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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/28/11

Supreme Court Lets Corporations Ban Class Actions

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Supreme Court Lets Corporations Ban Class Actions - by Stephen Lendman

An earlier article discussed hurdles ordinary people face before America's High Court, accessed through the following link:

click here

Saying pro-business rulings aren't new, it suggested the most damaging one occurred in 1886. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railway, the High Court granted corporations legal personhood. Ever since, they've had the same rights as people without the responsibilities. Their limited liability status exempts them. 

As a result, they've profited hugely and continue winning favorable rulings. Today more than ever from the Roberts Court, one observer calling its first full (2006-07) term a "blockbuster" with the Court's conservative wing prevailing most often. 

Through today, it's been much the same, notably in its January 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, ruling government can't limit corporate political election spending as doing it violates their First Amendment freedoms. Writing for the 5 - 4 majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy called it legal "political speech," effectively putting a price tag on democracy.

The decision overruled Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990), restricting corporate political spending because their resources unfairly influence electoral politics, and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003), upholding part of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (the McCain-Feingold Act), restricting corporate and union campaign spending.

Citizen's United set a precedent, but does it matter given the power of big money and past failures to curb it, Professor John Kozy saying at the time:

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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