In 1976, for the first time in America's history, five conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that rich people owning their own personal politicians was constitutionally protected because the money they were using to buy legislators and legislation was "free speech." The case was Buckley v. Valeo. In 1978, SCOTUS extended that logic to corporations in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.
The result was predictable. Rich people and corporations rose up and took over the government, as money poured into Reagan's coffers and the corporate-funded GOP began to dominate the American political scene. And, also predictably, the most predatory and least scrupulous among those billionaires and corporations ended up with the most influence.
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