The U.S. Supreme Court
The key issue toward restoring our democracy is back before the Supreme Court, who'll meet behind closed doors on Thursday.
That key issue is of course the "Citizens United" ruling the Court made in January 2010 that gave corporations the same rights as people, brought about Super Pac's and the gusher of money into the electoral process that is completely corrupting that process in favor of big moneyed corporate, private and special interests.
The "Citizens" ruling is back before the Supreme Court because the Montana Supreme Court earlier this year refused to strike down a one hundred year old state restriction banning corporate money in the states elections. That Montana Court ruling was appealed and thus goes before SCOTUS on Thursday.
The Supremes could write a summary opinion justifying why their "Citizens United" ruling was correct or decide to hear the case in the fall and reconsider their 2010 ruling.
Let's remember, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in support of "Citizens" saying, "the Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption and the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy".
Well the Montana Supreme Court doesn't agree and the attorney general's in 22 states and District of Columbia are behind the Montana Court. Meanwhile state legislatures, city and town councils, and citizens groups throughout the country have formed to push for a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.
Also two sitting Supreme Court Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, minority dissenters in the 2010 "Citizens" ruling, have since made public statements saying the Montana Court decision is an "opening" to limit or overturn "Citizens" as "these huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates allegiance" results in Kennedy's assertion not holding up.
Considering the advent of Super Pac's which openly allows unlimited funds from billionaires to these political action committees (which are supposed to be independent of candidates fund raising or having any direct political connection, but is largely ignored and enforced) to influence election outcomes and such money doesn't "give rise to political corruption or the appearance of it" is simply ludicrous.
Right now our election process is an auction set up to go the highest bidder.
Maybe, just maybe, Justice Kennedy will have the integrity to honestly appraise the words he wrote defending "Citizens" and conclude he was wrong.
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