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The Citizens United ruling really did break the back of American democracy and we're going to be dealing with it for decades, if not longer.

The thing is the Supreme Court knew what it was doing and basically handed political elections to those with the most money.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

On Jan. 21, 2010, then-Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy cast the deciding vote in the Citizens United case, which was brought by a group chaired by David Bossie, who would later serve as Trump’s deputy campaign manager.

Kennedy wrote in the majority decision that limits on independent expenditures violated the First Amendment rights of corporations and other groups, effectively overturning spending restrictions dating back more than a century.

The decision allowed corporations to spend unlimited money on campaign ads as long as they did not formally coordinate with candidates or political parties. According to Kennedy, there could not be corruption, because “an independent expenditure is political speech presented to the electorate that is not coordinated with a candidate.”

djfrodo 3 years ago

One could basically quote this entire article, but here are a few other nuggets:

Though both parties have raised and spent hundreds of millions in outside money — and the Citizens United ruling has been criticized by both former President Barack Obama and Trump — researchers at the University of Chicago, Columbia University and the London School of Economics and Political Science found that the rise of dark money has resulted in a huge advantage for Republicans in state legislature races, particularly in “states with weak unions.”

"We find that Citizens United increased the GOP’s average seat share in the state legislature by five percentage points. That is a large effect — large enough that, were it applied to the past twelve Congresses, partisan control of the House would have switched eight times," the researchers wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. "In line with a previous study, we also find that the vote share of Republican candidates increased three to four points on average."

The result has been a shift much further to the right in numerous state legislatures and an increase in "ideological extremism," which was more prevalent among Democrats, according to the study.

In the 2010 election, the first to see a massive upswing in outside money, Republicans captured two dozen state legislative chambers ahead of a game-changing nationwide gerrymandering effort, which made it harder than ever for Democrats to win back the seats they lost.

And here's another:

And the corruption is not merely limited to exploiting loopholes in the law. Obama warned in a State of the Union speech that the Citizens United ruling could lead to foreign interference in U.S. elections. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito could be seen mouthing the words, "Not true."

But Obama's foreshadowing turned out to be remarkably true. Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, the two associates of Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, were recently indicted on charges that they illegally funneled foreign money to Republican politicians, including a $325,000 contribution to a pro-Trump super PAC.

jeannie 3 years ago

This is the real corruption. I wish Warren and others would call it out directly, rather than referring in general to corruption.