Walking the Cat . . .

Because life's kinda like that . . .

Chief Justice Roberts, et al. . .(if it walks like a duck. . .)

with one comment

In the matter of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding campaign financing, McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission, I’d like to pass along a few thoughts.  First among them is the fact this particular decision should come as no surprise to anyone, especially those who follow the workings of the Court.  What did surprise me was how blatant and heavy-handed were the means used.

Conservatives have long endeavored to rescind some (or all) the government’s restrictions in the area of campaign financing, and with the enthusiastic assistance of Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito they have succeeded admirably. 

In 2009, in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, these same justices held that corporations, independent of the people employed therein (and in complete contradiction to the very idea of “personhood”),  are “persons” and as such entitled to First Amendment rights of free speech; which, in this instance, means corporations are free to dispense trainloads of money in elections.

Now, in McCutcheon, the Court not only removed the most important restrictions on campaign financing, the aggregate amounts, the Court also admonished the government for instituting the restrictions in the first place.  As Chief Justice Roberts, (writing for the majority) states:  “The Court has identified only one legitimate governmental interest for restricting campaign finances: preventing corruption or the appearance of corruption . . . Moreover, the only type of corruption Congress can target is quid pro quo corruption.”  (For those among you who don’t “do” Latin, allow me to translate.  Quid pro quo can be (loosely) as, “You stuff my pockets; I’ll stuff yours”).

Chief Justice Roberts continues:  “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”.  (Will someone please explain for me, “Why would anyone, other than the candidate, spend “large sums of money” on an election?”)  “Nor does the possibility that an individual who spends large sums garner “influence over or access to” elected officials or political parties”.  So, according to Roberts & Co.,  if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . .it’s probably a rhinoceros.

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One Response

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  1. The last time the Supreme Court got it this wrong was Dred Scott.

    Mike Thomas

    April 6, 2014 at 9:18 am


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