A largely-overlooked order from the United States Supreme Court last week suggests the nation’s highest court wants to revisit long-standing restrictions on campaign contributions from corporations.
On the last day of its current session, the Supreme Court surprised observers by declining to return a ruling in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, instead asking lawyers on both sides of the case to return in September for an unusual pre-session hearing on the validity of various electoral laws pertaining to the case.
With Alito and Roberts on the bench, the Supreme Court has yet to make a decision that did not favor big business. They are corporate whores of the highest order. This decision, when it comes, will be horrifying.
Simply put, if the Supreme Court decides to overturn Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, it will mean that any restrictions on campaign spending by corporations will be invalid because they violate those corporations’ right to freedom of speech.
“The court, at the very least, is considering reversing more than 100 years of campaign finance precedent prohibiting corporate spending,” Paul Ryan, associate legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, told The Hill. “It would be a pretty large step, and remarkable step, for the court to overturn a century of public policy.”
Judicial observers fear overturning the 1989 ruling would mark the beginning of a wild, unbridled era where elections are won by the highest bidder.
Yes, it can get worse.