Thursday, January 21, 2010

Activist Judges

NY TimesSweeping aside a century-old understanding and overruling two important precedents, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
The ruling was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace will corrupt democracy.
The 5-to-4 decision represented a sharp doctrinal shift, and it will have major political and practical consequences. Specialists in campaign finance law said they expected the decision, which also applies to labor unions and other organizations, to reshape the way elections are conducted.
“If the First Amendment has any force,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority, which included the four members of its conservative wing, “it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”
Justice John Paul Stevens read a long dissent from the bench. He said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings. His decision was joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing.
Boy, it's a good thing we don't have activist judges that go against years of precedent and overturn previous Supreme Court decsions.

1 comment:

NowhereMan said...

Its official-we don't have a democracy,we have a corpocracy.Thanks to Bush's supreme court appointments,the corporations now officially run the government.We have all known that for many years but now the supreme court has officially and legally validated.
Just think soon you will have congressional candidates wearing suits covered with all the different corporate logos of the companies ala race car drivers that are trying to get them elected.Its the death of government integrity and the death of the constitution.