Occupy the Courts - we now have a corporate judiciary!

The best courts that money can buy. According to a new report released by several voting rights groups – corporate special interests organizations are spending huge amounts of money to influence state supreme court elections. Just three pro-business groups – the Ohio Chamber of Commerce – the Business Council of Alabama – and the Illinois Civil Justice League – have spent 13 times more money on judicial elections than the ENTIRE national labor movement.

We’re also seeing the effects of this corporate buyout of the courts – as more and more decisions are handed down to give corporations more rights to pollute, to mettle in politics, and even engage in genocide abroad with immunity from civil suits.

So much for an impartial judiciary – we now have a corporate judiciary.


Alan Lunn's picture
Alan Lunn 11 years 21 weeks ago

Thanks, Thom, you're always way ahead of the curve. "Unequal Protection" was like 15 years ahead of the game. Here we are with the Citizens United disease spreading like wildfire -- like a contagion in a horror movie. And most people, even many in the media, don't see it coming. Until it's too late.

In a way, they're figuring out a way to "privatize" the courts. And all this privatizing isn't really the old private sector, its power and profiteering being transferred to a new aristocracy who are still maneuvering amongst themselves to take over their competition, monopolizing until one monopolist -- or group of them -- comes out on top. And the bigger they are, the harder they fall. But who cares about that? What is hard to take is that this insanity, historically, never ends. And all this when it could be better. When those who accumulate could share and actually lift the boats of the world's peoples. Alas, only a few do. Instead they plunder the poor.

"To whom much is given, much is required." -- Jesus.

Obviously, they don't believe that. And it wasn't given to them, anyway. They stole it.

"We're doing God's work." -- Lloyd Blankfein, 2007

greg.logsdon's picture
greg.logsdon 11 years 21 weeks ago


Lindelwayne's picture
Lindelwayne 11 years 21 weeks ago


We listen to your Radio Show daily and have since you started in Portland a few years back. I enjoy hearing your Common Sense commentary and especially your fine Knowledge of History. Recently on your show you mentioned re-inventing our government, amending the constitution in some ways.

My Wife Pat and I are Democrats and have been since we were able to cast our first votes in 1960. We feel that if something isn’t changed soon we may, as you have mentioned, end up a third world society. We are both retired, 72 years young, married 51 years, and we remember when we were youngsters, being told that voting was a special right and that we should always exercise that right as Americans. Nowadays, Politics have gotten so dirty that our vote is mostly ignored. Breaking promises seems to be the order of the day for Politicians. We really want for our kids and grandkids the good life we’ve enjoyed thus far.

We vote to elect (hire) a Senator and a Representative to actually represent us in Washington and, in too many instances, when they get the job they vote, according to how some lobbyist pays them to vote, in favor of Big Business (Corporate America). If our duly elected members of Congress are truly Public Servants then they should be required to serve us. In my opinion voting nowadays is like having some stranger come to our front door and asking us to hire them, paying them a big salary with great benefits and allowing them to decide, without any input from us, how we will live our future life. Not my idea of the American way of life I was taught about in School!

Lobbying should be abolished and the best way to do that is to amend our system to allow each and every American Citizen the right to vote on every piece of Legislation that is presented in Congress. I don't think Lobbyists could pay every qualified American Citizen to vote their way. Maybe it could be named something like the National Referendum System. I would be willing to pass around a few petitions and my first would be getting lobbyists out of Government. I’m no Lawyer Daggett but it seems to me that Constitutional Amendments are sort of a built-in safety measure to correct legislative mistakes and we need some course corrections because we are headed in a bad direction.

We have a "Vote-By-Mail" system here in Oregon and it works great! We get a Voter's Pamphlet prior to the election that explains the pros and cons of an issue and our Ballot is mailed directly to our home. We can look over the pros and cons of the proposals and decide how to vote in the privacy of our home then send our ballot back by mail or hand-deliver it to the polling place. No being turned away or taken off a list, strictly private and personal, which is how it should be. The State of Oregon does a good job of handling our voting system, there is no reason individual states could not handle a National system of petitioning and voting by mail. It would also be a win for the Postal Service…I’d buy some extra stamps for that purpose.

Our "Representatives" could present our petitions and they could argue the issues in Congress all they want but the FINAL vote would be cast by We the People. That would be a TRUE majority.

We don’t do politics on horseback anymore and, in this Digital Age, we could stand to do some streamlining of our System of Governing.

I better stop before I fall off this Soapbox!


Wayne White

Salem, Oregon

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 11 years 21 weeks ago

I’ve looked at the lady statue holding the balance of justice in her hand and now after Citizens United, I see her peeking under her blindfold looking at Wall Street.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 21 weeks ago

"Just three pro-business groups – the Ohio Chamber of Commerce – the Business Council of Alabama – and the Illinois Civil Justice League – have spent 13 times more money on judicial elections than the ENTIRE national labor movement"

Perhaps Labor is not being properly advised where and how to spend their money and perhaps their pensions, through whorish financial managers are actually growing enterprises for corporation funds which work against the interests of Labor.

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 11 years 21 weeks ago

I don't know if you mentioned it on your program but you should urge your listeners (and yourself) to find a showing or a dvd of the documentary, "Hot Coffee". It covers this subject pretty clearly. The courts, especially the Supreme Court, are contributing to the corporatization of America. SCOTUS is the biggest threat to our democracy right now.

psa9009's picture
psa9009 11 years 21 weeks ago

having been here for 40 years in the land of the free and equal opportunity , I feel disheartened now , because America is getting closer to the Third World Countries in terms of cronism, nepotism, class system, wage control, filthy rich and the downtrodden, have's and the have not, mega project to benefitt the richest, destabiilzation of the Middle Class , etc etc etc .

johnd_nw's picture
johnd_nw 11 years 21 weeks ago

This should brighten everyone's day: http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2011/11/01

Kenn Space's picture
Kenn Space 11 years 20 weeks ago

There is something going on. I am going to be a part of it. I was at the WTO protests in Seattle when a bunch of anarchists started busting windows with crowbars. We surrounded them and they got in a circle with their crowbars. I tried to get the Seattle police to come arrest these people that were thirty feet away and threatening violence and breaking windows... The Seattle police would not budge from their "police line", making all of us the enemy. The Corporate Occupation of the United States Our corporate controlled government (through corporate lobbying and election funding ) is out of the peoples control. People want government control back. Makes sense to me... I feel US corporate capitalism (corporatism) is a type of economic fascism: To have a corporate being where the chain of command eventually muddles all responsibility to any human being. These corporate beings are running your life and controlling your government. (Enough to really make an individual mad and protest.) The corporate being does not exist, and when it comes to face it's corporate responsibility, it is a piece of paper. That is plain and simply wrong. Restore capitalism to individual responsible chains of command, or this struggle will be lost. (This also includes corporate lobbying and corporate election funding, being outlawed; and a new form closer to individual control is established.) Please Sign the petition to amend the Constitution for revoking corporate personhood at: movetoamend.org I feel this will be a bigger day in history for the US than WTO in Seattle: January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts! Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark this
date — Occupy the Courts — a one day occupation
on Friday January 20, 2012, of the Federal Courts, including
the Supreme Court of the United States and as many of the
89 U.S. District Court Buildings as we can. Inspired by Dr. Cornell
West, who was arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court last
month, Move to Amend will lead the charge on the judiciary which
created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights. http://open.salon.com/blog/kennspace/2011/10/...

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

Hello All

Thom's blog in this space and moving to a new home.

Please follow us across to hartmannreport.com - this will be the only place going forward to read Thom's blog posts and articles.

From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann channels the best of the American Founders with voice and pen. His deep attachment to a democratic civil society is just the medicine America needs."
Tom Hayden, author of The Long Sixties and director, Peace and Justice Resource Center.
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Beneath the success and rise of American enterprise is an untold history that is antithetical to every value Americans hold dear. This is a seminal work, a godsend really, a clear message to every citizen about the need to reform our country, laws, and companies."
Paul Hawken, coauthor of Natural Capitalism and author of The Ecology of Commerce
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Never one to shy away from the truth, Thom Hartmann’s collected works are inspiring, wise, and compelling. His work lights the way to a better America."
Van Jones, cofounder of RebuildTheDream.com and author of The Green Collar Economy