July 7, 2009

It's almost here. The case that will make a mockery out of our democratic system of electing our representatives. You might remember that right wing hack, David Bossie produced a hit piece/movie about Hillary Clinton

The Supreme Court signaled Monday that it could overturn decades-old laws on how money is spent on federal elections, raising the stakes in a case about a scathing documentary about Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The high court was expected to release a decision on the Citizens United movie as part of its end-of-the-term wrap up, but in an unusual move the justices said they will hear arguments in the case again in a special session Sept. 9.

In advance of the rare session, the court told the lawyers in the case to focus their arguments on whether its earlier decisions banning certain political speech by corporations, and the corporate and union spending on television advertising during campaigns, should be overturned.

Advocates on both sides said the decision on this case will likely shape federal elections for years to come.

"At stake in the Citizens United case now is whether the Supreme Court is going to take the radical step of striking down the 60-year old ban on corporate expenditures and open the flood gates to immense amounts of corporate wealth being used to directly influence federal campaigns," said Fred Wertheimer, president of the Democracy 21 group...read on...

The NY Times wrote an excellent opinion piece this topic on July 4th and paints a disastrous direction our country may take.

The justices considered a case this term about an election-year documentary made by opponents of Hillary Clinton. The issue was whether the film could air in the 60 days before an election, a period during which the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law imposes particularly strict limits on election-related communication. The case would have been easy to resolve on narrow grounds. Instead, the court declared that on Sept. 9 it would hear arguments on whether Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce — an important campaign finance precedent from 1990 — and parts of a more recent case should be overruled.


The feverish pace is also disturbing. The court has ordered that the arguments take place even before the new term starts. The parties, and interested citizens who want to submit friend-of-the-court briefs, will have only a short time to parse enormously complicated issues.

The most troubling part of the court’s action is the brave new world of politics it could usher in. Auto companies that receive multibillion-dollar bailouts could spend vast sums to re-elect the same officials who hand them the money. If Exxon Mobil or Wal-Mart wants something from a member of Congress, it could threaten to spend as much as it takes to defeat him or her in the next election. It is a nightmare vision, but based on how the justices have come down in past cases, there may well be five votes for it to prevail.

Do you expect anything less from the Roberts Court?


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