The Supreme Court Doubles Down on Citizens United!

The Supreme Court had a chance to correct its mistake with Citizens United today – but chose not to. In another 5-to-4 ruling, the Conservative justices struck down a Montana law that banned corporate spending in state elections – and ruled that it’s 2010 Citizens United decision applies not just to federal elections – but state elections as well.

Twenty-two states, plus the District of Columbia, and several lawmakers urged the high court to hear oral arguments in the case and re-litigate Citizens United now that the damage of the decision is clearly on display two years later. Right-wing Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled in 2010 that corporate spending in our elections, “do[es] not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption."

But today, with billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers pledging to spend a half billion dollars to elect Mitt Romney – you’d have to be born yesterday to believe that the money comes with no strings attached. In post-Citizens United politics – the oligarchs in America are no longer making campaign contributions – they’re making investments and expecting big returns.


RLM8's picture
RLM8 11 years 51 weeks ago

The question is, does unlimited funding nurture corruption in politics on both state and federal levels? Well we would have to view this in historical context. In 1917 in Butte Montana union organizer named Frank Little was forcibly removed from his hotel room and brutally murdered. This wasn't the police of Butte Montana, these were Pinkertons a private police force for corporations of the day. If that's not corruption what is? At that. Time copper was an intricate part of the war effort. War profiteering may not be illegal but it can be corrupt. Fast-forward 80 years the taxpayer and corporations in cooperation cleaned up Butte Montana and the Berkeley pit. George Bush must have been in office a whole year, when he changed the balance of liability for the funding of the the Superfund. Enabling corporations to pollute and leave disasters behind and forcing the cost on to the workers in the taxpayers. If that's not a crime what is. When corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars influencing the political outcome of legislation and turn to the public and cry poverty my taxes are too high, I need another tax cut. If that's not corruption, what is?

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 51 weeks ago

The United States is the nation of legalized corruption. That Anthony Kennedy denies that current campaign finance system causes or gives the appearance of corruption is surreal. I'd like to know what his personal investment in the current system is.

I nevertheless believe in judicial review. I believe there is a need for arbiters who are not pandering for popularity to defend the constitution. They should be appointed and approved by elected officials but not elected themselves. The main purpose of a constitution is to prevent a "tyranny of the majority".

jswood41's picture
jswood41 11 years 51 weeks ago

Does anyone believe the fascist five supremes are any less bought and paid for than most of our legislators.

TimFromLA 11 years 51 weeks ago


leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 51 weeks ago

"Right-wing Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled in 2010 that corporate spending in our elections, “do[es] not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption."

I beg your pardon, Sir. Corporate spending veiled as politicaL contributions is now free to launder money that is stolen from estates, investors, the U.S. Treasury, or money from the sale of general rackets, missing weaponry, and Big Opi. Ask the Kryders, the Sebrings, Henry M. Flagler, or the Central Soy McMillens. No more shell corps and real estate deals under the table are necessary. Even the remains of the Confederate Treasury (think of all that gold interest) is easier to recycle right out in the open.

That is why it was illegal originally to have untraceable money part of elections, to keep the Mob and enemies of law and order out of the Whitehouse.

Geraldine Rieman 11 years 51 weeks ago

We do not have impartial judges on the Supreme Court.

SalmonNationWoman's picture
SalmonNationWoman 11 years 51 weeks ago

Corruption of the courts and judges serving in those courts is already rampant at the federal and state levels.

The court system is no longer being funded by taxpayers, nor do those taypayers get any real justice. Several counties in California have closed their doors to new filings. Any currently pending cases are funded by filing fees at every step of the way.

We discovered much to our dismay that an actual jury trial in fighting banksters to keep our home, that WE would have to pay for the jurors' expenses! Yes people. WE ARE ON THE HOOK TO PAY THE JURORS' EXPENSES, PLACE A PRE-TRIAL DEPOSIT WITH THE CLERK AND PAY THE BALANCE WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE TRIAL CONCLUDING. It's estimated to be $200+ per day and the trial is expected to run four days for a total somewhere between $800-1,000.

We've already paid thousands in court fees. Every time a motion is filed there's another fee to pay. Now we have to pay for the jurors too.

There is no justice for the average citizen.

PhilipHenderson's picture
PhilipHenderson 11 years 51 weeks ago

The Supreme Court has been politicized and is losing its way. If they keep making political decisions instead of serving the people and the Constitution they will lose their credibility. When the American people lose trust in the Judiciary then our nation will be on its way to become a democracy in name only. When Supreme Court justices merely act as tools of weathy Americans all is lost. Unfortunately, history will judge this Roberts Court as one that has lost its way on the road to justice.

fjpor's picture
fjpor 11 years 51 weeks ago

The Nazi Supreme court and our congress are all bought and paid for by the big money lobbyists. The final blow will be is romney is elected - then we will all be in the type of trouble that most of you don't even have any idea about.

Most all nations fail after so many years, eons, etc. and this may be the year of the failure of the U.S.A. If people cannot understand that and cannot understand how harmful this Nazi court is then it may well be that the end is near.

ken ware's picture
ken ware 11 years 51 weeks ago

The only chance we have of ever having an honest and well balanced Supreme Court bench is if one of the highly biased right wing conservative justices dies of natural causes. Otherwise, we will continue to see this one sided voting of 5 to 4 in favor of having the ultra wealthy and the corporations run our political system. If anyone has any doubt in this theory, wait for the decision to be announced on health care, which is generally called by the right, Obama health care. It may take a revolution of the kind and magnitude we saw during the 1968 campaign year for things to change in our country. Unfortunately, more and more people are stating they actually think if austerity is implemented by the Republicans the end result will be violence against the right wing political machine in Washington. I truly hope nothing of this nature ever transpires in this great nation, but when people feel and believe they will not be represented through the courts or the politicians in Washington, they begin to believe they have nothing else to lose. So I truly hope and pray the politicians and the courts wake up before it results in the tearing apart of this great nation. I am old enough to remember what happened to our people and nation during the Viet Nam War and the politically motivated riots that resulted. It was not a pleasant situation for anybody. As an independent voter, I have very little faith in either side of the political isle really caring what happens to we the people, as long as they get what they want, which is usually more power and wealth. Good luck and God's blessings to us all in this nation we call ours.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 11 years 51 weeks ago

Americans do not trust the Supreme Court anymore. The court is seen by most people as corrupt and owned by big corporations.

How long can these people wield so much power when no one trusts them? This is true of all branches of our government. We know we can't rely on Obama to stick to his principles and promises. We know the divisions in the Congress make it almost impossible to govern.

When will we say enough? And how?

I take heart from some of the uprisings around the world. Many have put their lives on the line, day after day, to get rid of vicious dictatorships--in countries where they have no experience of democracy. If it comes to that, and more and more I think it will, will we do that?

That is, if we survive the daily escalation of climate change.

Doesn't it just piss you off to see the damage and destruction and rising sea levels caused by global warming and know that a bunch of plutocrats have prevented serious action for decades?.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 51 weeks ago

"Naivete" is when people keep doing the same things (like continuing to vote for the same old two party contestants) over and over again expecting different results...or is that "insanity"? It certainly is stupidity..and futility.

"Naivete" is also when people have superstitious beliefs and keep praying to the same "just-pretend" "supreme-whatever" in the sky and get nothing more than a 50-50 chance of a desired outcome. If you have a positive result (perhaps after years of praying) then you fool yourself into believing that prayer did the trick. If you never get a positive result then you have to resort to a self-denial and convince yourself that "well God works in mysterious ways" or some such non-sense.

Flip a coin. Pray to your Teddy Bear. Pray to Zeus or Poseidon. It's all superstitious non-sense and bunk. We are all going to die and rot in our graves...unless we are cremated. Or maybe we'll be eaten by sharks. We're all being eaten alive by land (loan) sharks (banksters) or some other disease anyway. If fellow humans don't kill us...we'll kill ourselves or the bugs will.

We are future worm food and nothing more. So get over it and stop wasting time with ridiculous ritualistic non-sense. Stop paying penance to some fictitious non-sense and live life as well as you can. Stop punishing yourself with false sense of guilt or shame and enjoy life.

You should have gotten the hint when you found out that Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny were "just pretend". But, I guess the prospect of dying is too much for most to handle so they have to invent (make-up) a story that they can believe in so that they can handle dying. If they can believe in an "afterlife" they won't find dying so final.

When I went to the VA clinic I noticed the TV monitor in the waiting room was playing some religious bunk and some idiot was walking around with a Bible trying to pester people with his Jesus sales-pitch and passing out little miniature Bibles. When you realize that this is going on in a government-run outfit and that the military heavily proselytizes our troops to kill for makes me wonder just how "sane" or "insane" these people are. "Naivete" is falling for any of this crap!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 51 weeks ago

Or maybe "Obama Healthcare" is really "McCain or Romney Healthcare". Whatever you call certainly is not what most Americans wanted in a HealthCare Bill and was what most HealthCare Providers wanted. By forcing everyone to participate it made the Government the strong-arm enforcer agents for the criminals who ran these scam rackets. Without at least a Public Option it was a total giveaway to the corporate hoods...with no incentive to keep their prices down. It should have been a Single Payer System but the corporate scamsters stopped that dead. These people can "squeeze sh!t out of wooden nickels" and "nickel and dime us to death"...except it wouldn't be wooden nickels or even dimes they would be getting...but a large percentage of whatever little we earn or have saved. Stick em up!! Your money or your life!!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 51 weeks ago

So rich people and/or corporations spend lots of money trying to buy politicians....and the politicians know that money is what it takes to get re-elected....because they can spend lots of that money on stupid political propaganda leaflets and TV spots. So if people are so stupid to believe in all of this political idiocy then maybe they need, or deserve, what they get.

But, at least, in California we showed those rich people that not everyone can be bought and we made a lot of rich people waste their money on idiot rich candidates that ended up losing. Now, if the rest of the country can waste a lot of rich people's money by kicking the Republicans and the Democrats out of office and vote in someone who couldn't possibly have raised even a fraction of what the two major parties did then there may be hope for this country.

Unless we totally embarrass Romney, Obama, and the rest of the good-ole-boy network of entrenched politicians, there will be no hope...only a waste of time and money and hasten our suffering and deaths under a repressive oligarchical regime. Americans will continue to look absolutely stupid and inane if either Romney or Obama wins the Presidency.

SteveSpears's picture
SteveSpears 11 years 51 weeks ago


It’s beginning to look like the Democrats are going to be out-spent by no small margin and the resulting setback may last for many years. However, we could easily force the Republicans into an indefensible position and generate tremendous buzz by promoting a national voting holiday for 2014 and an upgrade to our voting system to something more democratic like Borda or IRV. This would also re-energize the disillusioned and draw many alternative party voters.
Yes, this would mean sharing some power with other people oriented parties, but the pie-chart would be enlarged from increased participation because many who are cynical about politics would see the value of their vote and the Republicans could no longer play the divide and conquer game.
The calculation is simple: either do this and sacrifice some power but restore your ideals, or continue business as usual and lose both for a long time to come because the Citizens United decision will have transformed politics in ways that are unthinkable.
If you are unconvinced, consider that we are at the tipping point for greenhouse gasses and this is our best hope for building effective coalitions. Do you really want to tell your grandchildren that you didn’t have the courage to put country and humanity above your party?
You cannot lose by offering more power and freedom of choice to We the people.

solbro's picture
solbro 11 years 51 weeks ago

These activist judges of the Roberts court are destroying 236 years of American Democracy in a very short time. Changing Citizens United will take nothing less than a Constitutional Amendment, which will probably take a second Civil War to ever get achieved.

BARBARA NECKER 11 years 51 weeks ago

If Congress & the Supremes keep up the shenanigans they've been pulling since 2008. it may be time for another French Revolution,( which was a lot nastier than our own). Citizens United was a blatant bow to corruption, which I think has been rampant in the court since they over-ruled the peoples' vote & proclaimed W king in 2000. Yup, it was an actual coup & we fell for it because they bludgeoned us with words rather than guns.

FullTimeLib's picture
FullTimeLib 11 years 51 weeks ago

I agree that, short of impeaching Alito and Roberts, utilizing Article V of the Constitution is the best way to proceed to overturn Citizen's United. As to your surmise that it "will probably take a second Civil War to ever get achieved", that is one of the reasons that our Founders gave the People a way to implement change in our republic without the need for bloodshed.

Please see for more information on how we can amend the Constitution.

fjpor's picture
fjpor 11 years 51 weeks ago

That should not be allowed in a government facility but someone should have spoken up to have it stopped. Had to do that around election time when someone brought voter material geared toward the GOP and placed it all around the quarter deck. Skipper, grudgingly, sent out a memo that no religious or political material would be allowed in the work place. I took all that had been put out and destroyed it. I went there to work - not to be preached to nor to be prodded to vote for any one side of a party. That would have been true if it had been the Dems, too.

As for religion, that is what is wrong with out country right now. Without it we could all learn the true founding of our planet and come together to preserve what is happening to destroy it.

As for today's ruling on the Obama's healthcare bill, YES!!! I am totally surprised that Justice Roberts was the one to break the 5 to 4 line and turn it around the other way. Whatever, it is a big win for those who have no insurance, have pre-existing conditions and the college students allowed to remain on their parents policies. Unfortunately, the GOP will do their very best to destroy that, too.

fjpor's picture
fjpor 11 years 51 weeks ago

To Barbara and FullTimeLib, I totally agree and will work all that I can to help with an amendment to overturn Citizen's United. Now they have used it in Montana to destroy a law put into place to keep just such as this from happening. Howard Zinn (If you haven't read him, do so now) was right when he said that we get the government we deserve and that if we are not willing to fight for it then it is our fault. Howard was arrested many times during the illegal Vietnam war (which my husband was a part of since he was active duty Navy at that time and now suffers an illness for which VA will not pay disability) against which I marched in Norfolk Virginia. WE are responsible for what happens to US and WE need to start NOW to make sure that the amendment on Citizen's United IS overturned ASAP.

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