This morning’s Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling striking down Montana’s 100-year-old limits on corporate political spending and upholding the Court’s disgraceful “Citizens United” decision demonstrates three important things.
First, that this court’s “conservative” majority is anything but “conservative;” in fact, the four wingnuts on the court – Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito – are activist, right-wing, radical judges (so much for stare decisis!) running amok. Second, those four wingnuts clearly believe that our Democracy is, and should be, for sale to the highest (corporate and/or billionaire) bidder. Third, that the Supreme Court should be a huge issue in the 2012 election cycle; just imagine a President Romney (shudder) having the ability to appoint 1, 2, or more Justices in the mold of Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts? If that happens, you can kiss a lot of things goodbye in this country, first and foremost being our democracy. You can also welcome our new corporate overlords, because that’s exactly who will be in charge.
P.S. I strongly agree with the dissent by Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan, which correctly states that “Montana’s experience, like considerable experience elsewhere since the Court’s decision in Citizens United, casts grave doubt on the Court’s supposition that independent expenditures do not corrupt or appear to do so.”
UPDATE: With regard to the Arizona case, 5 Justices “struck down criminal restrictions that would have barred those in the U.S. illegally from seeking work or being in Arizona without proper documentation” and “said the final answer on the centerpiece of the law — a requirement that local police officers check the immigration status of people they suspect might be in the country illegally — will depend on how the provision is enforced.” Of course, the three hardest-core right-wing radical judges (Scalia, Alito, Thomas) disagreed, which once again demonstrates the crucial importance of having a Democratic president fill the next few vacancies on the Court.
UPDATE #2: Justice Scalia utterly contradicts himself on these two rulings, while demonstrating that he’s nothing more than an enraged, “GET OFF MY LAWN!!!” Teabagger at heart. On the one hand, Scalia wrote that “If securing its territory in this fashion is not within the power of Arizona, we should cease referring to it as a sovereign State.” On the other hand, Scalia voted to prevent the supposedly “sovereign state” of Montana from writing its own campaign finance laws. So which is it, Justice Scalia?