09 September 2009

Supreme Court could destroy popular influence on public affairs with Decision on Elections Case

This report in the L. A. Times concerns an issue that hasn't yet garnered much public attention. But if the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commsn. ends up building on its earlier rulings that campaign money is "speech" protected by the First Amendment and broadly rules that Corporate candidate donations cannot be limited by law, we will effectively see American politics come to be completely dominated by corporate interests.

I find it hard to imagine five justices choosing to so completely throw over protections of ordinary citizens' ability to influence the political process, but the trend in rulings of the Court in this area has been decidedly negative in recent years. If this horrible result were to come to pass, the only out would likely be a Constitutional Amendment, and that's very, very hard to do, especially in the present divisive political climate.

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