SCOTUS Throws Out Corporate Campaign Limits
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 11:27:05 AM EST
I'm still reading through the very long opinions, which you can access here, but the Supreme Court of the United States today overturned decades of precedent and, as The New York Times aptly puts it, "a century-old understanding" by throwing out virtually any restrictions on corporate campaign expenditures. This is an exceedingly disappointing decision, one that seriously worries me for the future of democracy in this country. But more after I finish reading all of the concurrences and dissents.
UPDATE from desmoinesdem: Adam B posted excerpts from the decision and the dissents.
Election law expert Richard Hasen concludes that the court just killed campaign finance reform:
It is time for everyone to drop all the talk about the Roberts court's "judicial minimalism," with Chief Justice Roberts as an "umpire" who just calls balls and strikes. Make no mistake, this is an activist court that is well on its way to recrafting constitutional law in its image. The best example of that is this morning's transformative opinion in Citizens United v. FEC. Today the court struck down decades-old limits on corporate and union spending in elections (including judicial elections) and opened up our political system to a money free-for-all.
All in all, a depressing day for our sorry excuse for a democracy.