Tag Archives | Citizens United decision

Citizens United 2.0: Major Supreme Court Ruling Will Further Expand Reach Of Money In U.S. Elections

supreme courtThe Supreme Court’s conservative majority feels that any limit on the flow of money into political campaigns is a violation of free speech, the New York Times reports:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major campaign finance decision, striking down some limits on federal campaign contributions for the first time. The ruling, issued near the start of a campaign season, will change and most likely increase the already large role money plays in American politics.

The decision, by a 5-to-4 vote along ideological lines, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority, was a sequel of sorts to Citizens United, the 2010 decision that struck down limits on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions. But that ruling did nothing to affect the other main form of campaign finance regulation: caps on direct contributions to candidates and political parties.

Dissenting from the bench, Justice Stephen G. Breyer called the decision a blow to the First Amendment and American democracy.

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Montana Republican Proposes Bill Giving Corporations The Right To Vote

Well, since they are people after all, fair is fair. ThinkProgress reveals:

A bill introduced by Montana state Rep. Steve Lavin would give corporations the right to vote in municipal elections:

Provision for vote by corporate property owner. If a firm, partnership, company, or corporation owns real property within the municipality, the president, vice president, secretary, or other designee of the entity is eligible to vote in a municipal election.

The bill does contain some limits on these new corporate voting rights. Corporations would not be entitled to vote in “school elections,” and the bill only applies to municipal elections. So state and federal elections would remain beyond the reach of the new corporate voters. In fairness to Lavin’s fellow lawmakers, this bill was tabled shortly after it came before a legislative committee, so it is unlikely to become law.

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Los Angeles Votes To End Corporate Personhood

losangelesThe municipal government of Los Angeles has passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to assert that corporations are not guaranteed the rights of people, and that spending money is not the same as free speech. Largely symbolic, but hopefully part of something bigger. The Los Angeles Times reports:

At a packed City Council meeting that included remarks from a man in a top hat with fake money tucked in the pocket of his suit, Los Angeles lawmakers Tuesday called for more regulations on how much corporations can spend on political campaigns.

The vote in support of state and federal legislation that would end so-called “corporate personhood” is largely symbolic. But anti-corporate activist Mary Beth Fielder, who spoke in favor of the resolution, called it “a symbol that’s going to be heard around the world.”

The council resolution includes support for a constitutional amendment that would assert that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights, and that spending money is not a form of free speech.

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