Wiretap: High Court still OK with campaign-finance corruption
To no one’s surprise – after all, we’ve seen this movie before — the rich win another one. Money is speech, and big money, says the court, just means more speech. And even though the rich (according to Chief Justice John Roberts) are the embattled few, their freedom of speech/spending is as inviolate as anyone else’s. Amy Davidson gets right to the heart of the matter in her piece on the McCutcheon ruling, citing Roberts’ majority opinion, in which he writes: “If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades — despite the profound offense such spectacles cause — it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition.”
In the Atlantic, Garrett Epps writes about legalized corruption and the end of campaign finance reform. He quotes Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent from the bench: “Today’s decision substitutes judges’ understandings of how the political process works for the understanding of Congress, fails to recognize the different between influence resting upon public opinion and influence bought by money alone, overturns key precedent, creates serious loopholes in the law, and undermines, perhaps devastates, what remains of campaign finance reform.”
Copyright-turned-election-reform-crusader Lawrence Lessig, founder of Rootstrikers, says the “originalists” on the bench were wrong even by their own logic and that the government and the liberals on the bench were too exhausted with phony originalism to even point it out. Writing at the Daily Beast: “At the core of the disaster that is the Supreme Court’s McCutcheon v. FEC decision lies a mistake… The decision was made possible by a dangerous, narrow definition of ‘corruption’ the Framers wouldn’t recognize.”
The Borowitz Report: By a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court upholds the right of the rich to own the government.
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