Friday, January 22, 2010

The Supreme Court ends Democracy in Favor Of Capitalists Rule

It has been said that the end of our republic would come about through the courts! Today that proverb has come home to nest.

The US supreme court as expected has ended limits on corporate spending for US political campaigns, which will effect this year's congressional races and the 2012 presidential contest. This ruling marks the beginning of the end for our Republic.

The 5-4 ruling on Thursday was a defeat for the law's supporters who said that ending the limits would unleash a flood of corporate money into the political system to promote or defeat candidates. A further argument which seemed to also fail was that the First Amendment guaranteeing free speech did not guarantee that right to corporations.

The ruling by the Bush appointments, and conservative majority transformed the political landscape and the rules on how money can be spent in future presidential and congressional elections, which have already broken new spending records with each political cycle.

The justices on Thursday overturned supreme court precedents from 2003 and 1990 that upheld federal and state limits on independent expenditures by corporate treasuries to support or oppose candidates. The ultra conservative court has continually since the Bust appointments were first seated over turned precedents that were based on good and sound law.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the limits violated constitutional free-speech rights. "We find no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers," he wrote.

How the court determined that a Corporation was a natural person and had the rights of individuals is still an enigma. It is a stunning defeat for literacy.

A corporation is not a natural person it is a creation of law, and as such DOES not possess the rights garnered by the US Constitution, for example: Both the fifth and the fourth Amendment have been found not to apply to corporations: A recent 1st Circuit Court of Appeals case has a nice summary of the various decisions and doctrines preventing corporate entities from asserting 5th amendment privileges against self-incrimination. The case, Amato v. US, involved a subpoena to produce corporate records for a corporation whose sole shareholder, officer and employee was the target of a criminal investigation. The plaintiff in the case (who was the sole shareholder) attempted to quash a subpoena for corporate records by asserting 5th amendment privileges. The Appeals Court ultimately upheld the subpoena holding that corporations may not assert 5th amendment privileges to avoid producing documents.

But as the court today “incorrectly” noted: the same entity that does not possess constitutional rights now possesses the constitutional right of free speech?

Dissenting views

The court's conservative majority, with the addition of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, both Bush appointees, previously voted to limit or strike down parts of the law designed to regulate the role of money in politics and prevent corruption.

The court's four liberals, including its newest member, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was appointed by Obama, dissented.

In his sharply worded dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said: "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation."

The case began when a conservative group, Citizens United, made a 90-minute film called “Hillary: The Movie” that was very critical of Hillary Clinton, now-secretary of state, as she sought the Democratic presidential nomination.

Film controversy

Citizens United wanted to air advertisements for the film and distribute it through video-on-demand services on local cable systems during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign.

But federal courts said the film looked and sounded like a long campaign
advert, and therefore should be regulated like one.

Hillary: The Movie was advertised on the internet, sold on DVD and shown in a few theaters.

Campaign regulations do not apply to DVDs, theaters or the internet.

The court first heard arguments in March, then asked for another round of arguments about whether corporations and unions should be treated differently from individuals when it comes to campaign spending.

After a special argument session in September, the conservative justices gave every indication that they were going to take the steps they did on Thursday.

Was the decision correct? The right of Free speech applies to individuals, not corporations, and it stems from the first amendment to the US Constitution:

"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."

In an intelligent reading of the language of the First Amendment it is clear that it was meant strictly for individuals, “people” are individuals, not corporations” to interpret it otherwise as the Supreme Court has now done is to nullify the very existence of our republic. We will from this day forward no longer be a democracy; instead we are now to be ruled by “corporate control” through its vast economic resources, over our government. In short welcome to Fascist America.