Supreme Court Strikes McCain-Feingold

“The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may spend freely to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on their participation in federal campaigns. . . The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.”

This is big political news. Read the rest here.

20 Responses to Supreme Court Strikes McCain-Feingold

  1. Harrison Lewis January 21, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    We the People has now become we the Corporations. This is bad for America. Corporations are not created equal; men are. I am not a lawyer, but this defies all sensible logic. Politicians already support corporate interests, now they will be held prisoner to them.

  2. Mark Gibson January 21, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Corporations are made up of we the People. Why should their free speech be limited?

  3. Darius T January 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    This is great news!

  4. David Vinzant January 21, 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    Sad news. Apparently we will need a constitutional amendment to limit the purchasing of politicians by corporations. I don’t think the founders envisioned a situation we now have where there are five bank industry lobbyists for every member of Congress.

  5. John January 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    This is terrible news. This isn’t about ‘free speech,’ but ‘bought speech.’

    We the People are an entirely different lot the “We the Corporations…”

    The Corporations and Wall Street already have their hands too far into politics, this is only going to make it worse.

    I guess the one consolation we have is that it is hard to imagine it getting much worse than it is…

    The founders were rightly concerned about corporate power. Read about it:
    http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_accountability/history_corporations_us.html

    We’ve abandoned that idea in the name of freedom of speech, but what good is freedom of speech when all you ever hear are the voices with the most money?

  6. paul January 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    I will say that I would like to see controversial subjects unfold in the house and senate without the promise of campaign funding or the threat of taking it away being held over politicians’ heads. In a town hall meeting last year, McCain hilariously agreed with a town hall participant that he was essentially bought off by big pharma. Funny, sure. Pathetic? Even more so.

    I know, I know, the guys I vote for are simply bought off by different interests. But I don’t agree with that either.

  7. John January 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    I have reconsidered my initial reaction to this decision.

    I do believe corporations have far too much influence upon America and our government, but infringing upon the free speech of corporations means transgressing the laws that we are all meant to respect and uphold.

    Rather than limit corporate freedom of speech, we ought to limit government’s ability to fulfill the interests of corporations and bestow blessings upon the few at the expense of the many.

  8. Darius T January 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

    Hahaha, you guys are so naive. Have you not been paying attention to this health care bill? The big business special interests have been getting what they want even with the stupid McCain-Feingold bill in place… what this decision does is allow the smaller private groups to have the freedom to publicly support whom they will with their money.

    Whatever the case, this is a great day for the freedom of speech… not surprising that the liberals are hopping mad, since they hate that particular freedom with a passion.

  9. Mark Gibson January 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    I’m sick of listening to politicians complain about special interest groups. If anyone in Congress was serious about getting rid of them, then they would scrap the IRS and institute a flat tax.

  10. David Vinzant January 22, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Among the “liberals” who “hate freedom with a passion” who voted for this bipartisan law were John McCain, Thad Cochran, Pete Dominici, and Fred Thompson. Then that archliberal George W. Bush signed it into law.

  11. Harrison Lewis January 23, 2010 at 10:16 pm #

    Mark and all, corporations are not people. In fact, corporations can now give more money to a political campaign than YOU can. How is this freedom of speach when yours has just been marginalized. I work in corporate America and enjoy my perks, but this is not what we the people mean. This is just far right politics showing it scaley face. It is deceptive. How can you call yourself conservative when you just gave away your voice. The problem with this is that the Supreme Court did not limit the $2300 that “WE” the people can contribute to a campaign. The constitution says no where that a corporation is a person with civil rights and liberties. Each person in that corp. has those rights. By the way David Vanzant it is interesting that you say Liberals hate freedom. They aren’t the ones who just Robbed you of yours.

  12. Darius T January 24, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Harrison, give me a break. Explain to me how this ruling negatively affected my freedom? You don’t seem to understand this ruling or the effects of it. Liberals were the one who first enacted this monstrosity (McCain is hardly conservative, Thompson had a moment of senility, and Bush was likewise a dubious conservative). Now true conservatives are ending this affront to the Constitution and our freedoms.

  13. David Vinzant January 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm #

    That’s some great historical revisionism there, Darius.

    Were liberals the first to enact a “monstrosity” of banning corporations from donating to political campaigns?

    “In 1907, Congress responded by passing the first federal campaign finance law, a ban on political contributions by corporations.”

    Congress that year was dominated by Republicans. 59 out of 90 (that’s 65%) Senators were Republican. 251 out of 386 Congressmen (also 65%) were Republicans.

    The truth is that campaign finance reform has enjoyed bipartisan support. It is also true that Republicans have historically received most of the corporate cash and thus many Republicans have opposed campaign finance reform. In terms of public opinion, the majority of Americans have always been opposed to politicians receiving large sums of money from corporations. Everyone understands that money = control and most people do not want their representatives controlled by a few wealthy businessmen.

  14. David Vinzant January 24, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Addendum: What the 5-4 Supreme Court majority did was to overrule the will of the people. It’s funny that some people think this is great, but are upset that courts might overrule laws that ban gay marriage.

  15. David Vinzant January 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Harrison,

    I was being sarcastic in post #10.

  16. David Vinzant January 24, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    Just found this:

    In an October 2009 poll, Gallup found that 76% of Americans think the government should be able to limit the amount corporations or unions can give to political candidates. 21% think there should be no limits.

  17. Mark Gibson January 25, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Harrison,

    I don’t see how I have been marginalized considering the fact that corporations still cannot directly donate to a candidate. Plus, I don’t see a problem with a corporation being allowed to defend itself from a bunch of fascist democrats.

    David,

    The Gallup poll also shows that 57% of Americans believe that campaign giving is free speech. I don’t see how the Supreme Court overruled the will of the people.

  18. David Vinzant January 25, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Mark,

    First, because 76% of Americans believe that the government should be able to limit corporate spending on campaigns. Yes, it does seem at odds that a majority consider corporate spending on campaigns as free speech. Notice that most consider individual contributions free speech, but also believe the government should be able to limit individual contributions. Perhaps when people answered the question, they meant that everyone should have their say, but no one should be able to give so much that they drown out the free speech of others.

    Second, the SC overruled the will of the people as expressed by their elected officials who passed McCain-Feingold.

  19. Darius T January 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    When the will of the people clearly goes against the will of the founders of this country, the Constitution wins. That’s the way it goes in this country… don’t like it, move to any number of countries which reinvent themselves every generation… like the UK.

  20. Mark Gibson January 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    David,

    I wouldn’t call McCain Feingold the will of the people. That whole bill was a result of John McCain being a sore loser in 2000.

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