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The Supreme Court 5, Baking Fresh Fact Pretzels Every Day On Corporate Personhood

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Headlined to H2 2/10/10

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This is the fourth in our series of critical analyses of the many twisted aspects of the decision by five judicial radicals on the Supreme Court to throw our democracy over the side of the ship of corporate state.

We continue our examination of the factual funny business that now purports to pass as a Supreme Court decision, again with specific citations to pages of the opinion itself.

We have already discussed how Kennedy, writing for the slim rogue majority, made his OWN finding of fact, in the absence of any actual trial record finding in this case or any other, that PACs were inherently too burdensome to even require corporations to try to obey those rules. But there is little factual commentary in his opinion that is not at least as specious.

Still on this same point of the regulations on PACs, he tries to find support by arguing, "This might explain why fewer than 2,000 of the millions of corporations in this country have PACs." (opinion p. 22)

Oh, really? That "MIGHT" be the reason? Well, we can think of lots of OTHER explanations that "might" be true. Lots of corporations "might" be too busy running their own businesses to be working also to pervert the results of our elections. Or maybe they "might" find that it is easier to bribe members of Congress directly on specific issues through lobbyists than to fool with PACs.


But because Kennedy's own pet premise "might" be a reason, that for him becomes the only possible unilateral conclusion, to try to justify upending 100 years of recognition by both the Court and Congress that corporate influence on elections must be regulated. This is nothing short of a fraud on critical thinking.

As further justification for playing wrecking ball with all precedent, Kennedy all by his lonesome found as a matter of fact that the makers of the Hillary Hit Piece Video were greatly prejudiced in having to wait two years to prevail on their claim (opinion p. 17). Which claim? The one they ABANDONED (opinion p. 12) because not even they believed the Supreme Court would tear up the law in such a radical way? Why, my, my, if only they had suspected, they would have broken the law even more up front.

Again and again Kennedy smears and deliberately confuses the difference between real citizens and faceless, fictitious business entities, using expressions like "accountable to the people" and "the right of citizens" and "voters must be free" and "associations of citizens" (opinion pp. 23, 25, 33). His appalling and original (with him) finding of fact that corporations are in essence nothing more than an 800 pound gorilla version of the voice of the people is transparently ridiculous on its face.

Indeed, even with regards to corporations the majority pretends that all this must be done to protect mom and pop, one man shop operations (opinion pp. 38-39). How further unleashing the largest behemoths in any way levels the playing field for the little guy (as opposed to tilting it even more) is a mystery intentionally left unsolved by Kennedy. In fact, by this opinion all that an obscenely rich individual would have to do to evade all other election financing laws would be to individually incorporate (itself an abuse of the intent of chartering of corporations, if the truth be known), a judge created loophole as big as the state of Delaware by its own terms.

But perhaps the most blatant flight in the face of reality in the opinion is his finding of fact that the First Amendment does not distinguish treatment for "media corporations". (opinion p. 36) If Anthony M. Kennedy had ever actually read the First Amendment one time it could not have escaped even his horse blindered attention that freedom "of the PRESS" is addressed as an entirely SEPARATE, distinct and additional issue from "freedom of speech" (for the people). The very statute he presumes to overturn and trash, which did make such a distinction, he slams as being an "admission" of its "invalidity" for carving such an exception.

And having arrived at the false fact, again entirely his own invention from the bench, that there is no way to distinguish a true news organization from any old unrelated business monolith, Kennedy all but accuses anyone relying on the First Amendment of being AGAINST free speech for even making a distinction for the "press". (opinion p. 37) Another fact pretzel courtesy of baker Kennedy, hot and fresh from the oven!

It should be noted that this kind of loopy factual thinking is endemic among the Supreme Court 5. Read, if you can stomach its snarkiness, this from Scalia's concurring opinion (p. 2), sniping at the historical review in the dissent of Justice Stevens:

"Despite the corporation-hating quotations the dissent has dredged up, it is far from clear that by the end of the 18th century corporations were despised. If so, how came there to be so many of them."

What's Scalia's logical fact determination process, that despised business entities would altruistically limit their procreation (like real natural persons of course), in the absence of any actual constraining regulation, by virtue of KNOWING they were despised? If these five were not in the aggressive process of drastically dismantling our democracy such reasoning would be laughable. Maybe we need birth control for bad corporations, seeing as how they're persons too and all.

But here we are out of time already again. So please stay tuned for the next installment in this series when we will start to tackle Kennedy's gross misreading of all manner of case precedents, to conclusively demonstrate they stand for no such thing as he asserts.

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The Pen is a real person, and the founder of The People's Email Network, a resource founded in 2004 with the mission of making sending policy advocacy messages as facile and easy as possible. With this goal in mind we pioneered one click action (more...)
 
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