Supreme Court Decision: No actual persons required for elections in U.S.

 The Supreme Court’s Decision this week to remove campaign finance restrictions for corporations means the end of participatory democracy. The court’s ruling gives corporations the same free speech rights as people. As Stephen Colbert said in a sketch last October, “corporations do everything people do – except breathe, die, and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the Hudson River.” 

The ruling means that individual donations and political parties will be outspent to the point they are meaningless. The message will be controlled by the corporations and all of the money they have at their disposal. Candidates will be picked and supported by corporations acting in their own interest. This essentially disenfranchises actual “people” — makes our participation in the political processes and our votes completely inconsequential. As Keith Olbermann said in his special comment, “no actual persons will be required for elections in the U.S.”

Leading Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg and some of his colleagues circulated a memo saying the ruling will “drastically alter the landscape for candidates and political parties,” there will be an avalanche of outside spending, and “the political party as we know it is threatened with extinction because it will face spending limits outside groups don’t.”

People are alarmed and are taking action to urge Congress to pass laws to undo the damage. That may not be possible before the 2010 election.

Picture compliments of National March for Campaign Finance Reform member

President Obama’s statement on the ruling

Facebook Group National March for Campaign Finance Reform

Complete text of Justice Stephens’ dissent

Move to Amend
Alliance for Democracy
Center for Media and Democracy
The Court’s Blow to Democracy – NY Times editorial


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