While most Americans were chewing over the Immigration, and issues of State v. Federal power yesterday, another ruling, of perhaps greater note, in the long run, was also handed down. It is innocuously titled AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., FKA WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., ET AL. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MONTANA, ET AL.
Americans have (almost) accepted unequal treatment before the law. Most of us shrugged, when Jamie Diamond answering question in the US. Secure in the backing of the US taxpayers (by a private Federal Reserve), this officer of a ‘too-big-to-fail’ bank, JP Morgan Chase, was blasé about his company having lost more than three BILLION U.S. dollars – it was in London, not the US, after all; in “derivatives” so we the US public, need not concern our little heads…
Others groaned, but stayed blasé, but for a different reason. Given that the US Supreme Court held in ‘Americans United’ that Money is Free Speech, and had previously ruled that Corporations are People with their own First Amendment Rights – at least we had our local and state governments. So perhaps this last ruling came as no surprise.
The final nail seems to have been hammered in yesterday, June 25, 2012 (a day that will truly live in infamy), when US Supreme Court struck a death knell for democracy. It ruled that a Montana ban on corporate money, ruling 5-4 that the controversial 2010 Citizens United ruling applies to state and local elections. It wrote that, “The question represented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the state law” and it stated in no uncertain terms, “There can be no serious doubt that it does.”
Let me repeat, according to the US Supreme Court, money is speech, corporations are people, and it is fine for corporations to stack their money against regular folks, in any local and state election? Presumably even for dogcatcher, if they so choose? Whatever happened to democracy, a cherished American value? Honestly, when comedian Steven Colbert set up his Colbert Nation pact for a Super PAC, I thought it was funny! Sadly, today’s comedians speak as much truth, as any Shakespearean court jester.
This goes beyond the pale. Some students used to laugh at Professor Peter Phillips and his alarmist views on Project Censored; who is laughing now? Certainly not anyone of us who are in the 99%...
It is sad that in the US, it is no longer a government of, by and for the people – it is a government of by and for the corporations. Abraham Lincoln must be turning in his grave! Anyone else reminded of George Orwell’s 1984, where robot citizens heard, ‘War is Peace…’
Well, folks it has come to pass: the US Supreme Court has killed democracy. So what’s the average person to do? Ideas, anyone?
If you don’t believe me, or if want to sleep out the coming election, here is the text:
Cite as: 567 U. S. ____ (2012)
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., FKA WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., ET AL. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MONTANA, ET AL.
ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MONTANA
No. 11–1179. Decided June 25, 2012
A Montana state law provides that a “corporation may not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” Mont. Code Ann. §13–35–227(1) (2011). The Montana Supreme Court rejected petitioners’ claim that this statute violates the First Amendment. 2011 MT 328, 363 Mont. 220, 271 P. 3d 1. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, this Court struck down a similar federal law, holding that “political speech does not lose First Amendment protection simply because its source is a corporation.” 558 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 26) (internal quotation marks omitted). 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.
The petition for certiorari is granted. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Montana is reversed.
It is so ordered.