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(Washington Post) NewsFlash US Supreme Court: The Constitution created a plutocracy, duh   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
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18228 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2014 at 12:07 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»


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jbc [TotalFark]
2014-04-02 11:54:11 AM  

TuteTibiImperes: FTFA: Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the outcome of the case, but wrote separately to say that he would have gone further and wiped away all contribution limits.

Justice Thomas desperately needs to go EABOD.


The entire bowl? Can't he just choke on Scalia's? His mouth is already there.
 
2014-04-02 11:56:20 AM  
So, who is next to retire on that court? Ginsberg? That won't help. :'(
 
2014-04-02 12:04:04 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Lemme guess... 5-4?

SphericalTime: I presume. I only see 4 on the opinion, but there has to be one more.

TuteTibiImperes: Yup, along the usual lines


It's more of a 1-4-4 ruling, with Justice Thomas thinking the other conservatives are too faint-hearted.
 
2014-04-02 12:07:46 PM  

abb3w: MaudlinMutantMollusk: Lemme guess... 5-4?
SphericalTime: I presume. I only see 4 on the opinion, but there has to be one more.
TuteTibiImperes: Yup, along the usual lines

It's more of a 1-4-4 ruling, with Justice Thomas thinking the other conservatives are too faint-hearted.


Yeah, he seems to think that political corruption is a good thing, and that we should encourage it.

/Maybe that's just due to his wife's influence.
 
2014-04-02 12:08:50 PM  
Here are some facts to aid in the thread:

A bit of background

It is important, for understanding what happened here to look back to Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976). In Buckley the Supreme Court, in a fractured opinion (lots of overlapping concurrences, so no simple majority), struck down limitations on campaign donations except those targeting specifically "quid pro quo" bribery.

Buckley also reaffirmed the principle that contributing to a campaign is an expressive activity protected by the first amendment.  An important plurality holding was from a liberal alliance helmed by Brennan who stressed that  "the concept that government may restrict the speech of some [in] order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment.Buckley, 424 U.S. at 48-49.  The then conservatives generally dissented. (I put this in here generally as a note that conservative and liberal in jurisprudence generally means something very different from in politics. Generally.)

McCutcheon v. FEC

The law struck down here is not the limits on individual campaign contributions, but the limits on aggregate contributions.  Under the aggregate limits, Congress set a cap ($123,200/two year election cycle) on how much an entity may donate in an election season, no matter how many individuals they donated to.

The court just held under the holding of Buckley, that while the individual caps are justified based on legitimate fear that large money donations will veer into the territory of quid pro quo bribery, the aggregate caps cannot be so said to prevent "pay for play" style corruption.  The majority rejected the government's argument that an entity can normally donate $5,200 to a candidate, but if that $5,200 kicks that entity over the aggregate cap because that entity donated to multiple individuals/committees, it is now bribery.  As the government thus lacked a legitimate interest, the aggregate cap was an unconstitutional infringement of rights under the first amendment.
 
2014-04-02 12:10:01 PM  
LOL!

That's not even a planet anymore, duh!
 
2014-04-02 12:10:20 PM  
The only real difference this makes is that it simplifies the network of shell organizations the Kochs have to funnel the money through.
 
2014-04-02 12:10:21 PM  
(>ლ)
 
2014-04-02 12:10:27 PM  

Teiritzamna: Here are some facts to aid in the thread:

A bit of background

It is important, for understanding what happened here to look back to Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976). In Buckley the Supreme Court, in a fractured opinion (lots of overlapping concurrences, so no simple majority), struck down limitations on campaign donations except those targeting specifically "quid pro quo" bribery.

Buckley also reaffirmed the principle that contributing to a campaign is an expressive activity protected by the first amendment.  An important plurality holding was from a liberal alliance helmed by Brennan who stressed that  "the concept that government may restrict the speech of some [in] order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment."  Buckley, 424 U.S. at 48-49.  The then conservatives generally dissented. (I put this in here generally as a note that conservative and liberal in jurisprudence generally means something very different from in politics. Generally.)

McCutcheon v. FEC

The law struck down here is not the limits on individual campaign contributions, but the limits on aggregate contributions.  Under the aggregate limits, Congress set a cap ($123,200/two year election cycle) on how much an entity may donate in an election season, no matter how many individuals they donated to.

The court just held under the holding of Buckley, that while the individual caps are justified based on legitimate fear that large money donations will veer into the territory of quid pro quo bribery, the aggregate caps cannot be so said to prevent "pay for play" style corruption.  The majority rejected the government's argument that an entity can normally donate $5,200 to a candidate, but if that $5,200 kicks that entity over the aggregate cap because that entity donated to multiple individuals/committees, it is now bribery.  As the government thus lacked a legitimate interest, the aggregate cap was an unconstitutional infringement of rights under the fir ...


And there's the problem right there. Quid pro quo corruption is not the only kind of corruption one can find in a political system.
 
2014-04-02 12:10:51 PM  
Thanks for nothing, useless assholes.
 
2014-04-02 12:10:58 PM  
A constitutional convention is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution. An unlimited constitutional convention is called to revise an existing constitution to the extent that it deems to be proper, whereas a limited constitutional convention is restricted to revising only the areas of the current constitution named in the convention's call, the legal mandate establishing the convention.

We need one, not for the "governmental overreach" bullshiat, but because buying law isn't addressed in our current constitution and needs to be.

Corporations aren't people, and money isn't speech.
 
2014-04-02 12:11:54 PM  
Well, at least we can equate political donations with flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades.
 
2014-04-02 12:11:57 PM  

Serious Black: And there's the problem right there. Quid pro quo corruption is not the only kind of corruption one can find in a political system.


Oh agreed - but under ~30 years of precedent, it is the only corruption that the government can legally point to to trump the First Amendment.
 
2014-04-02 12:12:06 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: BunkoSquad: And yet if I offer to sell my vote for 100 bucks, I get in trouble.

It's because you aren't thinking big enough.  Steal a TV from Wal-Mart and you'll get thrown in the slammer.  Steal $100,000,000 from Medicare and you get elected as Governor of Florida.


Reminds me of a quote from "The Jungle"

"Into this wild-beast tangle these men had been born without their consent, they had taken part in it because they could not help it; that they were in jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never been fair, the dice were loaded. They were swindlers and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and thieves of millions of dollars."
 
2014-04-02 12:12:09 PM  

what_now: Jesus Christ. These justices should dress like NASCAR drivers.


Fark that. Put'em in 8-inch heels and mini-skirts like the whores they are.
 
2014-04-02 12:12:15 PM  
Time to lower the flag and stick a fork in it, as this country is done.
 
2014-04-02 12:12:36 PM  

naughtyrev: SphericalTime: We need a clear constitutional amendment, I guess.  Which groups are already working on this?  The ACLU?

This country was unable to get child labor or equal rights amendments passed, there's no chance of an amendment on this passing. Not with everyone in Congress potentially having the chance to profit from this ruling.


Bingo.
 
2014-04-02 12:12:39 PM  
So reword it to receiving limits. Put the limits on what the candidates receive instead of the folks donating. Let the overflow go to the public coffers.
 
2014-04-02 12:12:42 PM  

zedster: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts: 'We have made clear that Congress may not regulate campaign contributions to protect against corruption'


Yeah, that's a good one, alright.
 
2014-04-02 12:12:55 PM  
Maybe we should all agree as a society to do diligent research into the candidates and their positions, and not let flashy TV commercials control our opinions.  Yeah, that sure would be swell.

/ A man can dream can't he?  A man can dream...
 
2014-04-02 12:13:02 PM  

Misch: Well, at least we can equate political donations with flag burning, funeral protests and Nazi parades.


How can we equate political bribery to gay sex?  People would actually pay attention then...
 
2014-04-02 12:13:12 PM  
At least Rmoney didn't buy the president's seat.  Not saying it's not possible for someone a bit smarter to do it.
 
2014-04-02 12:13:22 PM  
Everybody loves buypartisanship.
 
2014-04-02 12:13:23 PM  
John Roberts, 2012: I have given you Obamacare...
John Roberts, 2014: ...if you can keep it.
 
2014-04-02 12:13:30 PM  
There needs to be an campaign contribution amendment if you want to completely circumvent the supreme court.
 
2014-04-02 12:13:48 PM  

d23: A constitutional convention is a gathering for the purpose of writing a new general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution. An unlimited constitutional convention is called to revise an existing constitution to the extent that it deems to be proper, whereas a limited constitutional convention is restricted to revising only the areas of the current constitution named in the convention's call, the legal mandate establishing the convention.

We need one, not for the "governmental overreach" bullshiat, but because buying law isn't addressed in our current constitution and needs to be.

Corporations aren't people, and money isn't speech.


It would lead to an all out war of rhetoric and probably violence.  There is very little agreement on what the role of government should be and even less trust in our leaders.   It would be a bad, bad thing.
 
2014-04-02 12:14:17 PM  
AND a kakistocracy.
 
2014-04-02 12:14:18 PM  
I'm glad I don't have children. Why would anyone want to bring life to be part of such a piece of shiat world?
 
2014-04-02 12:14:19 PM  
i.imgur.com

Well, it'll be the best government money can buy.
 
2014-04-02 12:14:40 PM  

FarkedOver: There needs to be an campaign contribution amendment if you want to completely circumvent the supreme court.


Someone smarter than I need to figure out how we can have a constitutional convention without the asshole politicians being involved.
 
2014-04-02 12:14:43 PM  
You want an activist court? You got one right here.

Fark the Roberts Court.
 
2014-04-02 12:14:44 PM  

Teiritzamna: Serious Black: And there's the problem right there. Quid pro quo corruption is not the only kind of corruption one can find in a political system.

Oh agreed - but under ~30 years of precedent, it is the only corruption that the government can legally point to to trump the First Amendment.


Just because something isn't the only thing SCOTUS can point to as a trump card doesn't mean they can't create it themselves. Look at NAMUDNO v. Holder and Shelby County v. Holder. Roberts himself created the trump card he played four years later to say the preclearance formula was unconstitutional. Why couldn't they declare combating another form of corruption to be a compelling government interest?
 
2014-04-02 12:14:47 PM  
Well, thanks a lot, USSC.  As if television wasn't already ridiculously inundated with political ads...
 
2014-04-02 12:15:20 PM  
Bloomberg gets to lobby everyone to ban soda!!! YAY!
 
2014-04-02 12:15:21 PM  
Makes me sick.  Not as sick as Citizens United, but damn close.
 
2014-04-02 12:15:23 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Lemme guess... 5-4?

/Koch suckers


We just need one, Nino maybe, to keel over, and sanity can be restored.  But you KNOW from 2014 on ward the Senate GOP will Desperately try to run out the clock on any Obama supreme court nominees
 
2014-04-02 12:15:28 PM  

theorellior: You want an activist court? You got one right here.

Fark the Roberts Court.


It's not activism if they do something you like.
 
2014-04-02 12:15:29 PM  

d23: money isn't speech.


Of course it isn't, any more than pomegranates aren't game consoles.  And the distinction is just as irrelevant.

What is relevant is that Court has long held that the expenditure of money in the furtherance of expressive conduct is part and parcel of that expressive conduct.

If you believe that the first amendment only covers the expressive conduct made by your body alone (speech, sign language, farting in Morse code, etc.) then cool, carry on.  But if you, like the framers, believed that protected expressive conduct also includes making signs, paying someone to print broadsheets, and the like, than you agree with the Court on that point.
 
2014-04-02 12:15:33 PM  

Teiritzamna: Here are some facts to aid in the thread:

A bit of background

It is important, for understanding what happened here to look back to Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976). In Buckley the Supreme Court, in a fractured opinion (lots of overlapping concurrences, so no simple majority), struck down limitations on campaign donations except those targeting specifically "quid pro quo" bribery.

Buckley also reaffirmed the principle that contributing to a campaign is an expressive activity protected by the first amendment.  An important plurality holding was from a liberal alliance helmed by Brennan who stressed that  "the concept that government may restrict the speech of some [in] order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment."  Buckley, 424 U.S. at 48-49.  The then conservatives generally dissented. (I put this in here generally as a note that conservative and liberal in jurisprudence generally means something very different from in politics. Generally.)

McCutcheon v. FEC

The law struck down here is not the limits on individual campaign contributions, but the limits on aggregate contributions.  Under the aggregate limits, Congress set a cap ($123,200/two year election cycle) on how much an entity may donate in an election season, no matter how many individuals they donated to.

The court just held under the holding of Buckley, that while the individual caps are justified based on legitimate fear that large money donations will veer into the territory of quid pro quo bribery, the aggregate caps cannot be so said to prevent "pay for play" style corruption.  The majority rejected the government's argument that an entity can normally donate $5,200 to a candidate, but if that $5,200 kicks that entity over the aggregate cap because that entity donated to multiple individuals/committees, it is now bribery.  As the government thus lacked a legitimate interest, the aggregate cap was an unconstitutional infringement of rights under the fir ...


For us non-lawyers, what are the practical effects? It sounds like individuals can now donate up to the maximum individual limit to an unlimited number of candidates.
 
2014-04-02 12:16:06 PM  
anamericaninrome.com
 
2014-04-02 12:16:11 PM  
I wish I could say that this decision was surprising. At all.

But it's not.
 
2014-04-02 12:16:16 PM  

d23: FarkedOver: There needs to be an campaign contribution amendment if you want to completely circumvent the supreme court.

Someone smarter than I need to figure out how we can have a constitutional convention without the asshole politicians being involved.


Dare to dream! :(
 
2014-04-02 12:16:17 PM  
A republic cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until its wealthier members discover it is cheaper to bribe the representatives into exempting them from contributing than to contribute to the public treasury. After that, the wealthy always purchase the candidate promising the least contribution, with the result the republic collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by rule by the violent and anarchic mob, then a dictatorship. - Alexander Tytler RAND PAUL
 
2014-04-02 12:16:24 PM  
Hear that sound?

That's the sound of 535 people instantly and simultaneously achieving sexual release.  Cleanup in the aisle please!
 
2014-04-02 12:16:37 PM  

qorkfiend: For us non-lawyers, what are the practical effects? It sounds like individuals can now donate up to the maximum individual limit to an unlimited number of candidates.


As far as i know, that will be the case now.
 
2014-04-02 12:16:42 PM  

SphericalTime: This is disgusting:

"Moreover, the only type of corruption that Congress may target is quid pro quo corruption. Spending large sums of money in connection with elections, but not in connection with an effort to control the exercise of an officeholder's official duties, does not give rise to quid pro quo corruption. Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums may garner "influence over or access to" elected officials or political parties. Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm'n, 558 U. S. 310, 359."

Really?  I think that's exactly what it farking means.


THIS.  Roberts just made bribery legal AND tax deductible.
 
2014-04-02 12:16:55 PM  

zedster: Serious Black: zedster: Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts: 'We have made clear that Congress may not regulate campaign contributions to protect against corruption'

Are you goddamn serious? That was part of the opinion?

Pg 1, bottom. Gets worse

Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the First Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests,and Nazi parades-despite the profound offense such spectacles cause-it surely protects political campaignspeech despite popular opposition. See Texas v. Johnson, 491 U. S. 397 (1989); Snyder v. Phelps, 562 U. S. ___ (2011); National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie, 432
U. S. 43 (1977) (per curiam). Indeed, as we have emphasized, the First Amendment "has its fullest and most urgent application precisely to the conduct of campaigns for political office." Monitor Patriot Co. v. Roy, 401 U. S. 265, 272 (1971).

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-536_e1pf.pdf


The difference is that flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades do not cause actual harm to people. They are offensive, but not actually harmful. Shouting "fire" in a crowded theater is actually harmful, and therefore regulated.

Abuse of authority through corruption is without a doubt harmful to other people, and is therefore subject to regulation.
 
2014-04-02 12:17:01 PM  

AcademGreen: It would lead to an all out war of rhetoric and probably violence. There is very little agreement on what the role of government should be and even less trust in our leaders. It would be a bad, bad thing.


If we don't steer the U.S. away from being a corporate fiefdom we're going to have war and violence anyway.  A small minority oppressing a huge majority doesn't usually last all that long.
 
2014-04-02 12:17:04 PM  
This is what Jesus would want.
 
2014-04-02 12:17:21 PM  
Remember, this is a God fearing nation and if you have lots of money, it means God loves you and he smiles on everything you do.

Funny how they keep pretending Molech is Jehovah for the peasants though.
 
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