Ralph Nader Blasts Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Ralph Nader offers a biting commentary on the Supreme Court decision delivered by Justice Kennedy, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case.
Nader begins his discussion by citing Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor's 90-page rebuttal of the Supreme Court Decision.
Justice Stevens finds it “absurd to think that the First Amendment prohibits legislatures from taking into account the corporate identity of a sponsor of electoral advocacy.” He flatly declares that, “The Court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation.”
Stevens notes that the, Framers of our Constitution “had little trouble distinguishing corporations from human beings, and when they constitutionalized the right to free speech in the First Amendment, it was the free speech of individual Americans that they had in mind.”
Nader said, "Yesterday's 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process."
With this decision, corporations can now directly pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars. Without approval from their shareholders, corporations can reward or intimidate people running for office at the local, state, and national levels.
Justice Stevens concludes his dissent as follows: At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.
For more information watch Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on this decision: Freedom Of Speech Has Been Destroyed
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