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Thread: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Interesting article on the SCOTUS decision: American Thinker: A Dangerous Dissent on Citizens United

    Justice Stevens' conclusion that the sovereign may interfere with First Amendment or other rights of privately founded and financed corporations because they are "artificial" creations is not only absent in the Trustees of Dartmouth College decision, but it is contradictory to it.

    Founder and our fourth Chief Justice John Marshall wrote:

    A corporation is an artificial being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law. Being a creature of law, it possesses only those properties which the charter of its creation confers upon it, either expressly, or as incidental to its very existence. These are such as are supposed best calculated to effect the object for which it was created. Among the most important are immortality, and, if the expression may be allowed, individuality; properties, by which a perpetual succession of many persons are considered the same, and may act as a single individual.
    In other words, Justice Marshall's written opinion supports the principle that corporations may act and speak as any individual may, and the opinion notes that legislatures lack the power to take away "vested" rights. The position that follows from Justice Stevens' must be that First Amendment rights are not vested. That is as dangerous a judicial notion as any I know.

    Perhaps an even more radical and equally dangerous statement in the liberals' dissent is that "every corporate activity ... rest[s] entirely in a concession of the sovereign," and therefore could be "comprehensively regulated in the service of the public welfare." As I mentioned earlier, the opinion in Trustees of Dartmouth College makes the clear distinction between private corporations versus public (or civic) corporations such as cities and townships. Justice Stevens' language is pulled from the description of public corporations found in Trustees of Dartmouth College.

    I do not know whether Justice Stevens' intent in failing to acknowledge this important distinction between private and public corporations was to influence more than just restrictions on First Amendment rights. The Marshall court makes clear, however, that government may not intrude on private corporations the way it may on public ones, and it must respect the private nature of private corporations even when their purposes may be for the public benefit. That may be just horribly incompetent lawyering on Justice Stevens' part (although the other three liberal justices signed onto his dissenting opinion).

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Interesting article on the SCOTUS decision: American Thinker: A Dangerous Dissent on Citizens United
    ;';'

    It reads like an average insurance policy to me.

    Marshall's opinion is based on mysticism and easter bunny logic.

    He should have got the Gabby Hayes Gibberish Award for it.

    Of course, that's only my humble opinion.

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    ;';'

    It reads like an average insurance policy to me.

    Marshall's opinion is based on mysticism and easter bunny logic.

    He should have got the Gabby Hayes Gibberish Award for it.

    Of course, that's only my humble opinion.
    I often find the law that way, although I am not sure where mysticism and the easter bunny comes in here. Nonetheless, it represents precedence that was not overturned by the current court. The conclusion makes sense to me. Are we really supposed to regulate and restrict a private enterprises' speech? Nonsense.

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    I often find the law that way, although I am not sure where mysticism and the easter bunny comes in here. Nonetheless, it represents precedence that was not overturned by the current court. The conclusion makes sense to me. Are we really supposed to regulate and restrict a private enterprises' speech? Nonsense.
    They literally created something out of thin air and said an entity has the same rights as we the people.

    Precedence can also be conceived to be "rule from the grave" ["Rights Of Man", Tom Paine].

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    They literally created something out of thin air and said an entity has the same rights as we the people.

    Precedence can also be conceived to be "rule from the grave" ["Rights Of Man", Tom Paine].
    No, they said the First Amendment applies to either individuals or groups of individuals.

    I am not familiar with "rule from the grave". What does it mean?
    Last edited by reefedjib; 01-29-10 at 10:59 PM.

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    No, they said the First Amendment applies to either individuals or groups of individuals.
    Symbolism. In other words how can you use a symbol to replace people? It's full of pot holes. It's like using soylent green for people.

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    Symbolism. In other words how can you use a symbol to replace people? It's full of pot holes. It's like using soylent green for people.
    So, your assertion is that a group of people do not have freedom of speech? That a group of people do not have freedom of the press?

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    So, your assertion is that a group of people do not have freedom of speech? That a group of people do not have freedom of the press?
    They have no input in how the company is run. They can vote out the ceos every year or sell their stock but they have no direct control over what the companies do, be it good or evil.

    What's to keep china from using a sock puppet corporation to come in and destroy our country?

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    They have no input in how the company is run. They can vote out the ceos every year or sell their stock but they have no direct control over what the companies do, be it good or evil.

    What's to keep china from using a sock puppet corporation to come in and destroy our country?
    As you surely know, but I will repeat, the first amendment states:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    There is nothing that declares those rights to be individual rights.

    That this applies to a corporation involved in economic activity is beside the point and doesn't matter. That a corporations management team is the people that determine a companies message doesn't matter.

    Nothing is preventing china from spending money in the US for elections. I don't know about "destroying" our country. I think we can withstand a media barrage of their opinion. This "problem" has nothing to do with whether companies have protected speech.

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    Re: Supreme Court Overturns Limits on Corporate Spending in Political Campaigns

    Justice Stevens was eloquent - and correct - in his dissenting view:
    “The majority blazes through our precedents,” he wrote, “overruling or disavowing a body of case law” that included seven decisions.
    “Such an assumption,” he wrote, “would have accorded the propaganda broadcasts to our troops by ‘Tokyo Rose’ during World War II the same protection as speech by Allied commanders.”
    and his coup de grâce:
    “While American democracy is imperfect,” he wrote, “few outside the majority of this court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.”
    the man has acquired a lifetime of wisdom in his almost 90 years. too bad the majority members of the court are unworthy to appreciate it

    Sidebar - Justice John Paul Stevens Voices Frustration With Recent Decisions of Supreme Court - Series - NYTimes.com
    we are negotiating about dividing a pizza and in the meantime israel is eating it
    once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed

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