Thursday, January 21, 2010

SCOTUS rules

Supreme Court: Campaign-finance limits violate free speech
5-4 (guess which Justices are in the majority!)
Majority opinion written by Kennedy - not by one of the crazies.
“Government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker’s corporate identity,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the 57-page majority opinion. “No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations.”
I'm not sure that I buy the bit about "no sufficient governmental interests".
And, I find it interesting that the majority are the self-proclaimed precedent-respecting, non-activist folks!
In a landmark 5-to-4 decision announced Thursday, the high court overturned a 1990 legal precedent and reversed a position it took in 2003, when a different lineup of justices upheld government restrictions on independent political expenditures by corporations during elections.
For what it's worth:
Amendment I
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.
... and I'm sad to say that I suspect if pressed I'd side with the free-speech argument. (Long ago, as a grad student, I found myself rather uncomfortable attempting to defend restrictions on political speech of just the sort the Justices were here considering.)

Why make any pretense.
Welcome to the Plutocracy of America!

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