Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Campaign Finance Law In Danger

If Zachary Roth of TPM is correct about a coming Supreme Court ruling, we could find ourselves in a sort of corporate heaven in which corp's could contribute unlimited amounts of campaign money to candidates:

The Supreme Court could rule this morning on a case that may radically reshape our campaign-finance laws, opening the door for unrestricted amounts of corporate money to flow into American politics.
In a nutshell: The FEC ruled that the conservative group Citizens United (CU) was prohibited by the McCain-Feingold camapign-finance law from airing a negative movie about Hillary Clinton. CU received corporate donations and the movie advocated the defeat of a political candidate within 60 days of an election. CU is arguing that the FEC ruling violated its freedom of speech, and that the relevant provision of McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional.

I have long since given up attempting to predict how this Court will rule on constitutional issues, because their rulings have shown so little relationship to precedent or even to typical conservative/liberal splits in the votes. And the whole notion of "corporate personhood" still boggles my mind. But one fact is indisputable: if the Court rules to allow greater or unlimited corporate contributions to candidates on a First Amendment basis, both the First Amendment and participation in politics by natural persons are dead, and we may as well all hang up our keyboards.

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