February 10, 2010


Corporate free-speech ruling speaks of shift in Supreme Court: All five justices who made up the majority in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision were appointed by President Reagan or worked as lawyers in his administration. (David G. Savage, February 9, 2010, LA Times)

The Supreme Court's ruling last month giving corporations the right to spend freely on elections reflects a profound shift among the conservative justices on the importance of the 1st Amendment and the nature of corporations.

In the 1970s, Justices William H. Rehnquist and Byron R. White said business corporations were "creatures of the law," capable of amassing wealth but due none of the rights of voters.

By contrast, the court's current majority described a corporation as an "association of citizens" that deserves the same free-speech rights as an individual. Because speech and debate are good for democracy, they said, the public should welcome more corporate-funded campaign ads.

It is no less appalling that 5 justices ignore the Constitution and centuries of American history and legal precedent just because you like the result.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 10, 2010 6:34 AM
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