Thursday, January 21

Free Speech Sponsored by...?

The US Supreme Court's ruling today to allow corporations and unions to spemd freely from their coffers to influence politics in the United States through advertising is nothing short of the worst decision ever perpetrated by that institution short of upholding segregation. The Supreme Court's 5-4 vote overturns a 20-year-old ban on businesses and unions using money from their own funds to pay for campaign ads.

The idea that corporations have the same rights as US citizens has been a bone of contention for many years (again due to the Supreme Court) and this ruling continues to erode personal freedom. The recognition by the court that these institutions are allowed to freely spend their capital to influence an election is chilling in states where corporations already have immense influence. The coup de gras is that The Supreme Court also said that any campaign ads that were not paid for by the candidate or their party must be clearly marked with the name of the sponsor.

I think that Justice Stevens in dissenting from the majority has it right when he said the court's decision "operates with a sledge hammer rather than a scalpel" and warned that it may "undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation."

Check out this video from Free Speech for People.

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