Last Thursday, five men in black robes set democracy back over 100 years; they signed the death certificate on the 235 year old dream of our forefathers.
They might as well have been wielding axes, swords, and flails for what they have done with a pen to this once great country.
With one stroke of the pen, 5 simple, mortal men have denigrated the 1st amendment. They have stomped all over the graves of far more brilliant men than they. They have sold the American people to the military-industrial complex that former President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, warned us about as he left office.
Five men in black robes: Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice’s Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito, destroyed democracy. For that they should be punished.
With one stroke of the pen they destroyed the heart of democracy, the ability ‘of the people’ to elect their own representatives without interference and manipulation of corporations, and the unregulated proliferation of corporate money.
Over one hundred years ago, in 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt called on Congress to forbid corporations, railroads and national banks from using their money to influence federal elections. His reasons were as patriotic and altruistic—as was his understanding of the potential consequences—as it was visionary. After World War II Congress extended the ban to labor unions.
So what does the Supreme Court decision mean?
It means that corporations can now spend as much money as they want on advertisements or media, for or against a candidate, in an attempt to sway your vote. As much as they want. And we, the voters, will have no way of knowing the truth or validity of the corporate ad claims.
This was an especially huge blow to Independents in this country. Unrepresented for years, though we outnumber both registered Republicans and registered Democrats, our influence will no longer be important. Elections will be bought or prejudiced by corporate money, contaminating a process that is already out of hand.
In many elections in the past neither candidate was really my choice, nor the ideal choice of true Independents, but we’ve been forced to vote for the lesser of two evils or be left out of the process. After today’s decision my vote, our vote, will be of far less importance as control of the campaigns shift to corporate giants.
At a time when ‘we the people’ should be taking over and dictating campaign financing, five men in black robes took that right away from us. They stole the most precious freedom of democracy from the American people.
Our forefathers would have these 5 men in black robes hung at the gallows on The Mall for what they have just done to their document. Clearly, had they envisioned this form of piracy, they would have limited their terms and defined a vehicle for a Supreme’s removal.
But our forefathers are gone and the Presidency, Congress, and the Court have been left to lesser men. And, because we are at a more civilly correct time in our history, there can be no hanging on The Mall.
Who do we blame? First, blame should go to George W. Bush who nominated both John Roberts and Samuel Alito. But there is a group that should shoulder the lion’s share of the blame; the Gang of 14!
For those of you who are not familiar with the Gang of 14, they are seven Republican and seven Democratic Senators who joined together to break the filibuster on Dub’s court appointees. What is amazing about this Gang is that the same destructive faces keep showing up to undermine democracy: John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Olympia Snowe on the Republican’s side and Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, and Mary Landrieu from the Democrat side of the aisle. These Senators continue to work against the best interests of ‘the people.’
Of the original Gang of 14, three of the Republicans and one Democrat are no longer serving in the Senate. But the devastation they left behind is just beginning to be felt.
In Citizens United, a right-wing political action committee (PAC), v. the Federal Election Committee, the limited membership PAC sued the FEC for denying them the right to spew their venomous film about Hillary across the nation in close proximity to the primary elections.
Their desire to put out the movie was pure revenge and had no other intrinsic value.
It is obvious, even to the casual observer, that Citizen’s United cared nothing about 1st amendment rights, was not concerned about freedom of speech for you and I, but for their own selfish, personal interest.
To believe that 5 venerable men in black robes could be so easily manipulated is profoundly disturbing.
In the first pages of his dissent, Justice Stevens, cites the misapplication of the law, writing ‘The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Court’s disposition of this case.’
A corporation was ‘never’ granted nor considered a ‘person’ in the context of the 1st Amendment, nor was it ever ‘intended’ or ‘implied’ that a corporation ‘ever’ be given the identity or status of an ‘individual’ as defined in the amendment under the Constitution. To give a corporation a ‘voice’, even under the loosest interpretation of the law would be a gross misapplication of the intent of the amendment and the framers.
To think that 5 educated men in black robes could so cavalierly ignore the spirit of the 1st Amendment is, on the surface, a gross miscarriage of justice, and a deeper conviction to push an ideological agenda.
With little faith in Congress, waning belief in the administration’s potential for bringing about change, and now no confidence in the decisions of the Supreme Court, there is no hope that this country is capable of preventing its slide into the abyss.
People like David Bossie, Ted Olson, and Floyd Abrams sold out the American people just to get even with the Clintons. These three gentlemen are not Citizens United. They are three individuals who are filled with vitriol and hatred and their desire for revenge is just another divisive wedge in the electoral process. There were no ‘real’ citizens involved in this electoral travesty.
As Solicitor General, Ted Olson fought against constitutional rights—stripping away freedoms allowed us under the 4th and 1st amendments.
The poison and stupidity that has leaked from these five jurist’s pens warrants a crime against humanity and for that they should be judged. The immortal and sardonic words of Marcus Antonius when addressing those involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar, “For they are all honorable men,” surely applies in this case.
They claim to be honorable men, but it is not, nor has it ever been, their purpose to ‘legislate’ from the bench.
It is evident, given recent Court decisions, that this Supreme Court has little understanding of what our forefathers provided us by establishing this democracy. They understood the need to escape persecution and tried to instill that in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They understood the ‘right of the people’ to have a say in the election of the representatives who run the government.
At a time when the vote of the individual is more relevant than ever before 5 men in black robes have, affectively, minimized what was given to us as one of our unalienable Rights with a ruling for the corporations and against ‘the people.’
Maybe it’s time to exercise your freedom of speech, through your vote, by demanding a XXVIII Amendment limiting the service of Supreme Court Justices or exposing them to a vote of the American people, 3 to be voted on at each Presidential election, with a yes or no vote of confidence.
This is yet another problem that hard-working Americans did not need. Another fight that ‘we’ shouldn’t have to fight.
It is important to remember that just 5 men in black robes minimized one of democracy’s greatest attributes.