Thom's blog - Monday November 1st, 2010
In our "you need to know this" news, with the midterm elections tomorrow, the first ever corporate funded campaign season is finally winding down – at least temporarily. And now, many Americans are looking ahead to prevent another onslaught of spending from unknown and foreign sources influencing our future elections. A group of more than fifty legal scholars including former state attorneys general have started the Free Speech for People coalition in hopes of passing a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. The proposed 28th Amendment would affirm that the basic right to free speech applies to people, not corporations. Given that 75% of Americans disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling, and a same majority also fear that the Congress will not work to overturn it, the coalition has already started grassroots movements in many states to get local government to pass similar resolutions to eventually put pressure on the federal government to act on passing an amendment. In a similar vein, Representative Peter DeFazio from Oregon wants to prevent future corporate funded rulings on the Supreme Court through another strategy – Impeachment. Referring to the claim by Justice Stevens that the Citizens United case was not brought before the court in a proper fashion, Representative DeFazio said, "It was the most extraordinary condemnation I've ever read of a perverted majority on the Supreme Court, at least in recent years." DeFazio is also claiming that Chief Justice John Roberts is guilty of perjury for insisting during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would act on legal precedents and not become a judicial activist. John Roberts not an activist judge?! The Citizens United Ruling overturned a century of precedents in campaign reform law and as we talked about last week, the Supreme Court’s support for the Chamber of Commerce has increased dramatically in recent years. Something must be done to combat corporate personhood and this court's radical rulings.
If all campaigns were publicly funded “only” that would work to combat corporate personhood and this court's radical ruling right?
"75% of Americans . . . also fear that the Congress will not work to overturn it" -- because of Congress' excuse, used over and over since the new administration, that it needs 60 votes. Remember any clamoring for 60 votes during Bush II's terms? The Blue Dogs have taken advantage of the environment in order to cover their stripes. Remember needing 50 votes for a Public Option, then it all of a sudden it changed to 60 when the level of 50 was passed? That scenario said everything about their standing. Further, if the Citizens United ruling wasn't enough to cause emergency actions, without excuses, nothing ever would be -- for them.
Get ready for the new waves of "Austerity," Personal Responsibilities, and Self-Sacrifices -- as our president and new Congress (within 48 hours) works together -- even more.
Correction: "Remember needing 50 votes for a Public Option, then it all of a sudden changed to 60 when the level of 50 was passed?"
If successful, I recommend replacing him with Erwin Chemerensky. If we play like conservatives and try to impeach Thomas for his wife's ties, then we'll need others. I know this is a pipe dream but I would like to know of other potential progressive nominees. The Supreme Court is the biggest threat to our democracy at this time. As Louis Brandeis said: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both.”
Revival of the fairness doctrine forcing any medium promulgating one of opposing views to allow a contrary view gratus would alleviate the danger to one sided publicity. A constitutional amendment is the answer, but this will take a long time and if money has its way be impossible. Since the Democrats are likely losers when corporations rule with their money, they could ( but will they?) pass a fairness doctrine during the lame duck session if they lose in the election.
Impeachment is proper and in order and is statistically supported but so far statistics fail to prevail in the face of economic power and control. Short of critical mass event (s) Wealth prevails in superseding democracy. For once Glenn Beck is correct IMO. The specter of economic collapse has yet to be fully realized and addressed in the public sector. Times change. There are unavoidable mathematical limits in supporting an economy based on debt. Neither side of the isle has a solution to the catastrophe that has occurred short of promoting, and buying and selling IOU's and passing it all off as economic recovery. Meanwhile Wall Street continues to self destruct kicking each other down the ladder for the sake of short term gains. Critical Mass has to be met and addressed before the economy can again gain meaningful traction and we aren't there yet. With the house in control of the conservatives in support of short term gain on Wall Street, perhaps that will suffice to more effectively implement critical mass against greed.