Sorry if the following will piss people off, but this is something that has bothered me for the last four years. It’s the phony outrage concerning the Citizen United case. It came up last week when Wisconsin Governor pretty much crushed the opposition that tried to recall him. Because Walker was able to raise much more money than his opponent, naturally the union defeat was blamed on Citizen United. Of course, as it turns out, Citizens United seems not to have helped Scott Walker much at all. Walker got most of his money from private citizens, which is not even an aspect of campaign finance law that is covered under CU. It was his opponent that benefited from the changes in campaign finance law from that court decision.
Now, on the eve of the court possibly making the new worstest decision ever by repealing the mandate in the ACA (Obamacare), there is a petition circulating on Facebook telling the court that Citizens United is the worst Supreme Court decision EVER and that they must repeal it! NOW!!!!!
“Worse… Court… Decision… Ever”?????
Um… I guess this person never heard of Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson… Gonzalez v Raich, where the Supreme Court said the act of growing pot, not selling but growing, falls under the commerce clause because the product MIGHT be sold to someone else across state lines in the future! That is a much worse decision than CU.
Oh… and I left this one out – Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad – the decision that cart blanc gave corporations “personhood” in the first place! If that one thing were amended in the Constitution, CU, and a whole bunch of money / politics issues in US politics goes away. Yet, not one Democrat has stepped up and even proposed to start this process AND they are actively using the process allowed under the CU ruling to raise money for their own campaigns. I’m sorry, but the outrage over CU is phony!
I’m pretty sure, as in 99.99999%, the SCOTUS had no Constitutional power to repeal a decision on it’s own. Plessy v Ferguson was known to be a God Awful decision for a very long time, yet it wasn’t until a new case reached the court some 70 years later, in the form of Brown v Board Of Education, that gave the Supreme Court the opportunity to reverse the previous decision. And then you have the pressure of “Stare Decisis” a legal principle that makes it difficult to change or reverse prior rulings unless there is very clear legal justification to do so. And no, “I don’t like that decision” is not enough of a reason to do so.
Now, you could wait around for decades for a court case to come up through the system which might maybe lead to reversal… Think Conservatives and abortion. Hell, they’ve been TRYING for nearly 40 years to get an abortion case to the Supreme Court in hopes of overturning Roe v Wade, yet they’ve failed spectacularly despite all their efforts! Either your side is serious about getting corporate money out of politics, or it’s not. Stupid petitions like this are absolutely not effective and only show that your side is not serious about changing the law. You just like having it as a wedge issue to rally the troops. Propose and build support for a Constitutional Amendment, or stop wasting everyone’s time.
UPDATE: My Facebook friend who posted the original petition responded: Well, at least it’s doing something instead of sitting around bitching about it….”
No… It’s pretending to do something.
I’ve been writing about this for four years, ever since the President made this an issue in embarrassing fashion during the SOTUA. He did absolutely nothing after that, because he knew it would be a new way to raise more money for himself and Democrat colleagues in the future. It was a new source of money. That’s the same reason the Repubs never went after Clinton / Gore for their shady foreign money raising efforts… They also saw a new source of revenue and didn’t want to mess that up. Instead, they had to wait another year before they found out about Lewinski.
Sorry I’m being harsh, but part of the reason nothing changes is because people get lulled into thinking they are making a difference with stuff like this… And they are not! And too often, that is by design. Unless you want to wait around for some 70 years for another court challenge that might, might lead to the reversal of CU, or better yet, the reversal of Santa Clara v Railroad, take the steps to start the process that will actually change the ruling instead of just yelling about it and carrying placards. If nothing else, that should be the lesson taken from the Walker recall. In the end, it was all noise.
PS. No, I’m not a Conservative. I’m libertarianish… with a little “L” and I fully support and advocate for the repeal of personhood status for corporations. Been doing so for years.