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In an unsurprising (but no less disappointing) 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court of the United States summarily reversed the Montana Supreme Court decision, which found that circumstances unique to the Treasure State rendered Citizens United inapplicable in Big Sky Country.  

A "summary reversal" means the Court didn't even want to hear further argument on the matter; Citizens United is the law of the land, and Montana isn't special. The Court's decision is here, and here's what the one-page per curiam decision states in pertinent part:

The question presented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law. There can be no serious doubt that it does. See U. S. Const., Art. VI, cl. 2. Montana’s arguments in support of the judgment below either were already rejected in Citizens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case.
Justice Breyer, for the four dissenters, says that Citizens United was wrong at the time, and ...
Moreover, even if I were to accept Citizens United, this Court’s legal conclusion should not bar the Montana Supreme Court’s finding, made on the record before it, that independent expenditures by corporations did in fact lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption in Montana.Given the history and political landscape in Montana, that court concluded that the State had a compelling interest in limiting independent expenditures by corporations. Thus, Montana’s experience, like considerable experience elsewhere since the Court’s decision in Citizens United, casts grave doubt on the Court’s supposition that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so.

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.

Originally posted to Adam B on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (124+ / 0-)
    •  Not a 10th Amendment issue at all. (11+ / 0-)

      CU is a First Amendment decision.  Unless you want to argue that the First Amendment does not apply to the states, there's no 10th Amendment, or states rights, issue here at all.  

        •  The 1st Am. applies to the states. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rimjob, solozen

          Therefore, Montana can't ban types of political speech just because they decide the Constitution doesn't apply. That is the legal argument.

          by Common Cents on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:09:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What all of you missed (11+ / 0-)

            The 1st Amendment applies to people. Corporations are not people, no matter how many times the right tries to say otherwise.

            •  This is just wrong. (7+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rimjob, Adam B, VClib, splintersawry, pico, solozen, ccyd
              The 1st Amendment applies to people
              The First Amendment:  
              Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
              The only right in there that is given to "people" is the right to peaceably assemble.  

              The speech part does not apply to "people."  It is a limit on what Congress can do:  "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech."  

              If the First Amendment, in addressing speech, had put "people" in there like it did for the assembly part, you might have a point.  The authors of the First Amendment chose not to do that.  

              •  What about the rights of Negroes to speak? (2+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                blueoldlady, mikeVA
                Hidden by:

                Of course they mean individual citizens, you ridiculous troll.

              •  you missed "petition the Government for a redress (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Back In Blue

                ...of grievances"


                by chmood on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:44:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Who is imbued with the power of speech? (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Back In Blue, TexDem, wsexson, jayden

                In 1888 the Court made corporations people, and now they are extending the rights of people to those entities.

                People speak.
                Even when people speak collectively, they are people.

                Corporations do not have the power of speech.
                They are not people, nor are they living entities.
                They are not sentient.

                Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

                by mungley on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:48:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, here are some questions then (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Adam B, pico, Trevin

                  If corporations are not part of what is protected by the First Amendment, then presumably Congress CAN pass laws banning, or limiting, the speech of corporations in any context -- like books, movies, tv shows, etc.

                  During the Vietnam War, for example, Congress could have banned any book or movie that it perceived as anti-war?  

                  During the Iraq war, Congress could have banned any book or movie that it perceived as anti-war?  

                  The one principle that says Congress CAN'T ban a book or movie because it doesn't like the content is the First Amendment.  If the First Amendment does not apply to speech paid for by a corporation, then nothing stops Congress from banning books and movies just because it does not like the message.  

                  •  Coffeetalk has an important point (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mungley, Trevin, loretta

                    Most of our free speech can only be widely disseminated via methods reliant on corporations.  So if Congress can restrict those corporations, they can in effect restrict us to an extent.   Assuming, of course, that we're entitled to widely disseminate our speech.  

                    At the end of the day, though, I disagree with coffeetalk's slippery slope argument.  I admit that my American distrust of people in power, mixed with the certainty that ideologically-driven conservatives will misuse this power as a price of dragging us into their utopia, makes me a little wary of that slope.

                    However, I am also confident that we could make a law that works (in theory of course; with Republicans nothing sensible is certain). It is not terribly difficult to craft a law that targets the destructive kinds of behavior, as attested by the experience of dozens of democracies around the world. These solutions shouldn't be left off the table a priori.  

                    Personally, I think it would be simpler if the FCC banned any license holder from charging money for political advertisements.

                    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

                    by nominalize on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:36:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Not really (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mikeVA, mungley

                    Books are written by people.

                    They are, today, published by corporations.

                    If herewere limits on corporations, then it would be easy to get around them in publishing.

                    When there were limits on corporations in terms of donations, they did get around them to a certain extent. But the USSC decision opened floodgates of corporate donations.

                    Cuddling other people's babies for fifty years.

                    by Frank Palmer on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:21:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Commercial activity was untouched. (0+ / 0-)

                    McCain-Feingold attempted to limit circumventing the hard contribution limits. We might as well ditch the Federal Eclection Campaign Act, right?

                  •  "Opinions expressed in the following article (0+ / 0-)

                    are held solely by the author, and are not the opinions of _____ corporation."

                    The issue here is that SCOTUS has decided that corporations are allowed to form their own opinions that stand separately from the people who create the work, and who fund the production and publication.

                    Publishing and distributing political speech is different than engaging in it.

                     So, laws that said: "You can't pay for a  movie that's essentially a 90 minute attack ad against Senator Clinton, and air it  right before an election, because that is unfair to the voters," were not saying that you can't produce such movies.  They said that those are political contributions and have limits based on our election laws.

                    Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

                    by mungley on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:16:55 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Splitting hairs, again (6+ / 0-)

                In the text of the amendment, it talks about the people's right to assemble. One could easily assume that "freedom of speech" means the people's freedom of speech, not the speech of fictitious legal entities.

                Honestly, though. This is like arguing about the wisdom of allowing small forest fires to burn to reduce the overall fire risk while the massive forest fire is bearing down on a town.

                The Citizen's United decision is doing untold massive damage to this country, and must be reversed, one way or another.

                •  That's contrary to the way Courts interpet (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Adam B

                  statutes, constitutions, etc.  They presume that if the authors use a word, like "people" in one section, but not another, that was intentional.  As a matter of Constitutional interpretation, the use of the word "people" in another section would tend to mean that leaving it out of the "speech" part was intentional and meant something.  

                  •  I understand the reasoning. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    That doesn't mean it's correct.

                    And of course other non-person entities were not nearly as powerful back then as they are now.

                    That's why Originalism is such a flawed legal philosophy. Because we are allowed to learn nothing from experience.

                  •  They failed to mention robots as well. (0+ / 0-)

                    They are often created by groups of people. Shouldn't robots enjoy free speech too then by your logic coffee talk? Or is it just the corporation that makes the robot that gets to speak freely?

                    Snark aside, I can't understand why "free speech" is permitted to be exercised anonymously AND limitlessly. Congress could, if it wanted to, remove the blanket of anonymity and place strict, enforceable and REASONABLE monetary limits on contributions. Just this weekend for example, Karl Rove attended and spoke at Rmoneys big strategy pow-wow. Aren't there clear laws against Super Pacs colluding and strategizing with candidates???!!!

                  •  Everyone disagrees with you. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    You're splitting hairs on wording and thus supporting the new CU interpretation of a decades-old legal precedent that does enormous damage to our political system & will eventually DE-legitimize it.

                    If you want to say CU is logical, that's fine.  Plenty of logical things are disastrous and stupid.  Plenty of stupid things can be put into a logical framework and thus be made to seem like the only reasonable path.  You should think for yourself.

                    Who cares 'how the courts interpret'?  As if that tradition has any value at all while Sheldon Adelson puts down $50M to influence our elections - or worse, other similar folks put down even more money anonymously.

                    If you support Citizens United, just say so.  Don't depend on re-interpreting the writings of the long-deceased to support your argument.  Everyone will think you're shallow, because the Founding Fathers are dead - they didn't anticipate this situation - and we have a say in our own political destiny & not be turned into slaves by Scalia & Roberts' over-reach.

                    A nation of sheep will surely beget a government of wolves.

                    by BlabberMan on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:49:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  However (0+ / 0-)

                    However, corporations cannot, in reality, speak.

                    I don't think that among people off the USSC, there is any suspicion that the framers actually intended "freedom of speech and of the press" to extend to corporations.

                    The fact is that corporations were an entirely different thing when the Constitution was written -- uniquely created by governmental units do do specific tasks.

                    Cuddling other people's babies for fifty years.

                    by Frank Palmer on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:27:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Assumption not recognized (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wsexson, BlabberMan, mikeVA, Back In Blue

                The government is restricted from "abridging the freedom of speech," but as to entities that don't possess the "freedom of speech" they're unconstrained by that language.

                We contend that only humans may possess the "freedom of speech." Corporate entities are not endowed with that right except by our sufferance.

                Shareholders and officers may have the freedom of speech protected from Congress, of course, but there's no reason that needs to extend to the corporation itself. A corporation is like a puppet: a puppet's mouth may move, its arms may wave, but only the puppeteer has a freedom to speak.

                "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

                by JR on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:50:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well, here's a question. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  We contend that only humans may possess the "freedom of speech." Corporate entities are not endowed with that right except by our sufferance.
                  Doesn't this mean that the First Amendment does not prohibit Congress, if it so chose, from banning books or movies (put out by corporations) that Congress decides it doesn't like?

                  What prevented Congress from banning anti-war books and movies during the VietNam war or Iraq War?  After all, corporations publish books and make movies.  

                  •  The freedom of the press? nt (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Back In Blue

                    "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

                    by JR on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:49:46 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The search for consistency .. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sue B

                    is the hobgoblin of small minds.
                    And you're one of them.  

                    Slavery in the south was consistent with the original constitution.  

                    The invasion of Russia by Napoleon & Hitler was consistent with their governing philosophy of the time.

                    Using horses for transport was consistent & logical until the car was invented.  Then it wasn't.  

                    If you defend consistency regardless of outcome, then you're a fool.

                    A nation of sheep will surely beget a government of wolves.

                    by BlabberMan on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:57:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry, but c-talk's is really a stupid argument (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    enemy of the people, chase

                    Corporations do not write books, people do. Corporations don't worship, people do. BOOKS don't have freedom of speech and press, people do. Corporations are not people. Corporations are human constructs endowed with certain economic rights and were NEVER intended to be treated as people. Corporations were originally formed in order to promote the public good. People use corporations to protect themselves, just like people build buildings to protect themselves.

                    Saying that corporations have speech rights is like saying buildings have speech rights. "Well it doesn't say they DON'T in the constitution." Give me a fucking break. Just because buildings can't talk doesn't mean they shouldn't have speech rights!

                    "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

                    by caseynm on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:20:47 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  200 years ago sovereign wealth did it wrong. (0+ / 0-)

                    They didn't have to fight the colonists. They just had to print books (wink). So essentially limitless wealth can take control of our political activity under the guise of commercial contracts.

            •  The 1st Amendment Applies To Governments..... (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B, Andrew C White, pico, solozen, Trevin
              Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...
              It says nothing about the speech having to come from a human being, and not a legal entity, to enjoy protection.
            •  Corps represent the will of groups of people (0+ / 0-)

              If corporations are not allowed to engage in political speech then unions, newspapers, and media companies would also have this right stripped away. Thus, the only way any news on candidates would be released is if the candidates themselves ran advertisements. No talk shows, no punditry, nothing.

              If the New York Times can write editorials for and against candidates, then GE should also be allowed to "support" their chosen candidate.

              •  There's "allowed" (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JR, cslewis, blueoldlady, orlbucfan, chase, jayden

                and there's "no limits whatsoever".

                Montana has seen in their history what can happen when corporations have unlimited influence. How we can ignore that by quoting text written over 100 years earlier is ludicrous.

                I'm not proposing that corporate speech be outlawed. I just claim it is fundamentally different from personal speech, and should be regulated for the good of the Republic.

                Where did all you Citizen's United apologists come from? And why do you hide behind legalisms?

                Come out with the rest of us and see what the horrible Citizen's United decision is doing to this country.

                •  Asmiralh, can you provide a link (0+ / 0-)

                  to substantiate:

                  "Montana has seen in their history what can happen when corporations have unlimited influence"?

                  •  Yes, I can (6+ / 0-)

                    Montana Copper Kings

                    There was also a great "Stuff you missed in History Class" podcast about the copper kings.

                    They essentially bought the Montana Government for a number of years.

                    •  But, was their influence carried out (0+ / 0-)

                      through a corporation or through their personal income?

                      When referring to the copper kings, Mark Twain states: "He is said to have bought legislatures and judges as other men buy food and raiment. By his example he has so excused and so sweetened corruption that in Montana it no longer has an offensive smell."

                      So is he talking about corporations buying advertising or is he talking about individuals giving gifts. It sounds more like the latter. In which case, we're not talking about the 1st amendment anymore.

                      •  It was originally people ... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        chase, jayden

                        but then it became corporate, with the Amalgamated Copper Mining Co. and the United Mining company being the main actors. The influence these corporations had was far more than what the companies' leaders could have had as individuals.

                        •  But everything I've seen on the Copper Kings (0+ / 0-)

                          is that they participated in bribery. This is already outlawed. To link this action to campaign contributions seems shaky at best.

                          The point of our government's policies should be to make actions more transparent in the electoral process not put restrictions on financing. There is no way to actually restrict financing. Laws against financing drive the money to indirect channels and thereby obscures the influence.

                          •  It went far beyond bribing politicians (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            The shenanigans that went on included just about everything you can think of, up to the attempted purchase of a Senate seat.

                            The point is this: Montana found in their history that the corruptive influences were produced by corporations, and therefore they had the right to limit these influences.

                            And honestly, there isn't that much difference between contributing to political campaigns and bribery, especially when you consider the amounts that corporations are likely to contribute. This is why limits to campaign contributions (or publicly financed campaigns) are essential for a working democracy.

              •  GE is not a citizen it is a piece of paper. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sue B, buffie
              •  No, the press is specifically protected. (0+ / 0-)

                The assumption that the will of every employee of a corporation is reflected in the the political influence by that corporation is absurd.  

                Let's be serious, while at a basic level, every employee's livelihood can be effected by the success of the corporation, the political influence bought by corporations who seek to maximize profits for shareholders and the top executives is hardly beneficial to the majority of employees.  

                The simple fact is that the goals of most corporations, especially multi-nationals (who should be a special case in my opinion) over the last 50 years have been decidedly NOT in the interest of most of it's employees.

                If unions are to be handed defeat after defeat on how they can form and be run in order to minimize and eventually destroy them, while corporations are granted more and more ability to outright buy our government, then something is fundamentally wrong with how the supreme court has been interpreting the constitution.  

                Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:04:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Back in Blue, Do you know (0+ / 0-)

                  how many mega corporations there are compared to smaller corporations?

                  The ratio of small corporations (1-9 employees) to large corporations (10+) is 2.5 to 1.

                  The ratio of small corporations (1-9 employees) to very large corporations (1000+) is 148 to 1.

                  Thus, your theory that corporations do not reflect the goals of the employers is way off when it comes to the strong majority of corporations.


                  •  I doubt it. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    First of all, those corporations with 1-9 employees do not wield the influence of mega corporations.  They do not have the money to buy anyone.  They are not plutocrats. They are not the problem.  Show me where congress has passed any legislation for the (real) benefit of or voted to bail out any of these 1-9 employee corporations.  

                    Second, just because they are small in size does not mean they become uniform in voice.  My wife and I each own one of the those 1-9 employee corporations and I can guarantee you that not all of our employees or partners share the same goals as the two us.  You have to remember that not all business goals are in-line with other goals, like social issues or environmental issues for example.    

                    Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                    by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:55:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Speech is a human function, not a corporate functi (0+ / 0-)

                The New York Times is incorporated as a member of the press and as such is subject to laws pertaining to the press.  Its product is clearly identified as coming from The New York Times.  

                GE is incorporated as a designer, manufacturer and purveyor of merchandise, and it is subject to laws relating to those endeavors.  

                When GE does something other than design, manufacture or purvey merchandise other rules apply categorically:  if it issues an annual report, it is subject to certain FASB and other rules, standards and conventions.  And if it issues advertising (which is essentially what it is doing if it chooses to endorse a candidate, directly or indirectly) it is subject to laws applicable across the board to all advertising.  

                These same rules, of course, also limit what The New York Times can or cannot do with respect to its financial and advertising publications.  

                And if either corporation expands the scope of its incorporation, the add-on functions are subject to the same specific rules in place for that other type of corporate function.  If GE, for example, becomes a member of the media, it has to label its "newspaper" as a GE-owned-and-operated entity, and it has to adhere to the laws governing all press.  

                Corporations do not "speak"; they publish newspapers or reports, they broadcast or they advertise.  They manufacture stuff.  Those are the choices, and efforts in any of these directions are subject to rules applicable to such actions.

                "Speech" is, strictly, an individual human function.  

                •  Benjaminblue, but you just made my case for me. (0+ / 0-)

                  Why should the NYT be able to influence elections given that its a corporation if the argument against corporate speech is that it overly corrupts the electoral process?

                  Look at what happened in Britain with Rupert Murdoch and Gordon Brown. Britain has some of the harshest laws restricting electoral financing and speech by corporations and individuals. As a result, the press is the 800 pound gorilla as they controlled all avenues for politicians to get their message out. Thus, the press became king makers and thereby heavily influenced the electoral process.

                  My argument is that laws need to be made to make the process completely open (i.e. noting where funding and advertising comes from) rather than trying to restrict certain channels for funding. There is no way to restrict campaign financing that is workable or equitable.

              •  Wrong (0+ / 0-)

                Unions might publish today; they still don't speak.

                However, if Unions were barred from publishing, their officers would publish.

                The issue isn't about corporations producing papers or speeches. In reality, even with this ruling, the papers and speeches come from people -- sometimes people identified as corporate officers. The only op-eds written by non-human entities run in The Onion.

                The issue is about the special power of corporate management to control corporate expenditure. If you own a share of GM, then when GM buys a drill press or pays a shill, the management is spending your money. The money of all those stockholders is lumped together, and they have, at best, a  right to decide whether the general management policies ar profitable as a whole

                When that power to expend other people's money is turned into the power to give other people's money to political campaigns, that is where the problem lies.

                Cuddling other people's babies for fifty years.

                by Frank Palmer on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:41:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But the NYT a a corporation controls (0+ / 0-)

                  what editorials get published. As an example look back at how the NYT published Obama's editorial but refused McCain's response.


                  Thus, the press, as corporations, will have undue influence if other corporations are prohibited.

                  Plus, Frank, you don't evidence your statement that:

                  "When that power to expend other people's money is turned into the power to give other people's money to political campaigns, that is where the problem lies."

                  •  That can be changed. (0+ / 0-)

                    Remember that Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter famously never raised a penny for their race.  It was all public funds from the government.  

                    Comparing the US to Britain is way off.  We have nothing approaching the depth of control they assert over their citizens.  Our country was born of escaping their shackles.  

                    Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                    by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:52:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Evidence (0+ / 0-)

                    Plus, Frank, you don't evidence your statement that:

                    "When that power to expend other people's money is turned into the power to give other people's money to political campaigns, that is where the problem lies."

                    Well, I thought that there was generall agreement that  corporate spending was a problem. If you want more evidence of it, that would be a long diary, not a section of a comment.

                    The rest of my statement was a demonstration that regulations of corporation speech wouldn't be the problem that some people above had suggested.

                    Your citation of one occasion when a corporation (actually what we're talking about is the board of a corporation or the executives) controlling publishing doesn't address my point.

                    Sure, that is done today. Were there restrictions in place, people would publish in their individual names.

                    Cuddling other people's babies for fifty years.

                    by Frank Palmer on Wed Jun 27, 2012 at 10:53:45 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Since corps are owned by shareholders, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Back In Blue

                often many individuals, presumably not all of the same political persuasion, then should the shareholders have to "opt in" or vote whether to have corporate money support particular political causes/candidates--to exercise "speech" as a group-- as unions are now required to have members "opt in" to have union dues used for political purposes?  And would the number of shares owned determine how much weight the shareholder's vote was given, or how many votes they had?  And does this bring us back to the money=speech place?  

                What about foreign-owned corporations, in whole or in part, whose shareholders may not even be American citizens?  Do they get to vote on how "their" corporation's money is used in American elections?  Whose interests are they going to support with their "speech"?  Can Americans even find out where the millions in advertising/propagandizing dollars are coming from?   And further, if USA voters understand that this is how our elections are now allowed to be conducted, why should anyone feel any hope or commitment to the political process in this country, that it will ever work to the benefit of "we the people"?

                •  Couldn't agree more. (0+ / 0-)

                  I worked at Smith Barney when it was owned by Travlers Group.  I remember the day when I was "encouraged" by the head of our division (three levels above me) to call or write and certainly donate additional money to the politicians who could make then end of Glass-Steagal a reality.  They didn't give us the specifics, just that it would be good for the company and therefore good for me.

                  I had no idea how it would be good for the company or myself so I decided it must not be if the message had to be sold to me by someone who held my continued employment in their hands.    Not to mention the people who reported to me who also felt their livelihood's threatened looking to me for guidance and assurance.  Turns out my instincts were correct that it was bad news.

                  My wife used to work at another financial giant and was "encouraged" to contribute to similar political funds.  She refused and significant pressure came down on her to toe the line.  I believe she was passed over for a promotion because of it.  Nine months later, she got the promotion as if nothing had ever happened.  They just left the position "open".  

                  Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                  by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:46:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Only if you believe a corporation (7+ / 0-)

            is a person can you believe that it has 1st amendment rights.

            In this case, the Montana Court viewed that its unique history allowed it to treat its corporations like something other than a natural person when it comes to their own elections, due to their state interest in curbing corruption.

            However, the Supreme Court has decided that all corporations are natural persons and that the money they have is free speech. So it only follows they would strike down the Montana law.

            But the idea that a corporation is a natural person and their their money is the same thing as speech is a political argument, not a legal one.

            •  Do associations have speech rights? (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, davehouck, coffeetalk, pico

              Do media companies which don't own physical presses?

              •  Associations need to be subject to laws (0+ / 0-)
                •  And corporations are as well. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Look, the reasons I don't like Citizens United have nothing to do with the corporate v. human question, and everything to do with the Court's inability to recognize that independent speech (from whatever source) can corrupt under certain circumstances.

                  •  So what you're saying is (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sue B

                    that if it is okay for an individual to spend a million bucks on political ads, then its okay for a corporation to do the same. I agree.

                    My point is that it isn't okay for an individual to spend a million bucks on political ads. Or flyers. Or on lobbying. Or a political blog. That sort of thing is not free speech and should be regulated.

                    In other words, you are free to speak your mind. Groups are free to speak their minds. The moment either one starts to spend money, there should be regulation to ensure a level playing field.

                    •  But speech without a megaphone is pointless. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      coffeetalk, pico

                      Unless you're willing to cede all power to those who own media entities.

                      •  You don't have a right to a megaphone. (0+ / 0-)

                        You have to buy a megaphone. "Congress shall make no law abridging the right to megaphones?"


                        •  Exactly. Millions upon millions of American (0+ / 0-)

                          citizens do not and will never possess a megaphone to exercise the rights granted by CU. The biggest problem with the ruling is not so much in granting free speech rights to corporations. It is equating speech with money that is the f*cked up part of it all. Our founders spent a lot of time and energy trying to assure that corporations and banks would not have undo influence in Our Government. They knew that without vigilance the monied powers would try to take over. Even Lincoln lamented that bankers and monied interests are a bigger threat to our Nation than any foreign power. Our founders (and Lincoln) sadly did not foresee our Government being gladly handed to the monied interests by our own Supreme Court. The corporations didn't even ASK for this ruling, our SCOTUS majority simply offered it up to them freely and happily.

                    •  I'm going to disagree (0+ / 0-)

                      That sort of thing is speech.  However, I think that freedom of speech should not be absolute and the government should have some power to regulate speech.

                      I'd support a constitutional amendment giving the government an explicit power to regulate speech during campaign season, as is done in many democracies.

              •  Under plenty of statutes we're free to enact? Sure (0+ / 0-)

                Under the First Amendment? That seems like a much different and more complicated question.

                "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

                by JR on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:55:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes. But their money isn't speech. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zmom, Ed in Montana

                Rights in this country are possessed by individuals. Money is property, not speech. The government has every right to regulate what you do with your property.

                •  How would an argument using money as speech sound (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  if that money went to wish someone dead?

                  Another ask how much is it worth to you to hear that Xxxx is dead?

                  You reply by handing them $YYYYYY.

                  When questioned you reply you were only expressing your right to free speech with $YYYYYY. You didn't ask the person to kill anyone, just expressed your desire that they were dead. And when asked what it was worth to you, you used $YYYYYY to express loudly thru the use of free speech how badly you wanted someone dead.

                  It's a BS argument. You and I know it, but when the SCOTUS says money equals speech, why couldn't someone use this as an argument?

                  •  Why can't money be religious? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Seriously? Why isn't the money I spend on my children an expression of God's will that I be fruitful and multiply? Shouldn't I be able to buy as much religion as I want without any regulation whatsoever?

                    Religion without a megaphone is pointless, using Adam B's argument.

                    Once you start buying the idea that money is speech, there is literally no reason for us to have a government that regulate anything one does with their property.

              •  Of course they do. Are they unlimited? (0+ / 0-)

                Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:05:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Though that decision was on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment. Its headnote, while not a reflection of the legal arguments made during the case itself, did tragically reflect the correspondence of the Waite-era justices:

              “The court does not want to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution . . . applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does.”
              True to form, this did lead to outcomes such as the rejection of Lochner v. New York.

              Evidently, the "corporations are people" meme has roots far beyond Romney and Bachmann. I'm not a judicial history expert at all, but it reads to me like it's an unfortunate point of fact that the SCOTUS, apart from a few progressive decisions for a while after the Depression years, has largely been a shill for corporate interests.

              "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

              by rovertheoctopus on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:41:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  There was no legal argument--that's the point here (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bkamr, cslewis, blueoldlady, orlbucfan, wsexson

            Per Curiam opinions are for minor matters, and they're usually unanimous.   This matter isn't minor, and the decision sure as hell wasn't unanimous.  There were no briefs on the merits, nor (obviously) was there oral argument.

            I was afraid that they'd do this.  It bothers me more than the now certain striking of the ACA as a whole.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:33:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's probably for the best. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B, Sue B

              What Breyer was really saying is that there wasn't any way to move anyone in the CU majority with the Court the way it is. It's probably better not to have a new lump of anti-regulation dicta floating out there.

              The real message is that if you want CU overturned, you better re-elect Obama and/or get geared up to push for a constitutional amendment.

              "Speaking for myself only" - Armando

              by JR on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:57:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's Pretty Much What I Was Thinking Too (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie


          There isn't a legal argument at all here. This is pure unadulterated politics.
          I think I've got this straight. I had to go to Wikipedia.

          Until I got a computer, came to Kos and found out what was happening in Iraq in 2008, I have not really followed politics since the sixties (except locally, and Presidential Elections. I always voted, Democratic Of Course).

          So I have to learn who's, who and what's going on all over again.

          citizens united wants to be allowed to contribute to political campaigns and be able to advertise in the media right up to election day. So that they can pour a ton of money into election campaigns for those they want elected.

          Montana Supreme Court said no. Now Federal Supreme Court Says they can because the law for Montana is different than in other states because Montana really got screwed over by standard oil years ago. And standard oil has controlled the newspapers there ever since.

          Now I'm totally confused!

          How does citizens united get control of a state like Montana or any state?

          How come some people in Montana support gop organizations like citizens united (who are the gop or backed by the gop), when they got screwed over by big business which is owned by the gop?

          i e Mountaintop Removal, Strip And Longwall Mining, Gas Fracking, Are - An American Tragedy![Updated 3/21/12]

          longwall mining

          Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

          by rebel ga on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:36:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  States' rights applies to guns and abortions (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are fine and sublte legal distinction to be made here.

      States' rights applies to guns, abortions, and illegal immigrants.  It does not apply to wealthy and corporate interests buying the legislators and laws they want.

      The needs of the wealthy and corporate interests to make more money must be preserved at all times.  Even the principles of democracy are subservient to the wealthy and corporate interests.  

      This should not be suprising to anyone.  What is suprising is that four members of the SC would bite the hand that feeds them and try to overturn this important legal standard.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:47:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so no legal solution is possible with this Court (35+ / 0-)

    which reduces the choices to (a) a political solution or (b) a different Court.

    Oh, and so much for states' rights.

    Panelist, Netroots Nation 2012, "Coal and the Grassroots Fight for Environmental Justice." @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:30:16 AM PDT

    •  Looks like it (12+ / 0-)

      The Court isn't interested in revisiting its decision based on evidence seen since its ruling, or on any other basis.

      Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

      by Phoenix Rising on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:40:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  1st Amendment rights trump states rights (6+ / 0-)

      CU is purely a 1st Amendment issue.

      •  we're (7+ / 0-)

        in the 1st amendment does it mention corporations?  I must of missed that part.

        Bad is never good until worse happens

        by dark daze on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:55:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't mention "persons," either (14+ / 0-)

          "Congress shall make no law . . .  abridging the freedom of speech."

          Technically, it's a limit on Congress -- It limits what kinds of laws Congress can pass.  

          •  hey (0+ / 0-)

            i got there first

          •  The constitution says "We the people" (8+ / 0-)

            not "We the corporations."

            Just stop it with the legalistic hair-splitting.

          •  And what is "speech"? Who determines how that is (3+ / 0-)

            defined? Why wasn't it one person, one voice?

            I don't believe the drafters of the Bill of Rights had "speech" associated with money in any way. That would seem antithetical to their desire to avoid a corruptible democracy. A democracy ruled by an aristocratic class.

            Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

            by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:27:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good questions (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Musial, VClib, splintersawry

              the "what is speech" part is something that the SCOTUS has struggled with.  Generally, "expressive conduct" is speech, but they've struggled with what is speech, and what is not speech, for decades.  

              And the Court hasn't exactly held that money is speech.  Instead, the Court has held that spending money to get a message out is part of speech. From Buckley v. Valeo, (1976):  

              The First Amendment protects political association as well as political expression. The constitutional right of association explicated in NAACP v. Alabama, 357 U.S. 449, 460 (1958), stemmed from the Court's recognition that

              [e]ffective advocacy of both public and private points of view, particularly controversial ones, is undeniably enhanced by group association.

              Subsequent decisions have made clear that the First and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee "‘freedom to associate with others for the common advancement of political beliefs and ideas,'" a freedom that encompasses "‘[t]he right to associate with the political party of one's choice.'" Kusper v. Pontikes, 414 U.S. 51, 56, 57 (1973), quoted in Cousins v. Wigoda, 419 U.S. 477, 487 (1975).

              It is with these principles in mind that we consider the primary contentions of the parties with respect to the Act's limitations upon the giving and spending of money in political campaigns. Those conflicting contentions could not more sharply define the basic issues before us. Appellees contend that what the Act regulates is conduct, and that its effect on speech and association is incidental, at most. Appellants respond that contributions and expenditures are at the very core of political speech, and that the Act's limitations thus constitute restraints on First Amendment liberty that are both gross and direct.

              In upholding the constitutional validity of the Act's contribution and expenditure provisions on the ground [p16] that those provisions should be viewed as regulating conduct, not speech, the Court of Appeals relied upon United States v. O'Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968). See 171 U.S.App.D.C. at 191, 519 F.2d at 840. The O'Brien case involved a defendant's claim that the First Amendment prohibited his prosecution for burning his draft card because his act was "‘symbolic speech'" engaged in as a "‘demonstration against the war and against the draft.'" 391 U.S. at 376. On the assumption that "the alleged communicative element in O'Brien's conduct [was] sufficient to bring into play the First Amendment," the Court sustained the conviction because it found "a sufficiently important governmental interest in regulating the nonspeech element" that was "unrelated to the suppression of free expression" and that had an "incidental restriction on alleged First Amendment freedoms . . . no greater than [was] essential to the furtherance of that interest." Id. at 376-377. The Court expressly emphasized that O'Brien was not a case

              where the alleged governmental interest in regulating conduct arises in some measure because the communication allegedly integral to the conduct is itself thought to be harmful.

              Id. at 382.

              We cannot share the view that the present Act's contribution and expenditure limitations are comparable to the restrictions on conduct upheld in O'Brien. The expenditure of money simply cannot be equated with such conduct as destruction of a draft card. Some forms of communication made possible by the giving and spending of money involve speech alone, some involve conduct primarily, and some involve a combination of the two. Yet this Court has never suggested that the dependence of a communication on the expenditure of money operates itself to introduce a nonspeech element or to reduce the exacting scrutiny required by the First Amendment. See Bigelow v. Virginia, 421 U.S. 809, [p17] 820 (1975); New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, supra at 266. For example, in Cox v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 559 (1965), the Court contrasted picketing and parading with a newspaper comment and a telegram by a citizen to a public official. The parading and picketing activities were said to constitute conduct "intertwined with expression and association," whereas the newspaper comment and the telegram were described as a "pure form of expression" involving "free speech alone," rather than "expression mixed with particular conduct." Id. at 563-564.

              Even if the categorization of the expenditure of money as conduct were accepted, the limitations challenged here would not meet the O'Brien test because the governmental interests advanced in support of the Act involve "suppressing communication." The interests served by the Act include restricting the voices of people and interest groups who have money to spend and reducing the over-all scope of federal election campaigns. Although the Act does not focus on the ideas expressed by persons or groups subject to its regulations, it is aimed in part at equalizing the relative ability of all voters to affect electoral outcomes by placing a ceiling on expenditures for political expression by citizens and groups. Unlike O'Brien, where the Selective Service System's administrative interest in the preservation of draft cards was wholly unrelated to their use as a means of communication, it is beyond dispute that the interest in regulating the alleged "conduct" of giving or spending money "arises in some measure because the communication allegedly integral to the conduct is itself thought to be harmful." 391 U.S. at 382.

              Nor can the Act's contribution and expenditure limitations be sustained, as some of the parties suggest, by reference to the constitutional principles reflected in such [p18] decisions as Cox v. Louisiana, supra; Adderley v. Florida, 385 U.S. 39 (1966); and Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U.S. 77 (1949). Those cases stand for the proposition that the government may adopt reasonable time, place, and manner regulations, which do not discriminate among speakers or ideas, in order to further an important governmental interest unrelated to the restriction of communication. See Erznoznik v. City of Jacksonville, 422 U.S. 205, 209 (1975). In contrast to O'Brien, where the method of expression was held to be subject to prohibition, Cox, Adderley, and Kovacs involved place or manner restrictions on legitimate modes of expression -- picketing, parading, demonstrating, and using a sound truck. The critical difference between this case and those time, place, and manner cases is that the present Act's contribution and expenditure limitations impose direct quantity restrictions on political communication and association by persons, groups, candidates, and political parties in addition to any reasonable time, place, and manner regulations otherwise imposed. [n17] [p19]

              A restriction on the amount of money a person or group can spend on political communication during a campaign necessarily reduces the quantity of expression by restricting the number of issues discussed, the depth of their exploration, and the size of the audience reached. [ This is because virtually every means of communicating ideas in today's mass society requires the expenditure of money. The distribution of the humblest handbill or leaflet entails printing, paper, and circulation costs. Speeches and rallies generally necessitate hiring a hall and publicizing the event. The electorate's increasing dependence on television, radio, and other mass media for news and information has made these expensive modes of communication indispensable instruments of effective political speech.

              •  and they were wrong (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pescadero Bill

                spreading speech is not speech itself. Its simply distribution.

                If I make a speech in front of person is it not a speech? Does it become more free, if two people listen to it?

                They act as if speech is some sort of packaged product, and without a distribution model it ceases to be.

                Means of distribution has nothing to do with the product itself. It may impact the product, but it is NOT the product.

                Bad is never good until worse happens

                by dark daze on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:02:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It seems to me (0+ / 0-)

                  that this theory would suggest that "free speech zones" are all that are ever needed.  After all, the speech is uttered, distribution doesn't matter, right?

                  The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges. ~ Anatole France

                  by ActivistGuy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:30:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  this is bullshit (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pescadero Bill
                A restriction on the amount of money a person or group can spend on political communication during a campaign necessarily reduces the quantity of expression by restricting the number of issues discussed, the depth of their exploration, and the size of the audience reached
                no where in the constitution does in guarantee the right of mass distribution of free speech.

                Bad is never good until worse happens

                by dark daze on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:05:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So, Congress can ban publication of (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Adam B

                  anti-war books, for example, because while you have a right to write the words on a paper, you do not have the right to use money to publish that book?

                  If Congress can ban using money to get speech out, then Congress can effectively ban all speech except standing up on a street corner.  

                  •  it already bans standing on a street corner (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Desolations Angel

                    where you been?  Free speech is limited to small cages out of the way.  Speech and demonstrations are only allowed in the places and days the government allows it, if they allow it.

                    Ask Assange about free speech, as MegaLoads founder, not even a citizen , and not even a resident here, yet..

                    Please the government already bans anything it wants when it wants, Only reason its hands off this subject matter with regard to corps and political advertising is that it fits the agenda of the plutocracy and their errand boys in the SCOTUS arent about to go against their masters.

                    Bad is never good until worse happens

                    by dark daze on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:35:57 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Actually under the 1st Amendment slaves represent (0+ / 0-)

              3/5th of a person. That's what CU reinstates--slavery.

            •  This is so simple it shouldn't even be an issue (0+ / 0-)

              and it depresses me that it is.

              "Speech" (inc non verbal) is the communication of an idea.

              To speak, therefor, an entity must be capable of both holding the concept of an idea and creating the idea itself.

              Anything else is just repetition (parrot) or concealment (puppet).

              Of course, the human engaging in speech could choose to be either of those, but needs willingly cede to that.

          •  "abridging the freedom of speech" as in (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enemy of the people, Matt Z, wsexson

            you can't say "fuck" on television?

            Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

            by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:29:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  doesnt mention (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bkamr, Back In Blue

            human either, so my dog wants to bark at all hours due to  her free speech.

            Bad is never good until worse happens

            by dark daze on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:42:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Now, you are arguing Citizens United all over (6+ / 0-)


          I wasn't the one who decided CU was a 1st Amendment issue.  The Supreme Court did, and now it is the law of the land, whether you or I agree with it or not.

        •  the relevant text of the first ammendment (7+ / 0-)
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
          mentions neither people nor corporations. It only says what government may not do.

          Corporations are just agents acting on behalf of people who own the stock.

    •  SCOTUS' refusal to hear the Montana case... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...doesn't surprise me. It would have clearly brought into question the rationale for the Citizens United opinion. Chief Justice Roberts would have embarrassed himself trying to defend it.

      We cannot count on this court to reverse itself, so we need the DISCLOSE Act now (to get campaign donations into the light) and push for public financing of campaigns as the long-term solution.

      "What's next?" - President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing

      by shaf on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:15:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We must re-elect President Obama (56+ / 0-)

    if for no other reason, in case of a Supreme Court vacancy.  These pro-corporate rulings are just gonna keep coming from the current court, and only a new Democratic appointee to one of the 5 pro-corporate seats will change that.

    NC-4 (soon to be NC-6) Obama/Biden 2012

    by bear83 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:31:45 AM PDT

    •  Yep. (22+ / 0-)

      Pretty much the only way Citizens United ever goes down is replacing one of the conservatives, since a constitutional amendment would be close to impossible. This is all the more reason to make sure the President is reelected, as if we needed any more reasons of course. We all have to realize that the Supreme Court is really one of the most important issues.

      For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die. - Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Dem 724 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:44:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the Supreme Court Stupid! Conservatives (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, Sue B, Back In Blue

      will crawl over hot coals to vote for a man they don't like because of the Supreme Court.  Democrats don't even mention it in their campaigning.  Why?

      Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

      by Fury on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:09:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now you're talking (0+ / 0-)

      The right and the left out here in Citizensville can argue the plusses and minuses all we want.  But, the only way this thing will now be changed is a change in the make-up of the court.

      And, even then, it might not be changed.  I mean, who here doesn't know the if the right could, they'd somehow get to the majority on the SCOTUS and get Roe v Wade reversed.

      I think we're gonna have to live with this thing.  So, what's that old saying? "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"....meaning we have to scrounge up our own bunch of corporate heavy donors.  Yeah, Yeah, I know...easier said than done.  But, can't see any other alternative at this point in time.

      The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

      by commonsensically on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:19:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so you're suggesting.. (0+ / 0-)

        selling out to corporate money for short term gain?
        It's pathetic, but may be a necessity to insure the survival of the party. If democrats cannot get votes because of lack of funding there may be little choice but to sell out whole hog, but where does that leave our society, but a single party system ruled by oligarchy.. Carry on weary soldiers. We might not win the battle, but the war will eventually end in stalemate.

        •  C'mon (0+ / 0-)

          Unless the political landscape changes, of course I'm suggesting that we do what it takes to win elections including...ugh...what isn't what we want with respect to campaigning in this country.  

          You think not fighting fire with fire is how democrats should fight the fight?  Then you're not thinking straight, my friend.

          The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

          by commonsensically on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 03:13:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Isn't this pretty much exactly what (10+ / 0-)

    was to be expected?  After all, Justice Kennedy authored CU, so there was no real expectation that he -- or any of the others in the majority -- were suddenly going to change their minds on a case that was only 2 years old.  

    And if the only thing they were going to do is say, "We haven't changed our minds," there was no real reason to have this case briefed and argued, so you get a summary per curiam saying, "CU is the law of the land."

    •  Except all that was required in the interim to (0+ / 0-)

      prove their initial opinion wrong on its face (beyond, you know, all those that already existed) was for "the appearance of corruption" to exist*. That's it. If that happens, the opinion they handed down was wrong, blatantly, screaming down he aisles, wrong. And if it's wrong they (should) have no defense against it being reargued.

      *Oh, yeah, that happened.

  •  That Montana got four votes.... (15+ / 0-)

    ...suggests that the CU minority isn't at all reconciled to its defeat, since the specific Montana claim doesn't sound worthy of any votes.

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:32:58 AM PDT

  •  Well, I can see that the "we are an (5+ / 0-)

    exception" argument doesn't hold much water.  However, it is up to states to charter private corporations and limit their functions as they see fit as a condition of incorporation.  The problem arises when restrictions are imposed after the fact.  That's what deep-sixed the McCain/Feingold Act, as well as the initial military commissions applied to detainees effort.
    Timing is of the essence.  We can set up restrictions and prohibitions ahead of time, but not after behavior has been ongoing as legal.

    Willard's forte = "catch 'n' cage" People to Wall Street, "let our money go."

    by hannah on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:35:06 AM PDT

    •  States can add taxes at any time, hit them (8+ / 0-)

      Where it hurts , tax the shit out of the contributions.  Tax them until it stops.

      •  lhl - how would they do that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        First, corporations are often incorporated in states different from their home office. Half the public companies in the US are incorporated in Delaware and Delaware isn't going to tax anything. Political contributions aren't deductible expenses for tax purposes at both the state and federal level. I don't know how you could tax independent political expenditures from corporations in a way that would be constitutional. In additions I don't think we are going to see much from big, public companies in the way of political contributions to SuperPACs or their own independent expenditures for the 2012 cycle. The big money seems to be coming from private companies, or very wealthy individuals with their own cash.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:12:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can tax them at the point of expenditure.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Where the money is spent, on advertising.  And the Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear that the Constitution is no barrier to corruption,  if people start ignoring them, they become irrelevant.  In the end, it is the only real weapon we have.  They have power because WE the people SAY they have power and for no other reason.

          •  lhl - tax all advertising? (0+ / 0-)

            I don't think you can tax only political advertising, that would seem to violate the First Amendment. Political speech is the most protected, so it would be difficult to tax only political advertising.  

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:38:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  How is that? (0+ / 0-)

              I'm ignorant of anything but the Constitution's protection.  Where in the Constitution does it give political speech more protection?

              Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

              by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:49:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  BiB - at it's core (0+ / 0-)

                the First Amendment protects political speech. You can see that reflected in a long series of how the First Amendment has been interpreted by the SCOTUS. Over time there have been more restrictions allowed on commercial speech than political speech.

                "let's talk about that"

                by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:12:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Does not CU throw out so much of that precedent? (0+ / 0-)

                  There are many here defending CU saying where in the 1st does it say "people" or "persons".   Well, where does it specify "political" speech.  It doesn't.

                  So we have all this precedent being thrown by the wayside by the CU decision yet we're still clinging to it? For what?  As a non-lawyer or constitutional scholar, I don't see any reason to assume it ever meant that.  

                  Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                  by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:00:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  BiB - CU is only about political speach (0+ / 0-)

                    The majority opinion is all about political speech as the case was in reference to McCain-Feingold. There is nothing that suggests any changes in commercial speech.

                    "let's talk about that"

                    by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:26:02 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, CU was referencing existing law on political (0+ / 0-)

                      speech, but I fail to see why it was ever protected "more" in the first place.  There's nothing in the Constitution to apply that interpretation.    

                      Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                      by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:11:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  BiB - nearly every Justice who has ever served (0+ / 0-)

                        on the SCOTUS would not agree with you. If you read the writings of the founders it is clear that the focus is political speech. In their view it was essential that Americans be free to criticize politicians without fear of reprisals. At the time the concept of freedom of political speech was not a widely held view in other countries

                        "let's talk about that"

                        by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:50:28 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The founders would find CU an abomination of their (0+ / 0-)

                          intent, money is not speech except to the Roberts Court.

                        •  But that's just it isn't it. (0+ / 0-)

                          As I said before, there are people on this site saying that because the 1st doesn't specify that people have free speech that limiting other forms of speech is wrong.   You can't have it both ways without some justification.  

                          You can tell me that every justice who ever served would disagree with me, but I don't have to accept that, especially in light of that fact the current court just shit on all of them by specifically erasing 100 years of their work.  

                          I'm happy that political speech is protected and it may just be that the founders wrote about it specifically because it was a radical point of view and needed to be given further support.  Does that mean other speech was not as important?  Did the founders write anything about giving more speech to people with more money?  If we cannot removed money from politics, there is no more future for the US as the land of freedom and the pursuit of happiness for it seems only the wealthy will be afford those luxuries.

                          I guess I'm going to have read the founders writings for myself as I cannot follow all the different rationalizations being thrown around here anymore.  However, it seems to me that as long as speech is recognized as an act that can only actually originate from human beings, we are on the right track.   With that definition corporations,  associations, unions, et al could all be regulated to best suit the interest of fair elections.  In fact, they should all have their political speech regulated equally and transparently.  No one should be allowed to hide from their political speech for fear of retribution as CU has now allowed.  

                          Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

                          by Back In Blue on Tue Jun 26, 2012 at 07:58:14 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

      •  How far would you take that? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, VClib, coffeetalk

        Could Utah tax women for obtaining abortions?

        •  They don't need to. (0+ / 0-)

          They just revoke the medical licences of those who perform them "wrong" (i.e. perfectly ordinarily and in a manner accepted all over the 1st world... but not in the actually intentionally impossible to meet standards decided by them).

          Wait, was that Utah? I don't think it matters to the point.

    •  You can make things illegal, you just can't make (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      them retroactively illegal.

      We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

      by Samer on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:25:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the only thing I can say is (11+ / 0-)
    long live Justice Breyer
    that is all

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:42:14 AM PDT

  •  The options (3+ / 0-)

    Now citizens united, despite what we see in this election (Mitt biilionairepalooza of this weekend was a good place for the Court to look at if they did want to see that "that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so") will be in place until :

    A) There is a majority in the SC that wants to overrule it. Before I would doubt this would happen but as the Robert court is setting new records in making precedent the doormat for political decisions we may be lucky if we have a Democratic president for the next 8 to 12 years. If not we can wait for a long time

    B) Constitutional amendment. I just don't see it happening when the independent expenditures will put gazillions for it to not move.

    So it's either A or we will be in a honest to goodness plutocracy in less than a decade

    •  We already are a plutocracy. (0+ / 0-)

      The only option left is for the people to organize and hope the police, FBI, National Guard are not set upon them.

      Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

      by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:51:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Justices entrenched on CU-related cases... (13+ / 0-)

    ...this ruling basically means that the court is sharply divided on any challenges to Citizens United, with five justices being pro-CU and four justices being anti-CU.

    The first order of business for us is to re-elect President Obama. The second order of business is to push for Senate, House, and downticket candidates who are committed to eliminating the undue influence of special interests in our form of representative government.

    I'm reminded of a quote by Lori Compas, the wedding photographer who ran an grassroots campaign in an effort to unseat Wisconsin State Senator Scott Fitzgerald, but lost, "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction". Let's fight to dismantle the auction that is destroying our form of representative government!

    "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

    by DownstateDemocrat on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:42:46 AM PDT

  •  Stupid question (8+ / 0-)

    Assuming that money is free speech, then how can government limit my ability to spend my money in any way I see fit? Gambling, drugs, prostitution, etc. all seem to be forms of freedom of expression. Or does this only apply to political speech?

    Hyperbole will be the death of us all!

    by MrHinkyDink on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:46:20 AM PDT

  •  We need several appointments, but more (10+ / 0-)

    As far as I am concerned at this point, getting both the Kennedy and Scalia replacements is an absolutely necessity, as well as replacing Ginsburg and Breyer as they come up to retirement.  And there's a shocking lack of diversity on the court in so many respects -- ideology (four moderate liberals, five extreme right-wingers, nothing else), religion (no Protestants, atheists or Muslims, the three of which combine for more than three quarters of the US population), and so on.  Roberts, Alito and Thomas are likely to remain for many more years, and it is going to be a constant battle to contain them.  And relying on appointments alone is not an adequate strategy; we need to push the case for constitutional amendments where they are needed, and we need to push the case for respecting judicial precedent, and we may even need a bigger Supreme Court that's less susceptible to being dramatically changed by localized events.

    Think of how different things would have been if Rehnquist had not succumbed to cancer, O'Connor's personal circumstances with her husband's health had been different, or Bush hadn't cocked up with Harriet Miers.  Or, for that matter, O'Connor had the slightest inkling that she'd be replaced with Alito, whom she detests.

    Now consider this.  Should a nation's destiny swing on such little details as those I've just mentioned?  With only nine on the Supreme Court, and those nine given lifetime appointments, it does, and it always will.

    •  I like 18 year term limits for SCOTUS justices (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TX Unmuzzled

      so that in time one Justice would retire every two years.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:17:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why can't we have 11 or 13 or 17 Justices? (0+ / 0-)

        Not just because I like prime numbers, but the 5-4 is starting to wreak of of a new Imperial Branch.

        •  Because Nine is The Sacred Traditional Number (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wsexson, TX Unmuzzled

          and CONGRESS won't allow it to be changed. Nobody knows any longer that the Constitution does not say how many Judges there shall be on the Supreme Court, nor that their tenure shall be "during good behavior" (sadly, there is no consensus on what constitutes BAD behavior except that being totally biased politically does not count - that was settled in the 1800's with the failure to remove Samuel Chase).

          If it's
          Not your body,
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          And it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:48:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The only upside (6+ / 0-)

    is it was nice to see Justice Kagan dissenting. There were worries for a long time that she supports the rationale of Citizens United.

    I am proud to be a Contributor at Courage Campaign Institute's
    @indiemcemopants on Twitter

    by Scottie Thomaston on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:51:42 AM PDT

  •  Time for a constitutional amendment... (7+ / 0-)

    ...specifying that free speech, as a protected class, is not to be construed to encompass the expenditure of money, and that both the states and the federal government can regulate political expenditures as they see fit.  Or that corporations and anonymous donors have no free speech rights.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:57:26 AM PDT

  •  The Montana AG declined to raise 11th Amendment (2+ / 0-)

    objections argued by amici testing the recent erosion of the Young fiction. Several among the conservative majority might have agreed that a private action against Montana is barred in Federal court. Several articles have reported  on this here, by Charlie Cray at Huffington Post, also at the opednews  by James Leas and by Russell Mokhiber at Counterpunch.

  •  Corporate Fascism Returns to Montana! (4+ / 0-)

    Freedom from the coils of the Anaconda Company was only temporary it seems.

    All hail the Koch Brothers our new corporate overlords!

    “I never bought a man who wasn't for sale.” Senator William Clark D-MT 1901-1907

    by Ed in Montana on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:09:32 AM PDT

    •  There remains a case in federal court, (0+ / 0-)

      the correctly pleaded companion to the state case (which was incorrectly pleaded) wherein summary judgment could be objected to on 11th Amendment grounds. Bullock should be urged by Montanans to assert the state's rights.

  •  What happens when, like Christie in NJ, a governor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ignores federal rulings and agencies?  My guess is it could happen more often given the perceived corruption of the court and the general breakdown of common consent law and order.  The center is not holding.  Except to protect its own interests, it isn't even functional.

    Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

    by CarolinNJ on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:11:38 AM PDT

    •  I was about to post something semi-related (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoldlady, CarolinNJ, orlbucfan

      My entire Con Law class (I loved everyone hated because it had a lot of "legal realism") was about "why do we listen to the Supreme Court." Or more importantly why does the POTUS?

      Any State?

      The SCOTUS is 9 people and a hand-ful of bailiffs. The POTUS has the US military. State's have plenty more force than bailiffs. The fact of the matter is historically the SCOTUS let Congress get away with things they knew maybe are questionable for a long long time (arguably until The Burger Court but mostly seen beginning in US. v. Lopez in I think 1995).


      Because the idea of Judicial Review was made up itself in Marbury v. Madison. If you stay with me I am getting to your point.

      If you look back historically in 1937 (really prior) we were at a point where they were doing so much ill to the Country the POTUS decided that "we aren't going to listen". He took moves (well they did they fogot we listen because they are unbiased voices of the law in theory) that would've made them irrelevant. I think they are starting to go that way. Even in the 80s when ppl ran saying we will get Roe overturned the conservative justices were outraged because they did not want the taint of politicism.

      I see no reason why if you had a Congress making things happen that help, and a Court striking them down why they would not again realze that they are truly a weak institution.

      Montana could completely ignore them in reality. I took another class with the same prof. He was an Attorney ironically in NJ. Much of what he talked about was that they had order after order (it was psych and the law) about what was required, knew they could not make it happen, and it simply did not. And to maintain the perception their word is law, they would not do much to clean up the institutions. Because it would show if we don't listen you aren't there.

      They are playing with fire. And anyone who doesn't think that, what if Mont simply does not listen? What are they going to do? If you say the POTUS would ahve to act. Ok what if it were a very progressive congress. Would he? The Country was calling for the opposite? It is not a far off possibility it has happened before.

      They are truly risking their tenability.

      •  "Mr. Marshall has made his decision. Now let him (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llywrch, ClevelandAttorney

        enforce it!"  Andrew Jackson understood the practical realities, and limitations, of judicial power.

        The current dictatorial cabal has gotten above its station and we'll see how long their hubris goes unchecked.

        Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

        by CarolinNJ on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:33:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  First thing I thought of too. (0+ / 0-)

          Then again, Jackson was defending the acts of dispossessing Native Americans for the enrichment of the well-do-to. Maybe that won't work as well since it's being used against the 1%

        •  Hubris great way of putting. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And great quote.

          It seems as though they have forgotten the SCOTUS only has power because we choose to recognize they do in favor of we'll push it as far as we can what tight rope? Only to find themselves and it has and could happen my friends, that they simply are not listened to.

          My references above by CarlinNJ, were to in the 1960's the practice of Federal Courts intervening in NJ state Mental Institutions. There were orders governing how they were ran. Was it done? No. But they were smart enough then to realize if we press it we will look bad.

      •  Like Florida and the Justice dept? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Florida seems to be flouting the law right now and has every intention of completing their purge, the law be damned.  Who is going to punish them?  Will their votes not be counted?  Their elections invalidated?  

        Seriously, what enforcement would they be afraid of?

        Would we be so happy to have a military that dwarfs all others combined if it was a line item deduction on our paychecks next to FICA."

        by Back In Blue on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:59:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the problem with deciding which laws and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Back In Blue

          which parts of which laws you'll enforce and on whom you'll enforce.  What's good for the feds is good for the states and who's to argue the rule of law when amoral self-interest is the rule?  Wait until Jan Brewer thinks this all the way thru.  And what's Nikki Haley down to these days?  Never underestimate a politician's capacity for malicious mischief.

          Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

          by CarolinNJ on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 05:34:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  What happened to State's Rights Judges (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, llywrch

    Seems like ever since they read Breyer's decision in Bush v. Gore and used it to achieve their own result they really don't give a shit about how the Country views them.

    Ask the Justice "Roberts" of 1937 how that worked out.

  •  Evidence or appearance of corruption? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, Samer, wsexson, Back In Blue

    If they want to avoid that --Five of the "Justices" had better avoid mirrors for the remainder of their lives

    I want a living planet, not just a living room.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:12:47 AM PDT

  •  This (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smartdemmg, buffie
    like considerable experience elsewhere since the Court’s decision in Citizens United,
    says so much about Breyer's opinion of this whole mess, and in so few words. On the days when I'm not raging inside at The Five, I sometimes think about what it must be like to be one of The Four. I wouldn't want to be them.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:12:47 AM PDT

  •  The Confederates have seized our highest court, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, buffie

    this is a catastrophe. Our Supreme Court just upheld 'where's your papers' law in AZ, we have to fight the Republicans like true political enemies, hell bent on a new C.S.A.

    "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

    by leftyguitarist on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:13:38 AM PDT

    •  leftyg - I haven't had time to review that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      decision but the reports are that three of the four parts of the law were overturned.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:20:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, thanks VC but the first part was upheld (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        , in fact by Sotamayor in the majority, that police can ask for your papers if they stop you for some other reason. Then, if you are found to be illegal, you can't be prosecuted under AZ's state laws, those were struck down, you'd be turned over to the Fed.

        "But Brandine, you're supposed to be in Iraq stopping 911!"

        by leftyguitarist on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:24:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Corporations are people, my friend.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    I want a living planet, not just a living room.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:14:14 AM PDT

  •  States rights!!! ... Oh, wait ... n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  This SCOTUS is nothing more than Fox News (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, buffie

    in black robes. Their legal arguments amount to no more than GOP talking points translated into Latin and they have my utmost contempt.

    Sarah Palin is a fictitious character created by the media to close the charisma gap between Obama and McCain in the summer of 08.

    by smartdemmg on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:16:32 AM PDT

  •  There are two (0+ / 0-)

    intertwined processes in the drive towards a better (more progressive) society, the political and the street. This ruling goes even further towards making the political part irrelevant.

  •  long term coup (4+ / 0-)

    Jun 24 2012
    I am not enough of a Supreme Court buff to have any confident idea of what the majority will rule on the Obama health care plan.
    But confidence in the very idea that the Roberts majority will approach this as a "normal" legal matter, rather than as one more Bush v. Gore front in the political wars, grows ever harder to maintain, especially after the latest labor-rights ruling. It is worth reading carefully this lead editorial in yesterday's New York Times. In short, the same five conservative Justices who in their pre-appointment phase had inveighed against "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench," while promising to live the gospel of judicial "humility" if confirmed, went out of their way, in a ruling written by Samuel Alito, to decree new law contrary to what Congress had ordered and other courts had long approved.*
    When you look at the sequence from Bush v. Gore, through Citizens United, to what seems to be coming on the health-care front; and you combine it with ongoing efforts in Florida and elsewhere to prevent voting from presumably Democratic blocs; and add that to the simply unprecedented abuse of the filibuster in the years since the Democrats won control of the Senate and then took the White House, you have what we'd identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else.

    Effort by House Republicans to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress is really about his efforts in oppose GOP-backed voting laws considered voter suppression. - Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

    by anyname on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:19:02 AM PDT

    •  If you look at the long-term, it starts w/ FDR (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and the Businessmen's Plot.  Immediately following WW2 hostilities, Welch, Koch & Co.  had put together the John Birch Society - as, I believe, the "tip o' th' spear" in continued pursuit a shadow coup d'etat...and it has marched right along - in the shadows, mostly, until the 80s, when they were roundly...dismissed as cranks and crackpots.

      And so lulled us to sleep while they set about casting their Mad Ave skills on churchgoers:  pre-programmed to swallow anything if it's shaped and labeled right, no matter where it came from.

      On the Plot:


      by chmood on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:23:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In a way, it may actually be better that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this was summarily reversed via a per curiam, rather than being scheduled for argument, briefed, argued and the end result being another full opinion by a 5-4 Court reinforcing the "logic" of Citizens United.

    And, it reinforces my firm belief as to why it is ESSENTIAL that Barack Obama be re-elected in November.  We need to have him appointing any new justices in the next four years rather than Mr. Willard ("Corporations are people, too, my friend") Romney.  The consequences for what remains of our democracy are too dire.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters with respect to preserving choice is who will be nominating the next Supreme Court Justices.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:19:22 AM PDT

  •  So states rights DON'T trump? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But wait Marty, (my real name) isn't that what rubes are always yammering on about? States rights trump federal law? Well apparently it only applies when financially expedient for the ruling classes. When it suits the rubes states rights can suck an egg.

    •  The First Amendment applies to states (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, Musial, Adam B, ClevelandAttorney

      CU is a First Amendment decision.  

      Even if you think CU was wrongly decided, it was based on the First Amendment.

      The SCOTUS' interpretation of the First Amendment  applies throughout the country, even in Montana.  Whether Montana agrees with it or not.  States cannot opt out of the First Amendment, nor can states opt out of how the SCOTUS rules on the application of the First Amendment.  

      After all, if states could opt out of a SCOTUS ruling on the Constitution (say, the 14th Amendment) when they disagreed with it, lots of states would have chosen to opt out of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.  

      The states -- even Montana -- are bound by the SCOTUS rulings on the Constitution, whether they agree with them or not.  That's all today's decision said.  

      •  In 14th amendment cases, the 11th Amendment (0+ / 0-)

        does not prevent private actions against a state. But the 11th A. could prevent a private action by American Tradition Partnership in federal court if Kennedy and the others had so decided. It then would have required the Justice Dept. to bring a suit against Montana under CU, in its political discretion.

      •  The Citizens United Decision is law. Yes. But. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        As you know the dance is on one side this is the same v. this is distinct.

        Breyer actually took a very rare and calculated swipe that will probably pay dividends, and unfortunately indicates to me his disgust with the Current Court.

        I would say equally calculated was the Montana decision (or the segments I read).

        The breadth of the Citizens United Decision was "Contributions do not give rise to impropriety"

        It was smart of Montana to say and show "here it does". As where would Citizens United Arguably not apply? In a restriction with a proven history of corrupting political integrity.

        Montana Check.

        Otherwise I do not know how distinct section 203 of the McCain Feingold Act is from Montana's law. MF seemed to limit expenditure on behalf 30 or 60 days prior to an election.

        Here it seems to be any? I think there is a good argument that each should be track 2 analysis (if you oppose ie there are 2 tracks content specific (hostility) content-neutral (less-hostile).

        Under Track 2 Montana makes a good case.

        1. The regulation must be content-neutral (i.e., it must
             be justified by the government without reference to
             the content of the regulated speech).
        2. It must be narrowly tailored to serve a significant
             governmental interest.
        3. And it must leave open ample alternative channels
             for communicating the information.

        I have always had problems with prongs 2 and 3 (track 2 content neutral) and it's explanation in citizens united. Here you have Montana now saying "we meet track 2!" we have a history and since that history this law has served that purpose. The problem is now this logical fallacy that you have a freedom to organize and the way you organize includes your individual free speech. Under track 3 I would think it would be, ok be something other than a Corporation and speak.

        Each have serious problems with track one. Now if you made a law that said "Corporations may only advertise regarding issues with a 'substantial nexus' to their revenue producing activity". I think that is content neutral (arguably). But this is really pointless because you have the same make-up of the Court and they don't care that the core idea of citizens united is finally here being disproved.

  •  This Supreme Court is a disgrace (3+ / 0-)
  •  I have an idea! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let's submit the question of same sex marriage to this court!

    Oh, wait. I'm being an idiot. A stupid fucking idiot.

  •  Expand the court. (0+ / 0-)

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:22:26 AM PDT

    •  Flyswatterbanjo - 19 is too large (0+ / 0-)

      and not manageable. The Circuit Courts limit their En banc panels to 11, so maybe that could work. Each of the next two Presidents get one extra pick.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:34:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right conclusion, but not exactly in the details. (0+ / 0-)

        The largest court, the 9th, limits its en banc to 11 of its 29.

        The rest of them, from 6 - 17 in size, convene the full complement of active judges as their en bancs.

        Sorry if I was the one who confused you in our discussion of court sizes and term limits -- here, for benefit of others:

        Turley argument

      •  P.S., VClib, I mean right conclusion (0+ / 0-)

        (i.e., I agree with it) as to 19 being too large. I consider 11 plausible but see no problem that it solves without creating worse problems and, as you know, prefer some sort of rotation along the lines of what Carrington has described.

        However, no reasonable observer would predict that such a rotation plan would remove any justice now on the Court, or that an expansion could pass in time for Obama nominations to be increased.

  •  it strikes me that this will do nothing (0+ / 0-)

    to quell our troubled waters

    I'm one of those losers that trawl headlines; this decision lost very quickly to the so emotionally charged racial one, AZ

    so who's watching this one?

    either well-informed people (probably more, ahem, open-minded) or um, well, you know, with MT and the survivalists and all

    good time to mess with them, then, Kennedy or whomever, ijits, hey how's that gun-running going for ya

  •  Did You Expect the Court (0+ / 0-)

    to admit that Citizens United was ill-decided so soon?  Of course, as soon as Democrats take the lead in the SuperPac wars, then we will get a reconsideration.

  •  States Rights States Rights States Rights (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when convenient...

    SCOTUS is little more than a political body at this point...

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:28:41 AM PDT

  •  I am shocked!! SHOCKED!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, mungley

    To find right wing partisianship with the roberts court!!

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:29:42 AM PDT

    •  no worries....had to keep the powder dry (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, skyounkin

      with will all work out

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:31:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The evidence for "appearance of corruption" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "In the end, he had, I think, sixteen billionaires and we had one," Gingrich said.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:38:04 AM PDT

  •  It's time . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for a Constitutional Amendment limiting campaign spending and/or limiting free speech to individuals, not corporations. Why aren't any reps running on either issue? Or are there?

  •  They made the law. Now let them enforce it. (0+ / 0-)

    The so-called "Supreme Court" is neither, and since Bush v. Gore, is no longer a legitimate institution.

  •  Thursday ACA ruling (0+ / 0-)

    last day they can, sniveling little black-robed ...
    Supreme Court sets Thursday for healthcare ruling

  •  link to Bernie Sanders petition to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    overturn cu via a constitutional amendment.  Please sign if you have not already.

    This is his page, the petition is on the lower right hand side saying:  "We the people NOT we the corporations".


  •  This tells me thay plan to overturn the ACA. (0+ / 0-)

    Not that I doubted it.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 08:55:37 AM PDT

  •  Divine Intervention (0+ / 0-)

    How to get our seriously divided country back on a more unified path?  A pronouncement from the Almighty (who/whatever that might be) saying, "Verily, I will rapture up unto Me whosoever shall contend in a political race and who shall have amassed the greatest amount of contributions from unnatural persons, or support from SuperPAC's."  Then might there be a race to the bottom of soliciting campaign contributions if candidates knew accepting corporate contributions or SuperPAC help would lead to shuffling off their mortal coil?

    The person who defines reality wins.

    by Taylorbad on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:12:49 AM PDT

  •  So much for states rights. And SCOTUS, which ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... had no record before it in Citizens United of the evils of campaign financing overturned a legislative determination by the Montana legislature that it did have just such evidence!

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:14:49 AM PDT

    •  Of course, Montana's canpaign finance laws are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoldlady, mikeVA

      a direct result of the corruption that existed before. Maybe Roberts and his gang should have looked at that. Not that is would have mattered. These assholes are pro-corruption.

      Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

      by shoeless on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:37:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And the winner of the Montana Flag contest.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, Adam B Becky Holsopple, a third-grader at Livingston Elementary School. Congratulations Becky, and we will adopt your flag design immediately.

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:24:23 AM PDT

  •  They aren't kidding. (0+ / 0-)

    Hey, when the right-wingers on the Supreme Court write and pass legislation, they expect everyone to get in line and obey their laws.

    Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

    by shoeless on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 09:33:06 AM PDT

  •  Get Rid of the Fascist 5. NOW. (0+ / 0-)

    "There's no ideology [t]here [on the right]. It's just about being a dick." Bill Maher, June 22, 2012.

    by caseynm on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:04:15 AM PDT

  •  States right should be chanpioned in AZ (0+ / 0-)

    So according to the GOP, states rights should be championed in Arizona reguarding racist legislation, but not in Montana reguarding ownership of the government, the people or the 1%ers.  Strange bunch those GOPs.

  •  Per curiam -- 5-4 ??? (0+ / 0-)

    Aren't per curiam decisions meant to be "We already dealt with that; it shouldn't have come before us"?

    How many dissents from per curiam decisions were there before 2000. The FL decision was another 5-4 per curiam.

    IANAL. Would legal scholars inform me?

    Cuddling other people's babies for fifty years.

    by Frank Palmer on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 10:16:54 AM PDT

  •  Does this finally kill the lying point (0+ / 0-)

    that CU isn't about corporate personhood?  

    all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

    by happymisanthropy on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 11:31:29 AM PDT

  •  Look at the bright side. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As I understand it, CU says when the constitution says "Congress shall make no law abridging free speech," that means congress shall make no law.  And, the Montana case says neither can anyone else.  And the import of the case is that any law tending to affect free speech is similarly suspect.  So, no federal law is valid when applied to a situation which is arguably a use of free speech.

    So there is already a boycott of Koch Brothers consumer products.  Now how about a boycott of any company doing business with the Koch brothers?  Secondary boycott?  No problem, CU makes any laws against secondary boycotts unconstitutional as applied and today's decision makes any state law prohibiting them unconstitutional.

    Want to smoke some dope those of you young enough to still partake?  Just call a few friends, make a sign or two and puff away.  No federal or state law can stop you.  

    Want to bring a battle axe to your demonstration?  Well maybe there is a compelling state interest against that.  Oh, wait, a battle axe is an arm isn't it?  No prob.  Second amendment.  

    Am I wrong?

  •  Kennedy's flight from reality (0+ / 0-)
    In the Citizens United case, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the five justices in the majority, wrote that the First Amendment prohibits limits on independent political spending by corporations and unions. Justice Kennedy reasoned that such expenditures “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.”
    A lay person's opinion on "appearance" is just as valid as a judge's.  Maybe more so.
    In my opinion, a number of extremely rich people are trying to buy this election.  And I'm hardly alone.  I imagine there are many comments already that establish that I've got plenty of company in seeing it that way.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:13:47 PM PDT

  •  So matter how The Right tries to spin this one (0+ / 0-)

    The Corporate Supreme Court of The United Corporations of America has just declared "States Rights" "Null,Void And Dead" unless some States-Right-Thingy can get them more Power&Money.

  •  MT, CO, MA, UT, Chicago plus ballot measures (0+ / 0-)


    This is a huge moment – Montana is ground zero of our people-powered, state-by-state Amend 2012 campaign to reverse Citizens United. We just collected enough signatures in Montana last week to get a measure on the ballot instructing Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to establish that corporations aren't people and money isn't speech.

    Common Cause is working to give millions of voters a direct say this fall on overturning Citizens United through ballot measures in Colorado, Massachusetts, Salt Lake City, Chicago, San Francisco and hundreds of other cities across the country.

    Effort by House Republicans to find Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress is really about his efforts in oppose GOP-backed voting laws considered voter suppression. - Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

    by anyname on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 12:27:13 PM PDT

  •  Corp cash (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Real easy for states to eliminate corporate cash from politics if they have the desire.... Eliminate limited liability protection of interest holders if the entity gives political donations.  Essentially, rather than a criminal law, make it related to the states' power to regulate corporations.

    That way you are not eliminating the "right" of "corporate persons" to participate and give to the election/candidate  of their choice, but are instead saying that you are not strictly an economic entity if you give that money and lose the liability protections.  Then, no corporation would ever again give money for political purposes, since they desire their limited liability more than their need for involvement.

  •  So states can regulate firearms (0+ / 0-)

    but they cannot regulate the influence of corporate cash on campaigns?

    Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

    by jayden on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:35:13 PM PDT

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