Supreme Court Just Did Its Job

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Editor:

I never cease to be amazed how those that should be educated and informed don’t grasp this simple concept. The Supreme Court nullified a flawed law; they did their job perfectly.

It was Congress that wrote and passed the flawed law to begin with, and it has been Congress that should have got off the dime to initiate a new law sans defect. Maybe Congress wanted this outcome all along, after all, they benefit from this stasis not only in their campaigns, but by not being held accountable.

With voters misinformed (in and by this article and commentary like it) the folks who need their feet held to the fire escape unscathed, and the people who catch the blame don’t deserve it. That’s wrong!

Where were you when the class on “U.S. Government” and its three branches was being held?

Dean Pennington

Editor’s Note: The U.S. Supreme Court in Citizen’s United v. Federal Election Commission overturned portions of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act that limited corporate contributions to campaigns — also known as McCain Feingold, which was the result of Sen. John McCain’s long crusade to enact campaign finance reform. The law prohibited corporations and unions from using general treasury money to fund “electioneering communications” within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. The court concluded corporations have the same free-speech rights as individuals, which makes problematic any congressional effort to limit election spending or even compel disclosures by unions and corporations.

Comments

Donald Cline 1 year, 8 months ago

There is a serious problem with limited liability corporations having the same free-speech rights as individuals: Corporations have no rights at all; they are a government-created legal fiction, and as such, have no powers not delegated to government in the first place. When a corporation purports to exercise free speech, it is an officer or board of officers exercising free speech, not a legal fiction. The legal fiction is that the officer or board cannot be held personally responsible for the consequences of corporate policy. This is wrong, and is, in fact, unConstitutional: It is the exact same process as old English feudalism, in which a title of nobility is issued to individuals of great influence so they cannot be held responsible for the consequences of their decisions so long as those decisions are "in the public interest." And who gets to decide what is in the public interest? Why, government, of course, thereby by-passing its obligation to protect the rights of the people. It is by this manner free people are reduced to enslavement by a government that issues the privilege of unaccountability to corporate officers who have no responsibility to protect rights whatever. And this is why the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits Titles of Nobility issued by the federal or State governments. What is the difference between unaccountable aristocracy and unaccountable corporate officers? No difference at all other than the labels.

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ALLAN SIMS 1 year, 8 months ago

The Court upheld the constitution, which they have failed to do, too many times. Unlike what Mr. Cline has expressed, the constitution, nowhere, forbids the creation of corporations. Under the laws of each state, a corporation is created, not according to the Federal Gov’t.

By restricting the actions of a legal entity (Created to have every legal right as that of an individual, under state laws) the McCain Feingold law attempted to strip the right of free speech from many legal entities. Under our constitution an entity (Person, corporation or otherwise) has a right to free speech, which includes putting forth the funds necessary to project that free speech. Can Mr. Cline point out how and where the constitution prohibits corporations or their free speech as he suggests?

What if the law had stood intact, thus prohibiting corporate expression of free speech? Would that not have also smothered the free speech of its owners/stockholders? Suppose those people chose to express their free speech, through the association with other stockholders or owners? Is that illegal, within itself? No, it isn’t. Thus the court rightfully saw McCain Feingold as a restriction of the free assembly of its stockholders for the purpose of free speech.

Consider the First Amendment: Amendment I “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Corporations are legal assemblies of peaceful people created to achieve a variety of purposes. Most are for profit, some are for non-profit purposes, others to assist the making of or protecting personal property and so forth. What McCain Feingold attempted to do was to prevent the flexibility of the owners/stockholders in using their corporations for a purpose other what than they were originally set up for.

There is nothing in the constitution that prohibits that. The beauty of the constitution is that it is limited to those laws expressed within it. All other rights are reserved for the states and/or the people themselves.

You can see that in the 9th and 10th amendments. Amendment IX “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Thus, rights not restricted or enumerated by the constitution remain the rights held by the states and/or the people.

Amendment X “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Even the simple and the overly biased can readily see that McCain Feingold was unconstitutional, and that the political speech expressed by corporations is an extension of the rights of the owners/stockholders under the 1st, 9th and 10th amendments.

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Dean Pennington 1 year, 8 months ago

I wanted to come to the defense of the Supreme Court and point out the problem was with Congress. I think the outcome on this is unfortunate, but I also believe Congress can find a way, we certainly pay them enough to expect that. Dean - Payson

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don evans 1 year, 8 months ago

Mr. Pennington, Congress can fix it? No budget passed in the last 4 years? Approaching 17 trillion dollars of debt? Yeah right...............

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