Supreme Court Decision a Boon for Corporate America

Citizens United Is a Radical Rewriting of the Constitution by Pro-Corporate Supreme Court
//www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/21-12

CREW Calls Supreme Court Decision a Boon for Corporate America
//www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/01/21-14

Lobbyists Get Potent Weapon in Campaign Finance Ruling
//www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/01/22-1

Are Politicians Failing Our Lobbyists?
//www.commondreams.org/video/2010/01/22-0

Alan Grayson Discusses Citizens United SCOTUS Decision with Keith Olbermann
//www.commondreams.org/video/2010/01/22

At Last! SCOTUS Finally Allows Corporations to Influence US Politics
//www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/22-8

Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA): Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Corporation Run for Congress
//www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/01/27

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SCOTUS hands one to big business

Fox News Forum
by Ellen Ratner

01/21/10

We learned today from the Supreme Court that corporations have the same First Amendment rights that as you and I do and that Congress can’t put special restrictions on corporations. … Corporations currently have the ability to have their CEO write an Op-Ed piece, to get on a talk show and to write a personal blog just like the rest of our citizens. Now, under this ruling individuals can still continue to do that but the entire corporation can also purchase television ads and any other form of media as long as they announce that the ad was paid for by XYZ corporation...

//tinyurl.com/yh4brq8



It’s official: Corporations rule

Our Future Blog
by Eric Lotke
01/21/10

People have been wondering for years who runs our country. People or wealthy corporations? Today the Supreme Court settled the debate. Today’s decision, Citizens United v. FEC, comes down decisively on the corporate side. It gives advertisers more power than voters, and tilts the balance of power even farther towards wealthy and corporate interests. The newly composed conservative court upset decades of precedent and settled expectations. … Today’s decision turns paper corporations into actual people, and gives advertisers more constitutional protection than voters...

//tinyurl.com/ydy78xw



Supreme Court opens the money gates

Christian Science Monitor
by staff

01/21/10

The Supreme Court on Thursday opened wide the gates to allow more corporate and union money to finance political campaigns — and potentially influence politicians and lawmaking. That’s unfortunate, and means that the role of watchdogs tracking the money trail will be more important than ever. … [E]ven members of Congress, whose energy is increasingly diverted to fundraising, have long recognized the potentially corrupting effect that big money can have on them. More than 100 years ago they banned corporations from donating directly to federal candidates. Thankfully, the justices upheld that ban Thursday, as well as disclosure rules about contributors. But in a divisive 5-to-4 ruling, they overturned other important restrictions...

//tinyurl.com/y8k76h3



It’s not about free speech

On ALLiance
by Jeremy Weiland

The real issue here is not whether corporations should be involved in the political process. It’s also not whether they should have first amendment protections. Regarding monetary contributions from anybody to any candidate for public office as free speech is entirely beside the point. The most important and pressing matter is whether these artificial persons called corporations can speak; whether legal fictions can spend money. It’s whether the Constitution protects what doesn’t actually exist...

//alliance.rationalreview.com/2010/01/its-not-about-free-speech/



How to end corporate domination

Our Future Blog
by Dave Johnson

01/22/10

The Supreme Court yesterday allowed corporate executives to tap into their company’s resources and use that money to directly influence elections instead of for the profitable operation of the company. This use of company funds isn’t considered bribery because the company executives can claim they are only engaged in ’speech’ to promote good government, not influence public officials to bring a return to the company. To fix this we should pass a law that tightens up corporate governance and explicitly spells out — as law — that for-profit companies can only use company resources for the profitable operation of the company. This would make it illegal to use company money to ‘promote good government’ or any other excuse currently used to get around the bribery laws...

//tinyurl.com/y8skx7u



SCOTUS campaign ruling: A bad day for democracy

Christian Science Monitor
by Bob Edgar

01/22/10

Thursday was a bad day for democracy. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission paves the way for unlimited corporate and union spending in elections, and the drowning out of the average citizen’s voice in our public policy debates. In other words, the court has made a bad situation worse by enhancing the ability of the deepest-pocketed special interests to influence elections and the US Congress. In its 5-to-4 decision, the Roberts Court declares outright that corporate expenditures cannot corrupt elected officials, that influence over lawmakers is not corruption, and that appearance of influence will not undermine public faith in our democracy. These are unsubstantiated claims that will change the ground rules of American democracy...

//tinyurl.com/yeqjf8b


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

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Some Voices Are More Equal Than Others

Severo M. Ornstein, Truthout: "By assigning the same rights to corporations as to individuals, the Supreme Court, on the pretext of honoring the First Amendment, has instead done precisely the opposite: contravened its intent."

//www.truthout.org/some-voices-are-more-equal-than-others56428



The Supreme Coup

Jim Hightower, Truthout: "Despite 234 years of progress toward the American ideal of equality for all, we still have to battle unfairness. How happy, then, to learn that a handful of our leaders in Washington took bold and forceful action last week to lift another group of downtrodden Americans from the pits of injustice, helping them gain more political and governmental power. I refer, of course, to corporations."

//www.truthout.org/jim-hightower-the-supreme-coup56438

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Five Supreme Court Judges Do Da Corporate Takeover Hustle, And They Must Be Stopped

This the second in a series of action alerts about the fundamental willful and pernicious errors underlying the decision by 5 agenda driven right wing judges on the Supreme Court to gut all restraints on corporate meddling in our elections. Each of these successive alerts will analyze additional derelict aspects of this shameful and truly dangerous decision, to further demonstrate why we the people must speak out and act to reverse it.

In the first alert we made the triable case (which no attorney has written us to dispute) that failing to even bother to distinguish between domestic and foreign owned corporations, and knowingly leaving America vulnerable to the latter BY their ruling, was de facto an act of treason by The Supreme Court 5.

This alert will focus on the abandonment of every prudent rule of judicial review, in favor of haste and the most extreme form of judicial activism, again with specific page number references to the opinion itself.

There are TWO critical action pages related to this, which we are asking each of our participants to submit and also pass on to everyone you know, which will send your message by fax to all your own members of Congress, and President Obama too. You do not need your own fax machine to participate, the action pages do all this for you automatically in real time.

Action Page: Corporations Are NOT The People //www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1029.php

Action Page: Impeach The Supreme Court 5 //www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1030.php

The most bedrock principle of appellate review is that first an appellant must have PRESERVED the issue for appeal, by arguing and getting a ruling on the point of law from the court below, necessitating fact finding by the lower court to create a "record". Innumerable appellants since the beginning of time have had the door to review slammed in their face with the admonition that if they HAD preserved the issue then and only then could a higher court review it.

And in particular, appellate courts have traditionally been loathe to making their own findings of fact (and only in a corrective way) absent very clear error by the Court below, which is as it should be. The role of a higher court is to apply the law to the facts, and make rulings of what the LAW is, not make their own findings of fact. And this is supremely true of the Supreme Court.

So even beyond the outrageousness of the result, it is at least outrageous the way it was reached, and how that reach was justified. As justification, The Supreme Court 5 asserted that some legal emergency existed requiring a broader inquiry in this case, resurrecting a claim already ABANDONED by the appellant in the court below (opinion p. 12). Why directly overturning precedents at least 20 years old would suddenly be such an emergency they do not explain.

And when you actually read the opinion, the only pressure really on the Supreme Court was because so-called Citizens United was bound to LOSE on the case they did preserve (opinion pp. 10-11). The Supreme Court 5 wanted that party to win. This was in itself an over the top act of judicial activism. But even beyond that they were hell bent on undoing as much as 100 years of campaign finance regulation (Stevens' dissent p. 3). Even the most conservative commentators agree this is what they have in fact done.

Appellate courts have been known on occasion to comment (in no binding way) that if an appellant HAD made a particular argument they might have been receptive to it, a kind of higher court invitation for someone to bring an actual case, an actual "controversy". And then there would be a factual record in some subsequent case. But here there was no controversy on the issue on which the ruling was based, for it had already been WAIVED a priori, thereby denying the Supreme Court any jurisdiction to rule on it (Consitution Article III, Section 2, Clause 1).

But even further assuming that the Supreme Court was justified in reopening a can of worms already discarded, the appropriate procedure would have been to return the case to the lower court with instructions, what is called a "remand", and which is done all the time after a ruling of LAW, for the court below to make findings of fact and conduct further proceedings, so that there would be a factual record for them to review, should the appellant wish to appeal to the higher court again in the case of an unfavorable ruling by the lower court.

All these prudent judicial things are exactly what the Supreme Court
5 did NOT do. Instead, they called for hurry up further briefing on the new question of law THEY wanted to rule on (Stevens' dissent p. 4), in a vacuum of insufficient facts to make those arguments of law. Instead, they set a scary new purported standard of review that says they basically can make rulings on any point of law THEY want to raise, whether developed in a lower court by an appellant or not.

This is truly frightening! It means that these five absolute dictators in black robes have now asserted the unheard of prerogative to make their own law pretty much any time they like, if only tangentially related to appellant's actual arguments on appeal (opinion pp. 13-14), a profoundly dangerous NEW standard, to become a new stare decisis if not immediately challenged and reversed by their removal from office. It means they now assert unchecked prerogative to make their own findings of fact whenever necessary to reach the result THEY want to reach.

And they must be stopped. The Supreme Court 5 must be impeached before they go even further off the deep end. Whatever else within the law that Congress can do to counteract this decision must be done, and to make sure such a thing can never, ever happen again.

So please submit both action pages above now. The next alert in this series will analyze the totally bogus basis of the so-called facts the Supreme Court pulled out of sheer hot air in this case.

NEW FOUR COLOR BUMPER STICKERS

In the meantime we are making available for no charge (not even shipping) your choice of one of two new bumper stickers. Take a "Corporations Are NOT The People" bumper sticker, OR a "Impeach The Supreme Court 5" bumper sticker for free. Of course if you can make a contribution (or if you want both), please DO contribute what you can, which is what allows us to send these out for free to anyone who cannot make a donation right now.

We have engaged one of the top commercial printers in the country for printing these, they have gone to press using the highest quality 4 color process, the proofs are absolutely gorgeous, and we will be taking delivery shortly of the first run.

So you can still request your bumper sticker from the return page after you submit either of the action pages above to get in on the first shipping. Or you can do directly to this page and get them there.

Bumper Stickers for no charge: //www.peaceteam.net/bumper_stickers.php

Facebook participants can also submit the action pages at

Corporations Are Not The People: //apps.facebook.com/fb_voices/action.php?qnum=pnum1029

Impeach The Supreme Court 5: //apps.facebook.com/fb_voices/action.php?qnum=pnum1030

And on Twitter, just send the following Twitter reply for the Corporations Are Not The People action

@cxs #p1029

And this Twitter reply for the Impeach The Supreme Court 5 action

@cxs #p1030

Please take action NOW, so we can win all victories that are supposed to be ours, and forward this alert as widely as possible.


usalone366b:336720



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