BREAKING: SCOTUS Overturns Restrictions On Corporate Campaign Spending (UPDATED)

Some ominous news from Washington this morning:

The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns.

The court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns and threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.

The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.

That’s funny–I seem to remember the preamble of the Constitution beginning with “We the People of the United States,” not “We the Corporations of the United States”

I don’t understand the concept of corporate personhood–why should corporations allowed to advertise on behalf of candidates? For that matter, why are they allowed to set up PACs? They’re not allowed to vote, so why should they be able to spend tens of millions of dollars (often on misinformation) to tell the rest of us how to vote?

If the people who work for a corporation feel strongly enough about an issue or candidate, they can certainly spend their own money and campaign on their own time.  But money is a massively corrupting influence in politics; letting corporations dump huge amounts of money into our political system is only going to make things worse.

This is why we need publicly funded elections–to prevent “We the People” from becoming “We the Corporations and Special Interests”

(And I like how they throw labor unions in there, as if labor unions will ever come close to being able to rival the profits of all of corporate America).

UPDATE: I had an idea of how to turn this ruling into a win-win situation:

Whenever a corporation spends money on the behalf of a politician, that politician should have to sew a patch bearing that corporation’s logo onto all of their suits, NASCAR-style.

On the one hand, that would provide corporate donors with free advertising–since their logo appears wherever a candidate goes–ensuring that those donors get their money’s worth.

And it also provides voters with insight into which corporations have bought which politicians–this way, we’ll know why the Governor with the ConAgra patch loves ethanol, why the Congressman with the ExxonMobil patch wants to ‘drill baby drill’ and why the Senator with the Blackwater/Xe patch doesn’t think we should leave Iraq anytime soon.

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And Justice For All: 9/11 Suspects To Be Put On Trial, Pt. II

One of the more idiotic talking points I’ve heard on the Obama administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and several other 9/11 suspects in criminal court is that, by doing so, the administration is somehow granting those individuals rights they otherwise wouldn’t be entitled to.

But it doesn’t take a constitutional scholar to know that constitutional rights are not always reserved only for American citizens.

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Health Care Reform And The Constitution (UPDATED)

I think one of the more creative (though still invalid) right-wing argument against health care reform is that it would be unconstitutional. Which part of the constitution, they ask, allows Congress to establish something like the public option?

Article I, Section VIII. The opening part, to be exact:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States

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BREAKING: Sotomayor Confirmed

SOTO1

Breaking news from the United States Senate, who just voted to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court by a 68 to 31 margin.

Thus, Judge Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic, the first Hispanic woman and the third woman to sit on America’s highest court.

This is another epic fail for right-wing obstructionists–remember, they fought tooth-and-nail to defeat Sotomayor’s nomination. They went all-out from day 1, misrepresenting her record, taking her out of context, dragging her through the mud and even smearing her as an “extremist” and a “racist” and other ridiculous nonsense.

Still, despite the right’s all-out assault on Judge Sotomayor, she was confirmed by a massive margin and will take her rightful place on the Supreme Court in time for the next session.

So congratulations to Judge Sotomayor and President Obama, who scored a major victory over the forces of bigotry and obstructionism. I hope Sonia Sotomayor has a long, productive career as a Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Confirm her because she deserves it.

by EmmaGold

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is, in all likelihood, going to be confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice this week.

Republicans are announcing their support, including one member of the GOP leadership. The NRA has come out against her, but no one really cares.

And yet, all of the confirmation talk has been about side issues. They talk about whether her confirmation will affect Hispanic votes. They harp on her “wise Latina” comment. They focus on one case – Ricci vs. DeStefano – to the exclusion of the hundreds of cases she’s seen in her 17 years as a federal judge.

Seriously, Senators (and members of the press). Listen to the New York Times:

…she clearly belongs on the court. Judge Sotomayor’s distinguished career includes service on federal district and appeals courts, private law practice and prosecutorial experience. At the hearings, she showed an impressive command of the law… There is no need for political calculations. Senators should support her because she is eminently qualified.

Judge Sotomayor Picks Up More GOP Support

SESSIONS

The right-wing obstructionists have failed–more and more Republican Senators are voicing their support for the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) has joined Sens. Olympia Snowe (ME), Susan Collins (ME), Dick Lugar (IN) and Mel Martinez (FL) in supporting Sotomayor’s nomination.

GOP Sens. Thad Cochran (MS), Roger Wicker (MS), Mitch McConnell (KY) and Jon Kyl (AZ) have all said that they will oppose Sotomayor’s nomination.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Sotomayor’s nomination this coming Tuesday, July 28th. Considering the Democrats’ sizable majorities both on that Committee and in the larger Senate, Judge Sotomayor is expected to easily win confirmation.

BREAKING: Sen. Lugar Will Vote For Sotomayor (UPDATED X2)

The office of Republican Senator Dick Lugar (IN) just released a statement this morning on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor:

“I have listened to the testimony of Judge Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee, carefully reviewed her public service record, and reviewed recommendations from Indiana constituents and colleagues here in the Senate.  Judge Sotomayor is clearly qualified to serve on the Supreme Court and she has demonstrated a judicial temperament during her week-long nomination hearing.  Judge Sotomayor has had a distinguished career of public service.  She is well regarded in the legal community and by her peers.  I will vote to confirm Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

[Emphasis mine]

I expect a number of Republican Senators to come forward in the next few days and voice their support for Judge Sotomayor.

Couple that with the fact that–according to Senator Sessions–there won’t be a filibuster against Judge Sotomayor and it becomes clear that Sonia Sotomayor will be the next Supreme Court Associate Justice.

UPDATE: Republican Sen. Mel Martinez’ (FL) office just released this statement:

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