[TPM] In a ruling that has major implications for how elections are funded, the Supreme Court has struck down a key campaign-finance restriction that bars corporations and unions from pouring money into political ads.
The long-awaited 5-4 ruling, in the Citizens United v. FEC case, presents advocates of regulation with a major challenge in limiting the flow of corporate money into campaigns, and potentially opens the door for unrestricted amounts of corporate money to flow into American politics.
From the decision:
By taking the right to speak from some and giving it to others, the Government deprives the disadvantaged person or class of the right to use speech to strive to establish worth, standing, and respect for the speaker’s voice. The Government may not by these means deprive the public of the right and privilege to determine for itself what speech and speakers are worthy of consideration. The First Amendment protects speech and speaker, and the ideas that flow from each.
As TPM points out, "At the heart of the ruling, now available here (pdf), is a judgment by the Court that the law cannot distinguish between corporations and individuals in prohibiting speech - so free speech rights that apply to the latter must also apply to the former."
(Supposed liberal) Justice Kennedy actually referred to corporations as a "disadvantaged class" and that they were being denied the rights of the individual?
Fuck that, sideways. If corporations are to be granted all the rights of the individual citizen, then in turn, corporations will now be taxed as individuals in the highest bracket now, right?
Plenty of excerpts from the majority opinion and the dissent, here.