Supreme Court Blocks Campaign Finance Reform

The Supreme Court has thrown out limitations on political spending by business and unions:

A bitterly divided Supreme Court vastly increased the power of big business and unions to influence government decisions Thursday by freeing them to spend their millions directly to sway elections for president and Congress.

The ruling reversed a century-long trend to limit the political muscle of corporations, organized labor and their massive war chests. It also recast the political landscape just as crucial midterm election campaigns are getting under way.

In its sweeping 5-4 ruling, the court set the stage for a wave of likely repercussions — from new pressures on lawmakers to heed special interest demands to increasingly boisterous campaigns featuring highly charged ads that drown out candidate voices.

The White House has issued this statement:

With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics. It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans. This ruling gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington–while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates. That’s why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.

Can we expect to see conservatives protest this decision by an activist court which went against years of legal precedent?

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    Heart-watch says:

    When hasn’t big money ruled Washington? Not in my lifetime. This will be the end of our democracy and will usher in facism.The corporations elected George Bush and bragged about how they would run things from the White House. We see how that turned out.  We should have seen this coming when the right took over the Supreme Court.

  2. 2
    abi says:

    Thursday afternoon, I heard Newt Gingrich on the radio claiming (no doubt with a straight face) that this ruling will actually level the playing field for the average person who wants to run for office.  He also hinted of a return to politics.
    This is beginning to look more and more like 1994.

  3. 3
    IllinoisLiberal says:

    I am working on a state rep race and one of our opponents, Patrick Keenan-Devlin,  just got a $45,000 campaign contribution.  For a State Rep race!  It is definitely a sign of things to come.

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