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(Think Progress)   SCOTUS: "Richard Milhous Nixon was a stand-up fella, and nothing he did amounted to corruption or even looked like a distant cousin of corruption"   (thinkprogress.org) divider line 155
    More: Obvious, Richard Nixon, U.S. Supreme Court, Nixon White House, corruption, Latin phrases, Nixonian, stand-up, Chief Justice John Roberts  
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3269 clicks; posted to Politics » on 07 Apr 2014 at 12:13 PM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-07 10:35:20 AM  
Well, he endorsed Obamacare, so yeah, it naturally follows...
 
2014-04-07 10:40:17 AM  
richard farthous nixon
 
2014-04-07 10:42:47 AM  
That's a stretch.
 
2014-04-07 10:45:57 AM  
I'll admit to only reading the article until this part, but it wasn't SCOTUS. It was CJoSCOTUS.
 
2014-04-07 10:47:12 AM  
thewackydeli.com
 
2014-04-07 10:49:11 AM  

Gecko Gingrich: I'll admit to only reading the article until this part, but it wasn't SCOTUS. It was CJoSCOTUS.


Circle Jerk of SCOTUS?
 
2014-04-07 10:54:48 AM  

RedPhoenix122: Circle Jerk of SCOTUS?


Often times, yes.
 
2014-04-07 10:55:51 AM  

Gecko Gingrich: I'll admit to only reading the article until this part, but it wasn't SCOTUS. It was CJoSCOTUS.


Roberts was the one who wrote the opinion, yes. Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito signed it however, which means they fully endorse the contents of the opinion. Thomas also wrote a concurring opinion that agreed with the ends of the opinion if not the means. That makes a majority, which means the opinion's outcome speaks for the court as an institution.

/pedantic subby
 
2014-04-07 10:57:16 AM  
I think they just changed the writing on the barn.

Also sadly, Nixon is worlds better than what his party puts out today.
 
2014-04-07 11:02:23 AM  
Mmm...I think I have to disagree.

Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.

I know that, as a practical matter, all this did was give the big guys even more license, but the decision isn't nearly the stretch that  Citizens  was. Nor, to be honest, is Citizens all that untenable. I don't LIKE it, but that doesn't make me automatically right. I certainly hope some sort of campaign finance amendment is shoved through sooner rather than later, but in the interim...at least  McCutcheon laid the rules out clearly and unambiguously.

Nor, I should note, are the Democrats and the left helpless babes before the financial might of the GOP. Yes, the right is the primary beneficiary of the ruling is currently the right, but there's absolutely no reason whatsoever that they can't hustle and level the playing field. I'll agree it's a shiatty field, but at least it is actually still an even one.

Unless you're the small guy. Then you get f*cked.
 
2014-04-07 11:02:26 AM  

Makh: I think they just changed the writing on the barn.

Also sadly, Nixon is worlds better than what his party puts out today.


The Bush cabinet just WAS a lot of the Nixon cabinet.

"Hey maybe these shiatbags will behave differently this time"
 
2014-04-07 11:19:11 AM  

Gecko Gingrich: I'll admit to only reading the article until this part, but it wasn't SCOTUS. It was CJoSCOTUS.


If you're going to be picky, you gotta be pedantic. John Roberts' title is not "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States", it is "Chief Justice of the United States".
 
2014-04-07 11:25:36 AM  

whistleridge: Mmm...I think I have to disagree.

Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.

I know that, as a practical matter, all this did was give the big guys even more license, but the decision isn't nearly the stretch that  Citizens  was. Nor, to be honest, is Citizens all that untenable. I don't LIKE it, but that doesn't make me automatically right. I certainly hope some sort of campaign finance amendment is shoved through sooner rather than later, but in the interim...at least  McCutcheon laid the rules out clearly and unambiguously.

Nor, I should note, are the Democrats and the left helpless babes before the financial might of the GOP. Yes, the right is the primary beneficiary of the ruling is currently the right, but there's absolutely no reason whatsoever that they can't hustle and level the playing field. I'll agree it's a shiatty field, but at least it is actually still an even one.

Unless you're the small guy. Then you get f*cked.


That's the kicker here. In order for McCutcheon v. FEC to be correctly decided, Citizens United v. FEC also had to be correctly decided. And going further back, Buckley v. Valeo had to be correctly decided.

All of these cases hinged on the definition of the word "corruption" as SCOTUS has agreed consistently that Congress has the power to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. The plurality opinion and concurring opinion both said that the aggregate limits did nothing to address quid pro quo corruption, meaning outright bribery, so they were unconstitutional. They also said quid pro quo corruption was the only kind of corruption that Congress has the power to prevent.

There are two problems with this thought. One, the Framers of the Constitution clearly didn't intend for quid pro quo corruption to be the only kind of behavior they found to be corruption. There's contemporaneous evidence that the Framers thought the British Parliament was corrupt because they were improperly dependent on the King rather than the people. That suggests the conservatives err with the originalist argument that bribery is the only thing to combat. Two, quid pro quo corruption is basically impossible to police in the federal government thanks to the Speech or Debate Clause and a split in circuit court rulings that SCOTUS has refused to resolve, making it seem like the federal government officially is not corrupt in any way.
 
2014-04-07 11:38:03 AM  
So Nixon really wasn't a crook?
 
2014-04-07 11:41:30 AM  

Serious Black: That's the kicker here. In order for McCutcheon v. FEC to be correctly decided, Citizens United v. FEC also had to be correctly decided. And going further back, Buckley v. Valeo had to be correctly decided.

All of these cases hinged on the definition of the word "corruption" as SCOTUS has agreed consistently that Congress has the power to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. The plurality opinion and concurring opinion both said that the aggregate limits did nothing to address quid pro quo corruption, meaning outright bribery, so they were unconstitutional. They also said quid pro quo corruption was the only kind of corruption that Congress has the power to prevent.

There are two problems with this thought. One, the Framers of the Constitution clearly didn't intend for quid pro quo corruption to be the only kind of behavior they found to be corruption. There's contemporaneous evidence that the Framers thought the British Parliament was corrupt because they were improperly dependent on the King rather than the people. That suggests the conservatives err with the originalist argument that bribery is the only thing to combat. Two, quid pro quo corruption is basically impossible to police in the federal government thanks to the Speech or Debate Clause and a split in circuit court rulings that SCOTUS has refused to resolve, making it seem like the federal government officially is not corrupt in any way.


A couple of objections:

1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.

2. The Framers knew that, which is why they gave Congress such broad powers, AND they made the Constitution itself amendable. The courts should act as a brake/check, but they shouldn't be able to completely buck the system. 

3. 'Corruption' is not a thing defined by the Constitution. It's a floating term, and you can hardly blame the court for identifying and finessing that.
 
2014-04-07 11:42:22 AM  
So twisted he screwed his pants on every morning.
 
2014-04-07 11:46:08 AM  

whistleridge: 1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.


I was using the originalist argument because Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts argue that what was intended with the original writing of the Constitution is the most important thing to interpreting its meaning in current court cases. If they're just making up arguments for what the original meaning of the Constitution was, then they're just making up their final opinion of what constitutes corruption.
 
2014-04-07 11:52:51 AM  

Serious Black: whistleridge: 1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.

I was using the originalist argument because Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts argue that what was intended with the original writing of the Constitution is the most important thing to interpreting its meaning in current court cases. If they're just making up arguments for what the original meaning of the Constitution was, then they're just making up their final opinion of what constitutes corruption.


Ah. Valid point.
 
2014-04-07 12:14:19 PM  
You Dolt!
 
2014-04-07 12:15:07 PM  
Coming from the Roberts Court, this is no surprise.
 
2014-04-07 12:15:45 PM  
Makes sense considering republicans think corruption only occurs if you stain blue dresses or show pics of your junk.
 
2014-04-07 12:15:48 PM  
What's amusing/maddening about this is that we had an example of the corrosive effect of money on the system when Chris Christie went crawling on hands and knees to Sheldon Adelson to apologize for referring to Israel as "occupied territory."   It's plain to see that there guys sell their political positions to the highest bidder.  To anyone but Roberts, I guess.
 
2014-04-07 12:22:54 PM  

Prey4reign: So Nixon really wasn't a crook?


The people he employed sure were. You ask me, he just panicked.
 
2014-04-07 12:24:46 PM  
It's kind of sad that we live in an era where we fondly look back at Nixon and think that he really wasn't all that bad.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-07 12:25:17 PM  

Prey4reign: So Nixon really wasn't a crook?


well... compared to what we have now...

t1.gstatic.com

Even this guy thought that the Bush (2) administration was more corrupt than Nixon.
 
2014-04-07 12:25:33 PM  
List of quid pro quo corruption.

THE DECISSION MAKES THESE LEGAL.

The Decission, Quid pro quo is corrution (paraphrased.)
 
2014-04-07 12:26:20 PM  
The Roberts court: Prime example of why lifetime appointments for the SCOTUS is a bad idea.
 
2014-04-07 12:27:32 PM  
Wait a minute, Egon. I thought crossing the streams was bad.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-07 12:28:26 PM  

Lord_Baull: Makes sense considering republicans think corruption only occurs if you stain blue dresses or show pics of your junk.


Well, really this is exactly right.  When Tom Delay was shown to be absolutely and completely corrupt, he claimed that the case against his was the "Criminalization of Politics."  If what Delay did, which was to be wined and dined and put on private jets by his corporate buddies 100% of the time, was "politics" then we might as well give up now, because the average voter has totally lost his say and never even had one to begin with.
 
2014-04-07 12:28:49 PM  
The same Supreme Court that practically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 thinks the same Richard Nixon that pioneered the Southern Strategy wasn't so bad? What a shock.

upload.wikimedia.org

I screwed you all, but thanks for blaming it on the black guy.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-07 12:29:01 PM  

Saiga410: List of quid pro quo corruption.

THE DECISSION MAKES THESE LEGAL.

The Decission, Quid pro quo is corrution (paraphrased.)


but constant gentle persuasion using cash is not.  *BUZZ*
 
2014-04-07 12:29:17 PM  
What's a guy gotta do to get convicted of bribery?
Videotape himself accepting a large cash donation and immediately saying "Good Lady Monsanto, I accept this BRIBE! It's a BRIBE! I'm being BRIBED! in exchange for switching my previously intended 'no' vote to a 'yes' vote on the 'Monsanto Can Pollute Wherever it Wants, Because Carbon is Freedom-Dust Act' because you are paying me this large sum of cash as a BRIBE! Still a BRIBE! and without reporting it on the disclosure forms, for some strange reason"?

// a repost, but I still think is sad but accurate
// we need a single word for that (I bet the Germans already have one)
 
2014-04-07 12:30:23 PM  

whistleridge: Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.


I don't think this follows. The two cases were decided on very different grounds. McCutcheon has a long discussion on what corruption is. I don't think CU had that, but I could be wrong.
 
2014-04-07 12:30:55 PM  

d23: Saiga410: List of quid pro quo corruption.

THE DECISSION MAKES THESE LEGAL.

The Decission, Quid pro quo is corrution (paraphrased.)

but constant gentle persuasion using cash is not.  *BUZZ*


Cash donations = free speech then bribery is not a crime.
 
2014-04-07 12:31:53 PM  
Roberts has shown very consistently that he believes the court must rule to assure the right kind of people are favored.

Roberts is Catholic, but he exhibits a strict Calvinist belief in predestination, people with money and power are by definition the right kind of people.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-07 12:34:00 PM  

whistleridge: 1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.


This is only partially correct.  Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist, but the East India Company sure existed.  One thing that most people don't get when history is filtered through the public schools is that the framers *hated* the East India company.  King George was a shiat to be sure, but King George was *far* away and most of the decisions on how to rule were done at that level.  My reading of history leads me to believe that the framers didn't believe that we would be so stupid as country to start giving so much power to chartered entities... which, of course, is exactly what we did when the railroad barons started to grab power.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-04-07 12:35:07 PM  

jaytkay: Roberts has shown very consistently that he believes the court must rule to assure the right kind of people are favored.

Roberts is Catholic, but he exhibits a strict Calvinist belief in predestination, people with money and power are by definition the right kind of people.


This is the biggest objection against this court.  The cases are being judged based on who the outcome benefits, not what the law says.
 
2014-04-07 12:36:46 PM  

Bith Set Me Up: The same Supreme Court that practically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 thinks the same Richard Nixon that pioneered the Southern Strategy wasn't so bad? What a shock.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 485x585]

I screwed you all, but thanks for blaming it on the black guy.


Implying he is a racist? The desegragation guy? Please read just even a tiny bit about what he did. You know aside from the watergate scandal you fixate upon.  You guys are as bad as the republicans are about Lewinski.  At least Nixon didn't perjure himself in a lawsuit against himself.
 
2014-04-07 12:37:44 PM  

DamnYankees: whistleridge: Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.

I don't think this follows. The two cases were decided on very different grounds. McCutcheon has a long discussion on what corruption is. I don't think CU had that, but I could be wrong.


The focus of the public's ire with CU was that it equated corporations with people. But the meat of its logic was to equate spending money with free speech.

Once that linkage was made, McCutcheon was the obvious next step. Simply giving money in support of a candidate isn't corruption. It may be plutocracy, but it's not corruption. The two findings go hand in hand.
 
2014-04-07 12:42:01 PM  

d23: whistleridge: 1. The idea of originalist arguments is just as silly when the left uses it as when the right does. Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist then, political parties were seen as a bad thing, and the unspoken code of gentlemanly behavior was that it simply wasn't 'done' to campaign. What the Framers did or didn't think is immaterial in this situation.

This is only partially correct.  Multinational corporations as we know them didn't exist, but the East India Company sure existed.  One thing that most people don't get when history is filtered through the public schools is that the framers *hated* the East India company.  King George was a shiat to be sure, but King George was *far* away and most of the decisions on how to rule were done at that level.  My reading of history leads me to believe that the framers didn't believe that we would be so stupid as country to start giving so much power to chartered entities... which, of course, is exactly what we did when the railroad barons started to grab power.


Yes, dear. Both the VOC and the BEIC existed, along with a bunch of other minor players like the Hudson's Bay Company, etc.

Those companies had about as much in common with today's companies as a galleon does with the USS Ford. And regulations written with the one in mind do more or less nothing for the other.

We didn't regulate companies because the issue didn't come up. For that, you need to look Cleveland, TR, and the other leaders of the Industrial Age.
 
2014-04-07 12:42:58 PM  

whistleridge: The focus of the public's ire with CU was that it equated corporations with people. But the meat of its logic was to equate spending money with free speech.


That wasn't really the meat of the logic. The meat of the logic was to equate corporations with the free association clause of the first amendment. That permitted the court to say that corporations have the same rights re: political donations as people. It wasn't decided based on the money = speech equivalence.

whistleridge: Once that linkage was made, McCutcheon was the obvious next step. Simply giving money in support of a candidate isn't corruption. It may be plutocracy, but it's not corruption. The two findings go hand in hand.


You've skipped a step though, since even conservatives argue that quid-pro-quo corruption is illegal. Giving money to a candidate *can be* corruption, and even the conservative majority said so in their decision. The issue is drawing a line where it crosses from a protected right to not.

I don't like McCutcheon or CU, but lets argue based on what the justices said.
 
2014-04-07 12:45:15 PM  

Tricky Chicken: Bith Set Me Up: The same Supreme Court that practically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 thinks the same Richard Nixon that pioneered the Southern Strategy wasn't so bad? What a shock.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 485x585]

I screwed you all, but thanks for blaming it on the black guy.

Implying he is a racist? The desegragation guy? Please read just even a tiny bit about what he did. You know aside from the watergate scandal you fixate upon.  You guys are as bad as the republicans are about Lewinski.  At least Nixon didn't perjure himself in a lawsuit against himself.


remember racist means more than being against black people then go look up Nixon's comments on Jews and come back with your defense of his open mindedness.
 
2014-04-07 12:45:42 PM  

whistleridge: DamnYankees: whistleridge: Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.

I don't think this follows. The two cases were decided on very different grounds. McCutcheon has a long discussion on what corruption is. I don't think CU had that, but I could be wrong.

The focus of the public's ire with CU was that it equated corporations with people. But the meat of its logic was to equate spending money with free speech.

Once that linkage was made, McCutcheon was the obvious next step. Simply giving money in support of a candidate isn't corruption. It may be plutocracy, but it's not corruption. The two findings go hand in hand.


Let's look at a small but specific example. A group of university students were unwittingly invited into a psychological experiment when half were given a coffee mug valued at $6 by the bookstore and half were given nothing. The students who got nothing valued the coffee mug at $2.25. The students who got the mug for free valued it at $5.25. Even tiny gifts corrupt how you think.
 
2014-04-07 12:47:43 PM  

monoski: Tricky Chicken: Bith Set Me Up: The same Supreme Court that practically gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 thinks the same Richard Nixon that pioneered the Southern Strategy wasn't so bad? What a shock.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 485x585]

I screwed you all, but thanks for blaming it on the black guy.

Implying he is a racist? The desegragation guy? Please read just even a tiny bit about what he did. You know aside from the watergate scandal you fixate upon.  You guys are as bad as the republicans are about Lewinski.  At least Nixon didn't perjure himself in a lawsuit against himself.

remember racist means more than being against black people then go look up Nixon's comments on Jews and come back with your defense of his open mindedness.


Ok where are the goalposts now? OP implied he was anti-black.  I countered with deseg.  You introduce anti-semitism? Why?
 
2014-04-07 12:49:37 PM  

DamnYankees: I don't like McCutcheon or CU, but lets argue based on what the justices said.


On fark if you want an agruement based on what the justices said, you would probably end up with a possible audience of 5 people.  Somehow this case has broken even the most even minded legal eagle on fark.
 
2014-04-07 12:51:26 PM  
Nixon was fairly progressive in much of his politics and also corrupt as hell. He didn't even hide most of it. Supposedly there's a toll bridge in the Caribbean that was in his name that made his millions every year and it was his payback for allowing some gold dealers to cash out early before he took the country off the gold standard.

I mean, Nixon's corruption was at least old-school legit, not NASCAR style sponsored by pigs like the Koch brothers. If you don't think Nixon was corrupt, I literally have a bridge to sell you.
 
2014-04-07 12:53:07 PM  

Serious Black: whistleridge: DamnYankees: whistleridge: Or rather, I think that, if you believe the underlying logic behind  Citizens United was valid (I don't, but for the sake of the argument let's run with it), then the logic of the majority in  McCutcheon was more or less inevitable. All it really does it allow the small guy the same freedom that has already been allowed to the big groups.

I don't think this follows. The two cases were decided on very different grounds. McCutcheon has a long discussion on what corruption is. I don't think CU had that, but I could be wrong.

The focus of the public's ire with CU was that it equated corporations with people. But the meat of its logic was to equate spending money with free speech.

Once that linkage was made, McCutcheon was the obvious next step. Simply giving money in support of a candidate isn't corruption. It may be plutocracy, but it's not corruption. The two findings go hand in hand.

Let's look at a small but specific example. A group of university students were unwittingly invited into a psychological experiment when half were given a coffee mug valued at $6 by the bookstore and half were given nothing. The students who got nothing valued the coffee mug at $2.25. The students who got the mug for free valued it at $5.25. Even tiny gifts corrupt how you think.


Not in a legal sense they don't. It's like the difference between being guilty and having actually done it. The two are only somewhat related.
 
2014-04-07 12:53:40 PM  

Tricky Chicken: Ok where are the goalposts now? OP implied he was anti-black.


You can't make an honest assessment of Nixon's record on race without the Southern Strategy.
 
2014-04-07 12:55:39 PM  
Well I will admit that he was the last competent Republican president at least.
 
2014-04-07 12:56:29 PM  
In comparison to Bush and Cheney, et al?  Absolutely true.  In comparison to the rest of the world?  Damn, pass me what you're smoking.
 
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