The Supreme Court ruled today the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.
Justice John Paul Stevens read a long dissent from the bench. He said the majority had committed a grave error in treating corporate speech the same as that of human beings. His decision was joined by the other three members of the court’s liberal wing.
The case had unlikely origins. It involved a documentary called “Hillary: The Movie,” a 90-minute stew of caustic political commentary and advocacy journalism. It was produced by Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit corporation, and was released during the Democratic presidential primaries in 2008.
Citizens United lost a suit that year against the Federal Election Commission, and scuttled plans to show the film on a cable video-on-demand service and to broadcast television advertisements for it. But the film was shown in theaters in six cities, and it remains available on DVD and the Internet.
The lower court said the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, usually called the McCain-Feingold law, prohibited the planned broadcasts. The law bans the broadcast, cable or satellite transmission of “electioneering communications” paid for by corporations in the 30 days before a presidential primary and in the 60 days before the general election. That leaves out old technologies, like newspapers, and new ones, like YouTube.
Isn't it nice that corporations are treated like people when it benefits their agenda?
Here is an AP video report:
This ruling strikes down a 1907 law and now corporations can literally run commercials, directly campaign and fund a campaign.
Well, at least it might be more clear which candidates are the corporate representative instead of the people.
The buy your candidate and buy your Congress problem which has denied reforms from health care to financial reform to offshore outsourcing to trade to basic consumer rights probably just got a lot worse.