The SCOTUS ruled this week that corporations have the same rights as individuals, under the First Amendment, to spend freely on political campaigns for candidates they support.
What is striking to me about this ruling, and this is evident in the first couple of pages of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion, is that the majority seemed to think that overruling long-standing precedent declaring corporations not to be individuals for this purpose, was necessary to protect corporations from government oppression (to paraphrase loosely). This strikes me as either a huge stretch or terribly naive.
The more accurate statement would be that we must protect our government from the increasing influence of corporatism – that the majority would phrase it in the other way seems absurd to me. The government is already largely run by corporate interests and now with this decision, the middle-person is essentially eliminated and the fat cats can have their milk and drink it, too (not sure what that means).
I doubt the justices are that naive about the nature of our politics, or the degradation of them to be more accurate, so I can only conclude this result was a case of judicial activism by a group that fiercely argues against that practice. The latest example of hypocrisy from a political movement that is willing to do whatever it takes (even if that means doing absolutely NOTHING) to regain its seat at the head of our national government.
Do not think for a second that this ruling will not help the GOP in this year’s mid-term elections, especially now that Obama has basically called out the financial sector and is ready to impose some new reforms. Even if those reforms prove to be mostly harmless, I think it is safe to assume “big-business” would prefer more elephants than asses in D.C. this time next year.