Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supreme Court Strikes Down Corporate Campaign Expenditures Limit

"Money makes the world go 'round"

In a special session, the U.S. Supreme Court today in a 5-to-4 First Amendment decision (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, official opinions here) invalidated key parts of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA or the McCain-Feingold Act) and overruled a twenty year old precedent about corporations' speech rights. I'll almost certainly have more to say after wading through the 183 pages of opinions, especially Justice Stevens's dissent joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor. For now, for-profit corporations and reunions are probably already planning the elections on which they plan to spend huge sums to run ads in support of candidates they favor.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Supreme Court Bars Broadcast of Prop 8 trial

"Who are you? what's in your mind?/Behind the mask a mocking smile"

Just hours before the trial of the constitutionality of California's anti-marriage-equality Proposition 8 was set to commence, the Supreme Court of the United States has blocked the airing of the trial video on YouTube as well as the planned live streaming to other federal courthouses. See the AP story in the Sacramento Bee here. Perhaps the Court blocked this broadcast because they’d also previously blocked the disclosure of the identity of donors to the anti-marriage equality campaign in Maine. But there’s a difference between keeping something out of evidence and keeping identified witnesses in open court from being seen by the people of the nation. Keep in mind that this is the same Supreme Court on whom lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies are pinning their hopes for a successful outcome from this lawsuit.