The recent controversial Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has allegedly answered the question “are corporations people?”
However, Thom Hartmann, radio personality and author disagrees. Here is why:
Today the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in favor of corporations throwing their money into our election process.
In what could prove to be the most consequential Supreme Court decision in decades, all five of the Court’s conservatives joined together today to invalidate a sixty-three year-old ban on corporate money in federal elections. In the process, the Court overruled a twenty year-old precedent permitting such bans on corporate electioneering; and it ignored the protests of the four more moderate justices in dissent. As Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the dissenters:
Today’s decision is backwards in many senses. It elevates the majority’s agenda over the litigants’ submissions, facial attacks over as-applied claims, broad constitutional theories over narrow statutory grounds, individual dissenting opinions over precedential holdings, assertion over tradition, absolutism over empiricism, rhetoric over reality. Our colleagues have arrived at the conclusion that Austin must be overruled and that §203 is facially unconstitutional only after mischaracterizing both the reach and rationale of those authorities, and after bypassing or ignoring rules of judicial restraint used to cabin the Court’s lawmaking power. … At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics. More…