred by granting First Amendment free speech rights to corporations.

Corporations may be separate legal entities, but they are not natural persons. They do not think, feel, or behave like people. Corporations, for the time being, cannot vote in elections. They do, however, have inconceivable amounts of money. The Supreme Court’s decision will allow these huge companies to spend as much as they want to confuse, harangue, and otherwise influence voters. The resulting barrage of one-sided advertisements and issue campaigns will easily drown out competing viewpoints.

The interests of individual consumers and enormous corporations are often at odds. In recent years, businesses have been successful in securing the protections of our laws at the expense of people like you and me. Unfortunately, this trend appears to be continuing at the highest levels of government.

If you think it’s time for our laws to protect people and not corporations, please take a moment to contact your Senators and Congressperson.


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  1. Mike Bryant says:
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    You make such a important point. Personally, it makes it easier to give contributions from the firm, but even I don’t see that as a good idea. Think about how many corporations have gotten around responsibility because of it’s set up, it’s unimaginable and “it’s true” that this ruling could be so ill conceived.

  2. Lee Dimin says:
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    The Conservative members of the Supreme Court have lost sight of the Court’s fnction – to interpret the law not make it.Justices Salia, Thomas, and Kenndy were among the first to apponnt a President of the Unitd States, and they are, along with JusticesRoberts and Alito among the first to “humanize corporations with thepower of speech, What’s next from these legislative justices? Confeing citizenship on corporations? Giving them the right to vote? Changing this nation from a democracy to as corporatpcracy, which leads to fascism?

    This Conservative has already enslaved the ?american workers to its corporate masters, by moving off-shore to hire cheap labor and to start an evolution into a two-class society of wealth and poverty like most third world countries.

    I queston their ability to place the Constitution of the United SDtates abovce their personal and opoitical and religious preferences, and belive this is sufficient reason for their impeachment, for according to Black’s law dictionary, their majoority decision reeks of sedition and possibly treason.