June 25, 2012

"Were the matter up to me, I would vote to grant the petition for certiorari in order to reconsider Citizens United..."

"... or, at least, its application in this case. But given the Court’s per curiam disposition, I do not see a significant possibility of reconsideration."

Writes Justice Breyer, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, dissenting from the Supreme Court's summary reversal of the Montana Supreme Court's decision, which — as the majority put it presented the question "whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law":
There can be no serious doubt that it does. Montana’s arguments in support of the judgment below either were already rejected in Citizens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case.
(PDF.)

50 comments:

garage mahal said...

Stand Your Ground Montana!

Matthew Sablan said...

This obsession over CU is really bad. Just move on, guys.

Jay Retread said...

The Robert's court will go down in history as the one that undermined our democracy and made cash the undisputed king. At best this court will be judged as being highly imprudent.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The Robert's court will go down in history as the one that undermined our democracy and made cash the undisputed king."

-- And Obama will be the President who will have made it all possible by lying to his opponent and constituents by deciding to not accept public financing. Citizens United was birthed out of that decision, for it was truly that choice that allowed the true expansion of money in politics.

Scott said...

So Garage, are you suggesting that Montana defy the SCOTUS? The basis for this being?

After all, if we establish the principle that states can 'stand their ground' against SCOTUS rulings that they find obnoxious (and for purposes of discussion, lets set aside an argument about the merits of the debate), then haven't we undermined the basis of any number of sacred cows of the Left? Roe, Casey, for that matter Brown could all be rejected by any number of states using the Mahal doctrine...

I don't agree with every SCOTUS ruling, but the alternative is far, far worse...

wyo sis said...

Take it all the way back to McCain Feingold. The whole campaign finance history was predicted then.

Jay Retread said...

Obama's 2008 campaign was funded overwhelmingly by small contributions and followed the laws in place strictly limiting the size of larger contributions. His campaign was not funded by a few multi-millionaires writing personal checks for $500,000.00.

Matthew Sablan said...

Jay: Wrong.

Thanks for playing! I even used the LA Times for you.

Matthew Sablan said...

(That's without even getting into the whole not verifying donors debacle.)

damikesc said...

So, it's wrong when Roberts goes against precedent --- but when liberals do it, it is OK, right?

That how it works?

Scott M said...

That how it works?

Dog bites man.

Bill said...

I thought four votes were enough to grant certiorari?

Patrick said...

Why oh why can't they see? Freedom of speech must be restricted so that the Government can keep us free!!

Hat tip to Orwell.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Robert's court will go down in history as the one that undermined our democracy and made cash the undisputed king. At best this court will be judged as being highly imprudent.

Oh bullshit. You liberals are all about 'fairness' and 'leveling the playing field'....right?

Now Corporations are on the same level playing field as other legal organizations and entities like SEIU, AFL-CIO and unions. You just want to have the rules be different for different people and be able to discriminate against and limit the ability of non-union groups to have the same voice in the public process.

My husband and I are a corporation. Your local doctor's group is probably also a corporation. The contracting firm in your neighborhood is likely a corporation. Government Motors, I mean General Motors, is a corporation. Dream Works is a corporation.

You guys seem to think that ALL corporations are eeeevil republican tools. Au contraire.

Fair is fair. But you don't really want "fair" do you?

Adam Schabow said...

@Dusty Bunny Queen - I don't think all corporations are "evil republican tools", but corporations aren't people and they care strictly about the bottom line. Conservatives are willing to give ridiculous tax credits to the wealthy and to corporations...so of course, they are going to support Republicans. To say that this "levels the playing field" is simply not accurate. The money Labor Unions spend do not even come close to the amount of money corporations are spending.

I think Citizens United is one of the worst things to happen to this country in ages. It could theoretically completely change the structure of this country. CU scares the hell out of me.

Scott M said...

Conservatives are willing to give ridiculous tax credits to the wealthy and to corporations...so of course, they are going to support Republicans.

Campaign donations indicate a shitload of them support democrats too and that's only the first inaccuracy for your comment.

How do you suppose labor unions mirror but corporations aren't people and they care strictly about the bottom line if at all?

Matthew Sablan said...

"I think Citizens United is one of the worst things to happen to this country in ages. It could theoretically completely change the structure of this country. CU scares the hell out of me."

-- Why do you think poor people should not be allowed to join together to have political speech? You do realize that is what CU allows, right? Killing CU means only the rich, like Bloomberg's Super Bowl ad, could ever hope to have their speech heard. Why do you think the poor don't deserve freedom of speech and association?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

but corporations aren't people and they care strictly about the bottom line.

"Definition:
corporation n. an organization formed with state governmental approval to act as an artificial person to carry on business (or other activities), which can sue or be sued, and (unless it is non-profit) can issue shares of stock to raise funds with which to start a business or increase its capital."

Corporations are composed of people and represent a group of people....just like your treasured Unions. As such they have a legitimate interest in being able to represent their opinions on legal and legislative issues that affect their "people".

In a political campaign the most effective way to represent their interests is in being able to contribute to the candidate of their choice. Or to be able to purchase advertising to express their opinion which it the First Amendment right of ALL people, even a conglomerate of people.

The Unions have this right. You just want to deny it to people who might disagree with you.

Patrick said...

Adam,

Do you really think restricting speech is good for American democracy? A corporation is not a natural person, but it is an association of people, organized for a particular purpose. Do you think all entities should be denied the right to express their opinions? What about labor unions? What about newspapers?

Have you noticed that at least since Watergate the government has had increasingly complex campaign finance laws? Have you noticed any corresponding reduction in campaign contributions or costs?

I am curious to hear your response to these.

damikesc said...

Conservatives are willing to give ridiculous tax credits to the wealthy and to corporations...so of course, they are going to support Republicans.

Like GM. Total tools for the GOP.

And GE. Ooops, sorry, I guess they are a small company.

Hollywood? Tiny start-ups abound.

How much did Obama make from the financial sector in 2008?

Hey, I bet firms like Solyndra got TONS of money from Republicans (true, they are small now --- but that is because they were poorly, poorly, poorly run).

To say that this "levels the playing field" is simply not accurate. The money Labor Unions spend do not even come close to the amount of money corporations are spending.

You're...serious, aren't you?

*weeps*

Unions give ungodly sums of money --- plus tons of manpower and hours of free work by their members.

The contributions from unions have long dwarfed corporations. It is equalizing now because more and more workers don't want to be in a union anyways.

I think Citizens United is one of the worst things to happen to this country in ages. It could theoretically completely change the structure of this country. CU scares the hell out of me.

McCain/Feingold was multiple levels worse. Thank God for CU.

What other rights should people sacrifice when they decide to work as a group?

Adam Schabow said...

Of course, Democrats are supported by corporations as well. Hell, Obama has whored himself out too. But let’s be fair here, most big corporations support Republicans. And the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t even come close to the money labor unions spend. I'm sorry, but that is a fact.

Money has become too big a part of politics, more than ever before. That is why I support public funded elections. That is why I supported McCain/Feingold before it was watered down. The point is, let’s have the politicians debate the topics instead of seeing how many commercials someone can spend over the other.

wyo sis said...

A fairly accurate judgement about any political issue can be made based on who screams the loudest. So far CU sounds like a win for truth, justice and the American way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The point is, let’s have the politicians debate the topics instead of seeing how many commercials someone can spend over the other.

No. The point is the First Amendment and my right to speak alone or with a group of people. Shall not be abridged.

The politicians don't necessarily speak for ME. In fact they rarely speak for me or even represent what I think.

Why should I be denied the right to band together with other people, incorporate to protect my personal assets and denied the right to communicate MY/OUR opinion.

Because you disagree with my opinion does not give you the right to silence me.

Alex said...

Too bad the liberals aren't allowed to just shred the Constitution. I mean dammit!

Matthew Sablan said...

"And the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t even come close to the money labor unions spend. I'm sorry, but that is a fact."

-- Oh? I'm sorry, but that is an assertion. Not a fact. Facts are where we smacked down Jay for being wrong about campaign donations to the president. Save me some Googling. Prove it, don't assert it.

cubanbob said...

Adam Schabow said...

I think you are an idiot. And I have provided the same level of factual proof that you assert about corporate tax credits.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Money has become too big a part of politics, more than ever before. That is why I support public funded elections."

-- There is no rational reason that we should allow incumbents to decide how much their challengers should be allowed to speak, if we want any pretense of fair elections.

Matthew Sablan said...

Here's a full list, per WaPo, for 2010. Go parse. AFSCME and SEIU put up a cool $20 million alone. I'm curious what corporations did. Tell me when you find them, because I'm too lazy to do your homework for you.

damikesc said...

And the fact of the matter is, it doesn’t even come close to the money labor unions spend. I'm sorry, but that is a fact.

You're focusing SOLELY on money, assuming what you're saying is true.

How much is all of the "volunteer" hours union goons give to Democrats worth? Answer: A substantial amount.

As far as "most big corporations support Republicans", that, like with your "corporations donate more than unions" would be helped, mightily, with even the tiniest sliver of evidence.

Money has become too big a part of politics, more than ever before. That is why I support public funded elections. That is why I supported McCain/Feingold before it was watered down. The point is, let’s have the politicians debate the topics instead of seeing how many commercials someone can spend over the other.

The same McCain/Feingold that made airing a movie before an election ILLEGAL? That horrid law?

If I have money, why should I be barred from buying ads to say what I want? Can I only spend my money to sell stuff? Why should SOME corporations (like, say, Comcast right now) have more rights than other corporations because they bought a media outlet?

Also: If a candidate violates all every single campaign finance law and wins the Presidency --- then what? You're going to remove him from office? Good luck on that one. If perjury before a grand jury won't do the trick, not abiding by absurd finance laws sure as heck won't do any better.

And without that risk, it's pointless anyway.

leslyn said...

IMO, as SCt opinions have grown longer, they serve merely to rationalize and justify what the majority has decided is the desired (rather than the legal) outcome. Citizens United could have been decided in three sentences:

"Title 5 of the U.S. Code includes 'corporation' within the definition of a 'person.' Therefore a corporation is a person, with all of a person's rights and benefits. So there."

(The "So there" is needed to lend weight and gravitas.)

cubanbob said...

Yes lets get rid of all manner of free speech except for the lone individual standing on top of a soap box.

So lets say goodbye to MSNBCCBSABCNBCPBSNPRFOXNYTLATWSJ and the entertainment media and all of the NGO's. No incumbent shall have the right to quoted in any form of corporate media and shall only be allowed to stand on one soap box at a time. Look on the bright side, we would haver to suffer hearing some idiot actor or director's or musician's political opinion again. Why should the famous get a special dispensation the obscure aren't able to get?

Sofa King said...

But, Leslyn, that is not even close to what CU actually says or does.

Cedarford said...

"Where it up to me", Justice Breyer would be stood up and shot as a transnationalist betrayer of the USA.
Fortunately for America, its not a "where if it was all up to me" situation of Breyer being in charge of everything with his ilk of lawyers.....or me..

leslyn said...

@SofaKing,

That's why I said,

IMO, as SCt opinions have grown longer, they serve merely to rationalize and justify what the majority has decided is the desired (rather than the legal) outcome.

Saint Croix said...

Money has become too big a part of politics, more than ever before.

Adam, when I look at Big Media--which are all corporate entities by the way--I see corporations that work as shills for the liberal side. I see Obama outlawing the light bulb so GE can make money on their stupid lights. And I see NBC and MSNBC giving Obama all the nicest press in the world.

You cannot regulate corporate speech without regulating newspapers, television stations, book and magazine publishers, and the internet.

All of those entities are run by corporations.

And the point of people buying those 30-second spots you detest is so people can speak as they see fit. For instance, by talking about the Fast and the Furious scandal, which Big Media does not want to cover.

The issue involved in Citizens United was a very little guy, a non-profit, who made a movie about Hillary. And they wanted to distribute it. And the government was threatening to put them in jail.

It's a classic free speech case.

I will fight liberals tooth and nail on free speech and equal protection. I have no idea why you trust the government to censor the speech of its foes. But that is an un-American idea, and a stupid one.

Hagar said...

"Conservatives are willing to give ridiculous tax credits to the wealthy and to corporations...so of course, they are going to support Republicans."

Such as George Soros, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates Jr., a.s.o., and the corporations these people run?

And these "ridiculous tax credits" were awarded these people and corporations by a benevolent Congress led by Nancy Pelosi of the Perini Corp., John Kerry of Forbes and Heinz fame, etc. and so forth?

Kyle McWhirter said...

The Numbers clearly speak for themselves: This election cycle alone shows a political arms race is on the horizon

http://fec-political-candidates.findthedata.org/compare/3989-4052/Obama-Barack-vs-Romney-Mitt

But it really comes into play based on the unfathomable and untraceable amount of money coming from the PACS: http://fec-political-committees.findthedata.org/

Kyle McWhirter said...

The Numbers clearly speak for themselves: This election cycle alone shows a political arms race is on the horizon

http://fec-political-candidates.findthedata.org/compare/3989-4052/Obama-Barack-vs-Romney-Mitt

But it really comes into play based on the unfathomable and untraceable amount of money coming from the PACS: http://fec-political-committees.findthedata.org/

damikesc said...

IMO, as SCt opinions have grown longer, they serve merely to rationalize and justify what the majority has decided is the desired (rather than the legal) outcome.

See Roe v Wade, for an example.

Eric said...

Obama's 2008 campaign was funded overwhelmingly by small contributions and followed the laws in place strictly limiting the size of larger contributions. His campaign was not funded by a few multi-millionaires writing personal checks for $500,000.00.

Sure it was. It's just that their money was all funneled through organizations that made contributions in other peoples' names. The Democratic political apparatus is festooned with Norman Hsu types who exist to make this happen.

Eric said...

Such as George Soros, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates Jr., a.s.o., and the corporations these people run?

Don't forget Goldman Sachs, one of Obama's largest donors.

Saint Croix said...

"Title 5 of the U.S. Code includes 'corporation' within the definition of a 'person.' Therefore a corporation is a person, with all of a person's rights and benefits. So there."

Leslyn, is the New York Times a corporation, yes or no?

Is Google a corporation, yes or no?

Is Yahoo a corporation, yes or no?

Is the Washington Post a corporation, yes or no?

Is Disney a corporation, yes or no?

Is GE a corporation, yes or no?

Can Congress regulate, censor, or outlaw the speech of these corporations, yes or no?

Revenant said...

Money has become too big a part of politics, more than ever before.

I have to smile when people advocate for government domination of every means by which people can earn money and then act shocked when people use money to influence the government.

leslyn said...

WTF St Croix? Do you have trouble understanding 3 sentences?

St Croix:
"I will fight liberals tooth and nail on free speech and equal protection. I have no idea why you trust the government to censor the speech of its foes. But that is an un-American idea, and a stupid one."

Well pin a rose on you.

Thank you for, once again, wilfully misunderstanding.

Saint Croix said...

Do you have trouble understanding 3 sentences?

No, I don't. You think it's stupid to call a corporation a person. You think Citizens United calls a corporation a person.

Now can you answer my questions?

leslyn said...

"You think it's stupid to call a corporation a person."

You're not very good at reading minds, St Croix.

Objection! ASKED and ANSWERED. Sustained!

(I saw a federal judge do that once--object and then sustain himself. Always wanted to do it myself.)

Robin said...

Why is it that we see Democrats show up in this thread and repeat long debunked myths about the 2008 campaign like Jay Retread's objectively false claims?

What is it about Obama fans that cause them to be utterly convinced of plainly false things?

Saint Croix said...

You're not very good at reading minds, St Croix.

I'm criticizing what you wrote.

You said Citizens United was lawless.

And you summed up the opinion as saying corporation = person.

That is a silly way to talk about Citizens United. The people who talk that way think that this is a valid criticism of the case. It's not.

I've heard the New York Times criticize Citizens United on the grounds that a corporation is not a person. New York Times speech is corporate speech. Ticker symbol NYT.

I've heard Jon Stewart criticize Citizens United on the grounds that a corporation is not a person. Jon Stewart is an employee of a corporation. He is representing that corporation. Comedy Central is owned by MTV Networks, which is owned by Viacom. Ticker symbol VIA.

Your speech is distributed by Blogger, owned by Google. Ticker symbol GOOG.

I see no difference, none, between all of these speakers and the non-profit who wanted to distribute a Hillary movie.

If you have some secret criticism of Citizens United, please share.

Saint Croix said...

The most disquieting thing about the Citizens United case is that no so-called liberals joined it. I am utterly confident that both Hugo Black and William Douglas would have joined the majority. Regardless of their status as liberals (and Hugo Black was considered the most liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate), Black was an absolutist on free speech. And Douglas was a libertarian.

Not only do I insist that Black and Douglas would have joined the majority, the rest of the liberals would have followed him, because of the sheer force of his personality. And because of the embarrassment for a liberal of being on the wrong side of Hugo Black on a free speech case.

The Stevens dissent is an embarrassment for liberalism. There's nothing liberal about it. Stevens the Fuckwit cites Bork on the free speech clause. Yes, Robert Bork, you're citing Robert Bork on free speech now. Idiots! Hugo Black is spinning in his grave.

The Framers and their contemporaries conceived of speech more narrowly than we now think of it.

Why don't you put that on your T-shirt, liberal!

Many historians believe the Framers were focused on prior restraints on publication and did not understand the First Amendment to “prevent the subsequent punishment of such [publications] as may be deemed contrary to the public welfare.”

Liberals are saying this! Liberals! This is an out and out attack on free speech in our country.

Stevens is now suggesting the possibility that free speech only applies to prior restraints!

"You can speak, and then Congress has authority to send you to jail."

Why would Stevens suggest that? Who writes that way? Who believes in such awesome government power, including the power to punish speakers critical of the government?

You people have lost your way.

leslyn said...

St Croix said,

1) "You said Citizens United was lawless."

2) And you summed up the opinion as saying corporation = person.

3)T hat is a silly way to talk about Citizens United. The people who talk that way think that this is a valid criticism of the case.

Can you seriously not read?

1. No I didn't.

The simple way to decide the case would be to base it on the definition of a person in Title 5, U.S. Code (the law and have done with it.

2) Yeah, so?

3) I think by your examples you mean that a silly criticism is that a corp IS NOT a person. Again, seriously, can you not read?