Sunday, November 06, 2011

Supreme Court Tells You How To Feel

I was reading the US Supreme Court's ruling on Citizens United, where they decided there can be no limits on political spending by corporations, and it includes this:
"...this Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.  That speakers may have influence over or access to elected officials does not mean that those officials. And the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy."
So there you have it--the Supremes not only make a ruling about what is legal, but also told you that such money isn't corrupting and that you can't feel otherwise.

In dissent John Paul Stevens wrote:
"At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics."
I haven't read it yet, but I've heard Lawrence Lessig's new book on this subject, Republic Lost, is good. Here's an excerpt.

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