Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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About that campaign finance ruling

Glenn Greenwald, an actual Constitutional-law lawyer, posts two columns defending the ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. He notes a couple of key items: that none of the justices argued that corporations are not persons, and none of the justices agreed with the assertion that money is not effectively speech. (Karl Denninger notes legitimately that while money isn't speech per se', it is the amplifier, and extends that analogy meaningfully, tho' I don't think his proposed solution is useful.) The four dissenters argued that the infringement upon these rights was served by a compelling state interest, and that's all.

Not liking the outcome of the ruling doesn't mean the ruling is wrong, or that the ruling lacks legal merit. For me: I think the convention that corporations are persons is silly - but there's also about a century and a half of legal precedent behind it. I do not think that money restrictions lack a speech infringement; I specifically think they do.

I also don't think the ruling changes the situation significantly. Congress is already owned; this doesn't change that. It may make it somewhat more difficult to change that through the electoral process, but the institutionalised exclusionary system of media and only-two-parties-count already make that an extraordinary difficulty, and since disclosure is still required, massive expenditures from companies could actually be useful to a challenger to the system.
Tags: politics
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