Friday, January 22, 2010

Of, By, and For ... Corporations

In a purely GOP appointed decision, with one GOP and all Democrat appointed justices dissenting, the Supreme Court has opened campaign coffers to corporate largess. Today's L.A. Times tells it well:

"...a 90-page dissenting opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by President Ford, a Republican. Stevens, who will turn 90 in April, spoke in a halting voice as he read part of his dissent in the courtroom Thursday.

He called the decision "a radical change in the law." He predicted that the ruling would "cripple the ability of ordinary citizens, Congress and the states to adopt even limited measures to protect against corporate domination of the electoral process."

The decision displayed a deep division of opinion on the court about the meaning of the 1st Amendment and the freedom of speech. The majority said that the Constitution broadly protected discussion and debate on politics, regardless of who was paying for the speech.

Stevens and the dissenters said that the majority was ignoring the long-understood rule that the government could limit election money from corporations, unions and others, such as foreign governments."

"Under today's decision, multinational corporations controlled by foreign governments" would have the same rights as Americans to spend money to tilt U.S. elections, Stevens said."

What can we do but sigh? I think the game is over.

"...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

With apologies, Mr. Lincoln, I believe it has.


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