"The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the nation," wrote Justice John Paul Stevens in his dissenting opinion on today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, which will overturn decades of established campaign finance law.
"Threatens to"? That could be the understatement of the century. But this is what comes of not counting election results. We can thank, among a long list of others, John Kerry for having rolled over in Ohio in 2004.
In a 5 to 4 decision today, by an activist U.S. Supreme Court that actually requested to make a decision to hear this matter, despite the fact that the original case brought to them had little to do with their larger, most destructive finding, has decided that corporations may give as much money as they wish to federal election campaigns.
This would be 'Game Over,' folks, for those who believe in "We the People," rather than "We the Corporations," unless a movement like the one launched today at MoveToAmend.org (on which we are an original signer) can gain traction. You can (and must) join the call by signing on at FreeSpeechForPeople.org as well.
Some key quotes from today's ruling, which pretty much encapsulate the entire horrifying story:
Concurring, Chief Justice Roberts wrote of his fear that if the decision had gone the other way, "First Amendment rights could be confined to individuals, subverting the vibrant public discourse that is at the foundation of our democracy."
...And Justice Scalia, equating corporate money with free speech wrote "We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate."
In dissent, Justice Stevens wrote "While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics."
We will, no doubt have more on this soon (currently buried in a number of other items and still on road). In the meantime, we're sure the "grass roots" Tea Baggers, outraged by corporate money special interests, will be infuriated by this decision, light up new protests in every town in every state in the union, and demand that our country be returned to "We the People" as the founders envisioned.