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A civil rights victory

Supreme court rules that you can put your money where your mouth is:

In a stunning reversal of the nation’s federal campaign finance laws, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday that as an exercise of free speech, corporations, labor unions and other groups can directly spend on political campaigns.

Siding with filmmakers of “Hillary: The Movie,” who were challenged by the Federal Election Commission on their sources of cash to pay for the film, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that banned corporate and labor money. The decision threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

Shocker: Liberal side comes down against free speech: Dissenters included Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

14 Responses to “A civil rights victory”

  1. Shootin' Buddy Says:

    By “shocker” you mean that with a big, heapin’ scoop of sarcasm, right?

    Free Speech Movement=Speech that we approve of.

  2. Crucis Says:

    And you’re surprised the lefties would rule that way? You need some remedial instruction on the nature of our enemy.

  3. Chas Says:

    That should be: “Dissenters included Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, along with Senator John McCain.”
    Commie is as commie does.

  4. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Honestly, I’m conflicted. I’m a big believe in free speech rights, but Corporations aren’t people and only people have rights.

    So is saying that Microsoft can’t donate money to a candidate really all that different from saying that Microsoft can’t vote?

    I’m all for protecting Bill Gates’ right to do both, but MS != Bill Gates.

  5. SayUncle Says:

    “only people have rights”

    corporations exist specifically for the purpose of being a legal entity with its own rights, privileges, liabilities, etc.

    They do not have the same rights but they have some. And in some cases have special rights/privileges (like being able to exist in perpetuity).

  6. chris Says:

    The 4th Amendment certainly applies to corporations.

    Otherwise, law enforcement could search corporate offices and seize records without a warrant.

    This is a great victory and it appears to largely eviscerate McCain-Feingold.

  7. Ron W Says:

    Shocker: Liberal side comes down against free speech: Dissenters included Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

    They are not really liberal. “Liberal” derives from liberty…for the people. These justices are leftists who rule for more government power against the liberties of the people.

    Good ruling…McCain Feingold was and is an attack on the Frist Amendment.

  8. John Smith Says:

    Liberals, the only time they vote for anything is when it helps themselves and no one else.

  9. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    corporations exist specifically for the purpose of being a legal entity with its own rights, privileges, liabilities, etc.

    I would certainly agree with privilegdes and liabilities. But since the corporation is a legal instrument granted by the gov’t the protections are likewise granted by the gov’t.

    But since the gov’t doesn’t grant rights those protections cannot be rights. The protections are a matter of contract law and as such should be enforced, but that doesn’t make them “rights”.

    For example, if Conan O’Brian disparages NBC, he hasn’t violated NBC’s “rights”, he’s violated their contract.

    They do not have the same rights but they have some.

    But then the question becomes which ones, and why is it OK to deny them voting rights, but not deny them free speech rights?

    If the answer is “Because we want them to” then “Because we don’t want them to anymore” seems a perfectly valid reason.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like the result as a matter of policy, but I don’t want to argue that just because I like it, it must be constitutional.

  10. SayUncle Says:

    i didn’t opine on the constitutionality of corporations rights but I think it’s reasonable to assume they can speak freely (advertise) and the police can’t just go take their papers and effects.

    Can they bear arms? I guess. they have security in some cases.

    Privacy? Not so much, if you looked at some of their financial reporting requirements.

    Seems to me to be a case by case assessment.

  11. Standard Mischief Says:

    corporations exist specifically for the purpose of being a legal entity with its own rights, privileges, liabilities, etc.

    Yea this is where things get sticky for me too. While I want corporations around to create things like antibiotics, silly string, and affordable cooked and sealed bacon you can take backpacking, I’m not too keen on the legal bribes that our congress-critters took in order to exempt all the telecommunication companies from all that illegal spying they did as a favour to the last administration.

    AT&T: your world, delivered, to the NSA

    While I certainly want the NRA to lobby on my behalf, I’m not as keen on big pharma lobbying the senate to protect their ability to charge overseas countries one price for a drug and charge locally another higher one, by not allowing me to import the cheaper product myself.

    I don’t think corporations have rights, but they have privileges and ought to be able to pursue a profit without having the shackles too tight.

  12. Xrlq Says:

    Now that the ACLU’s former general counsel has voted to nullify the first two articles of the Bill of Rights, is it finally OK to say out loud that the ACLU is not a civil liberties union?

  13. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Seems to me to be a case by case assessment.

    Then there’s no standard other than policy preference. But then the question comes down to who gets to decide. Why is the policy preferences of the Judicial Branch superior to the policy preferences of the legislative?

  14. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Seems like a good ruling on the merits of the law that has a lot of room for bad results in the real world.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

Uncle Pays the Bills


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