The McCutcheon case seems to reflect the fact that the Supreme Court is starting to wake up to the undue influence that their corrupt decision is having on the body politic and the deserved low esteem the public is starting to hold them in. It begins with a statement on their current stance on money as protected "free speech":
"The right to participate in democracy through political contributions is protected by the First Amendment, but that right is not absolute. Congress may regulate campaign contributions to protect against corruption or the appearance of corruption. See, e.g., Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U. S. 1, 26–27. It may not, however, regulate contributions simply to reduce the amount of money in politics, or to restrict the political participation of some in order to enhance the relative influence of others. See, e.g., Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, 564 U. S. ___, ___. "[12-536_e1pf.pdf]
This of course is corrupt language as the purpose of such laws is to prevent the private, separate advantage of corrupt influence and access using money, not to hold down folks who obviously are doing quite well.
In the Arizona case they had struck down a provision of law providing for public financing of elections. And Elena Kagan wrote a forceful dissent which the Brennan Center quotes in their article on the Arizona case:
“Except in a world gone topsy-turvy, additional campaign speech and electoral competition is not a First Amendment injury.” (9)
Unfortunately "topsy turvy" is diplomatic speak for brazenly corrupt decision making by the courts:
“This suit, in fact, may merit less attention than any challenge to a speech subsidy ever seen in this Court….Arizona, remember, offers to support any person running for state office. Petitioners here refused that assistance. So they are making a novel argument: that Arizona violated their First Amendment rights by disbursing funds to other speakers even though they could have received (but chose to spurn) the same financial assistance. Some people might call that chutzpah.” (12)
The chutzpah is calling the undue influence of rich folks buying elections "free speech" and denying others access to such influence.
“Robust campaigns leading to the election of representatives not beholden to the few, but accountable to the many. The people of Arizona might have expected a decent respect for those objectives. Today, they do not get it.” (32)
The power of money in politics, obviously extends to the Supreme Court.
But of course we aren't talking about the previous corrupt decisions but the McCutcheon case. Given their outrageous behavior prior to this case, one couldn't expect any other decision unless one of the judges had a "road to Damascus" moment. That didn't happen. But they seem to realize they established a corrupt privilege and called it a right.
So they haven't woken up. If the right to participate in politics by spending money is not absolute, then why is the Supreme court overturning legitimate laws aimed at regulating power and privileges ability to unduly influence policy and elections?
Topsy Turvy Money is not Free Speech
Money is not free speech. First even if one considered money "speech" it's not free. If it were free I'd love to see some. It is earned, it is taken, it is exchanged. But it is never free. "Free Money" is an oxymoron. That is why they talked about "corporate Speech" instead of money in the Citizens United, and have used such crazy twisted arguments like the notion that helping those whose speech is being suppressed is somehow infringing the speech of the privileged class of monied financiers buying elections. So they don't use the word "money = speech" even now. Money is not speech and privileging money is not a legitimate activity of the Supreme Court.
So they can obfuscate what they are really doing, which is privileging the time dishonored notion of "undue influence" by privileging wealthy oligarchs over everyone else. Which is what they did when they opened the door to this with the Citizens United Decision and they affirmed as their strategy when they ruled on the Arizona case and then outrageously overturned a nearly 100 year old Anti-Corporate Montana law without even presenting arguments Though Justice Breyer submitted a dissent.
"In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Court concluded that “independent expenditures, includ ing those made by corporations, do not give rise to corrup tion or the appearance of corruption.” 558 U. S. ___, ___ (2010) (slip op., at 42). I disagree with the Court’s holding for the reasons expressed in Justice Stevens’ dissent in that case. As Justice Stevens explained, “technically independent expenditures can be corrupting in much the same way as direct contributions.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at 67–68). Indeed, Justice Stevens recounted a “substantial body of evidence” suggesting that “[m]any corporate independent expenditures . . . had become essentially interchangeable with direct contributions in their capacity to generate quid pro quo arrangements.” Id., at ___ (slip op., at 64–65)."[http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-1179h9j3.pdf]"
So what this corrupt majority is doing is privileging undue influence, bribery, graft and all sorts of corruption and tyranny. As Breyer continues in the Montana case:
"even if I were to accept Citizens United, this Court’s legal conclusion should not bar the Montana Supreme Court’s finding, made on the record before it, that independent expenditures by corporations did in fact lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption in Montana. Given the history and political landscape in Montana, that court concluded that the State had a compelling interest in limiting independent expenditures by corporations."
100 years of evidence that the Supreme Court is lying about the link between money and corruption -- and the majority ignored that evidence.
Conclusion? Court is corrupt.
There really isn't much more to argue right now. Money is not speech, it is a tool, a source of power, and thus a source of influence. And when uncontrolled and in the hands of officers like the Supreme Court or wealthy privateers, it becomes a source of undue influence. The court ignored the entire principle of Undue Influence when it made it's decision so it could exert undue influence to corrupt the process, and so the justices involved can hear years of "Ka-ching" rewards from grateful oligarchs.
I've written on this twice now. On the Citizens United Case (http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-corrupt-decision-blind-to-corrupt.html) and last week I explained the Founders view of "undue influence".
The difference between a pirate and a privateer wasn't much. Both plied the seas, waged war based on private profits, and robbed people. But privateers had a charter legitimising their thefts. Pirates didn't. The Privateers didn't have to share the loot with the crew, and the pirates did. The Privateering spirit lives on.
- Further Reading:
- And of course the Horse Rate neo-reporting:
- Related Posts by Me:
- A Corrupt Court, Tuesday, June 26, 2012: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/06/corrupt-court.html
- A corrupt decision blind to corrupt access and influence October 8, 2013: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/a-corrupt-decision-blind-to-corrupt.html
- Corruption, Racketeering and the Supreme Court, Wednesday, October 16, 2013: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/corruption-racketeering-and-supreme.html
- Corrupt judges on the Supreme Court. October 23, 2013: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/corruption-judges-on-supreme-court.html
- Corrupt Court and Undue Influence and access according to Founders, Thursday, March 27, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/03/corrupt-court-and-undue-influence-and.html
- The Expected Corrupt Decision by a corrupt court, Saturday, April 5, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-expected-corrupt-decision-by.html
- Is Quid Pro Quo the only kind of corruption that Government can regulate. April 5, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/is-quid-pro-quo-only-kind-of-corruption.html
- Undue influence and Dependency Corruption or why the Supreme Court Decision was so corrupt, April 21st, 2014: http://holtesthoughts.blogspot.com/2014/04/undue-influence-and-dependency.html