...Indeed, Mr. Obama’s description of the holding of the case was imprecise. He said the court had “reversed a century of law.”
The law that Congress enacted in the populist days of the early 20th century prohibited direct corporate contributions to political campaigns. That law was not at issue in the Citizens United case, and is still on the books. Rather, the court struck down a more complicated statute that barred corporations and unions from spending money directly from their treasuries — as opposed to their political action committees — on television advertising to urge a vote for or against a federal candidate in the period immediately before the election. It is true, though, that the majority wrote so broadly about corporate free speech rights as to call into question other limitations as well — although not necessarily the existing ban on direct contributions.That's the New York Times, folks.
...President Obama called for new legislation to prohibit foreign companies from taking advantage of the ruling to spend money to influence American elections. But he is too late; Congress passed the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 1996, which prohibits independent political commercials by foreign nationals or foreign companies.
--also from the NY Times. Of course, the ConLaw instructor isn't expected to know US legislation, right?
Foreign companies CAN take advantage of the ruling to spend money to influence American elections by using their American-based subsideries to make donations and fund commercials to influence elections, i.e. an end-around.
Bader and Stevens asked whether foreign interests would be able to funnel money into American elections through their U.S. subsidiaries. In its opinion, the Court side-stepped the issue and refused to make a ruling on whether foreign corporations would be able to influence our political process by funding election ads. Instead, the Court stated that there is no need to answer the question, and referred to the fact that 2 U.S.C 441(e) bans contributions and expenditures by foreign nationals. True, but the operative word in 441e is “nationals”. So the Court says that the question of whether foreign organizations can influence our Nation’s political process is best answered by 441e when 441e applies only to foreign nationals or individuals, and not corporations? This creates a loophole for foreign corporations. It will be interesting to see what foreign corporations will do to capitalize on this blunder by the Court.
No where in the Constitution does it state that a corporation is a living person. No where in the Constitution does it state that "free speech" equates to "paid commercial speech", or that businesses, which have "economic speech" through its charters recognized by a government, have "political speech" equal to that of individual citizens. The conservative members of the Supreme Court perversely crafted a ruling through judicial activism that runs counter to the founding forefathers concern that monied business interests pose a threat democracy. Even the foundation for the ruling--corporate personhood, 1886 SC Case--itself is rooted in controversy.
Let the madness begin!
And nowhere in the 1st Amendment does the term "except" precede 'speech.'
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