PR Watch: Citizens United 2.0? Supreme Court Could Further Open Door to Money in Politics

-By Brendan Fischer

February 20, 2013- The U.S. Supreme Court could open the door to even more money in politics than it did in the disastrous 2010 decision Citizens United v FEC as it considers a new case challenging limits on how much wealthy donors can give directly to federal candidates and political parties. If the court sides with the challengers in McCutcheon v FEC, political power and influence in America would be further concentrated in the hands of just a few wealthy donors.

Citizens United Flawed in Light of 2012 Elections, but McCutcheon Might Be Worse

The Citizens United decision was premised on the notion that expenditures made "independently" of candidates are less likely to have a corruptive influence than direct contributions to candidates and parties.

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Think Progress: The Supreme Court Will Hear A Republican Party Lawsuit To Make Citizens United Even Worse

-By Ian Millhiser

February 19, 2013- The Supreme Court’s election-buying decision in Citizens United v. FEC enabled wealthy corporations to spend unlimited money to change the course of American elections, and a subsequent lower court decision gave the green light to super PACs funded by unlimited donations from millionaires, billionaires and corporations. Today, the Supreme Court announced it would hear another case — brought by none other than the Republican National Committee — that would go even further towards transforming American democracy into the Wild West.

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Justice Clarence Thomas; The antithesis of Thurgood Marshall

Blogged by Firebrand Central on January 1, 2013-

On October 15, 1991, Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 52-48 vote by the Senate. This was the narrowest margin of confirmation in over a century. Thomas is the second African-American to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Justice Thomas’s confirmation did not come without controversy; the Senate hearings where Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment nearly cost him his seat on the Supreme Court. The sexual harassment claims are likely responsible for the marginal confirmation vote, and there are public figures and officials who regret not speaking out against Thomas to the present day.

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Huffington Post: Supreme Court Rejects Republican National Committee Attempt To End Anti-Voter Intimidation Order

-Associated Press

January 14, 2013- WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned down an effort by the Republican National Committee to end a 30-year-old court order aimed at preventing intimidation of minority voters.

The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting an appeal of lower court decisions that left the order in place at least until 2017.

The order stems from a lawsuit filed by Democrats in New Jersey in 1981 that objected to a "ballot security" program the RNC ran in minority neighborhoods.

Republicans said the order hampers efforts to combat voter fraud, but U.S. District Judge Dickinson Debevoise said voter intimidation remains a threat and preventing it outweighs the potential danger of fraud.

FULL STORY HERE:

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Washington Post: Supreme Court rebuffs GOP request to end order aimed at preventing voter intimidation

-Associated Press

January 14, 2013- WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned down an effort by the Republican National Committee to end a 30-year-old court order aimed at preventing intimidation of minority voters.

The justices did not comment Monday in rejecting an appeal of lower court decisions that left the order in place at least until 2017.

The order stems from a lawsuit filed by Democrats in New Jersey in 1981 that objected to a “ballot security” program the RNC ran in minority neighborhoods.

FULL STORY HERE:

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Salon: Court won’t hear campaign finance arguments

-Associated Press

January 7, 2013- WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from an anti-abortion group that wanted to be exempted from campaign finance disclosure regulations.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from The Real Truth About Abortion, Inc., which was formerly called The Real Truth About Obama, Inc. The group wanted to stop the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department from enforcing fundraising and advertising regulations against it.

The Virginia based group, which was formed by anti-abortion activists, says its “issue advocacy” amounts to constitutionally protected free speech that does not expressly advocate the election or defeat of a candidate. The group also says that Federal Election Commission rules defining PACs and their activity are unconstitutionally broad and vague.

The lower courts have disagreed.

VIEW IN ORIGINAL CONTEXT:

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Bill Moyers: Our Pro-Corporate Supreme Court

Because of partisan gridlock in Washington, the Supreme Court has become the most powerful and outspoken branch of government – decisions they make shape our democracy’s fate for generations to come. Now, one has only to look at Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, and the Affordable Care Act rulings to understand why some call it a “one-percent Court” — dedicated by majority rule to preserving the power and influence of a minority of wealthy special interests.

The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and Jamie Raskin, constitutional law professor and Maryland state senator, join Bill to discuss how the uncontested power of the Supreme Court is changing our elections, our country, and our lives. The two joined forces for a special upcoming issue of The Nation entitled “The One Percent Court.”

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