The Supreme Court Rules That the First Amendment Bends Toward Money

 

By now the news may have percolated enough  through the  media  for many Americans to realize that  the Supreme Court  under the inestimable John Roberts has loosened restrictions on individual campaign contributions.  An individual still is limited to  $2,600 per candidate  ($5,200 total for primary and general elections), but the max (currently at $48,600) has been removed. In other words, someone can spread those packets of $2,600($5200) around  to as many candidates as he wishes.  But not to worry.  Relax, my fellow Americans.  Our Solomon of a  Chief Justice  says that  it's all for the good.   There isn't even the remotest  chance  that increasing the influx of    money could  corrupt the democratic process. No, siree!  Justice Roberts and his Conservative brethren  have  wisdom  as infinite  as  the money-cum-free speech  the super-rich and powerful will inseminate into the body politic.  In other  words, 5-4 calls the shots.

After all, these are the same legal geniuses who gave us 'corporations are people'.   Here--- in patented juridical jive--- is Roberts'  formidable reasoning:

"They [99% of us] would be delighted to see fewer TV commercials touting a candidate's accomplishments or disparaging an opponent's character....Money in politics may at times seem repugnant to some, but so too does much of what the 1st Amendment vigorously protects. If the First Amendment protects flag burning, funeral protests, and Nazi parades---despite the profound offense such spectacles cause---it surely protects political campaign speech despite popular opposition."

How's that for an valid , tightly-knitted argument by analogy?  Somehow, though,  I don't think any of those cases  ever had the power to run  Congress,  decide the fate of Social Security, or lead us into war.

 

 

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  • Why didn't you mention how he voted in the monstrosity Obamacare that has raised middle class healthcare 40-65% and doubled/tripled deductions?

  • In reply to 4zen:

    On the other hand, there are no lifetime caps so people with catastrophic illnesses don't go bankrupt, and those with pre-existing conditions will not be denied insurance, and children can be covered till they reach 26, and millions of people now have insurance who were previously uninsured.

    It's a work in progress. The first step to Medicare for all. In a few short years it will be political suicide to oppose it.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Basically, the only things the Court decided was that the tax penalty in the individual mandate was a tax and hence constitutional, and that as a result of the 10th Amendment, states could opt out of the Medicaid enhancements. Also, there was a restriction on the interpretation of the Commerce Clause, which may have an effect on future matters, but not the ACA.

    There is of course the pending case on whether [epithet deleted] or corporations may assert a religious objection to buying insurance that includes birth control.

    However, the Supreme Court does not deal with policy, so both what you and 4zen say wasn't relevant to the courts, just constitutionality.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You are being naive. All that could of been done without the level of disruption and divisiveness we are witnessing. No one knows how many new people are insured or the level of care they will receive. Go read up on the quality of medicaid. No empathy for the ballooning costs on middle class families? You can't have universal healthcare without tort reform.

    Did your students escape constructive criticism? You let your irrational love of party blind you.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    If "all that could of been done," why did the House tout that it passed repeal 45 or so times, but never said they were in favor of abolishing preexisting conditions, for instance, except a few moderate Republicans who said "well no one is in favor of coverage exclusions?"

    Where was the alternative Republican bill during the government shutdown?

  • In reply to jack:

    I'm not arguing for Republicans, I'm arguing for reasonable behavior and law. Ocare is not reasonable or affordable. Canada enacted tort reform to go with universal healthcare. An Ob/gyn in Toronto is paying $28,000 a year in malpractice insurance while just over the border in the U.S. they are paying $72,000-128,000, of 09', but of course a bunch lawyer politicians will never enacted tort reform, right?

  • In reply to 4zen:

    That could be the case, but as I noted earlier, that is irrelevant to your initial statement about the Roberts court, and Roberts in particular.

    If any one is going to enact that, it will be up to Congress, with the President signing. Back in the day, Obama said he wasn't adverse to tort reform. However, I am not aware of any constitutional reason by which the Supreme Court could impose tort reform, thereby superseding state legislation and constitutions. Maybe Congress could, but that would also have to depend on some grant of power (commerce?). Then that law would go to the Supreme Court.

  • In reply to jack:

    I wasn't trying to be technically correct, I know Roberts didn't technically vote in Ocare, but I had an inkling why our patron didn't mention Roberts part in it.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Hey, that's my saying for Jack on religion....anyway I believe doing nothing would've been better than his Frankenstein monster. This could've been done right, but the power of politics.....my main point is you cheer for Democrats more than you cheer for good policy, you are not critical enough.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Maybe the Republicans should have relied on their usual mantra that "anything the government does is incompetent" and let it fall of its own weight.

    But I notice such things as policy maker Dennis Byrne hasn't said that he is giving up his Social Security and Medicare, while he grumbles about health care and tries to do Hobby Lobby's lobbying.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well that mantra's 'playing in Peoria', look at this state! The state hired out an audit on Medicaid and found out 50% of the claims were fraudulent, they were so embarrassed they stopped the study and nothing's been done. How much did we just expand Medicaid?

  • In reply to 4zen:

    I had commented here before (with regard to the states that took up Roberts on the holding that they could opt out of expanded Medicaid with a federal subsidy) that that leaves their hospitals with the obligation of providing free care, which existed before. Especially some hospitals in the Peoria area were denied tax exemptions because they were not charitable.

    Thus, for instance, Cook County Hospital can now recoup money for some of the care it was previously giving away. Apparently it is also now being paid to run some sort of managed care plan.

    So, it is six of one and a half dozen of another.

    As far as fraud in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, they have existed since the mid 1960s, so the response should be to clean it up, finally. Like I said, Byrne isn't giving up his Medicare.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    By "existed" I mean "fraud has." I screwed up the sentence structure there.

  • I didn't buy the corruption argument made in support of the law. As Illinois proves (take the Phil Pagano stories today and Blago and JJJr., as examples), politicians can be bought off much more cheaply.

    I would agree with the obnoxious commercials point, but supposedly politics is the heart of the First Amendment.

    And I don't think the people who [at least used to] live in Skokie agree with your characterization of the Nazis, and certainly would join Elwood Blues in driving them off the side of the bridge (in the uncensored version of the Blues Brothers).

  • In reply to jack:

    I don't buy that argument either. It's a defense mechanism for being on the leash of Big Corporations.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You misinterpreted what I said. I said "made in support of the law."

    From what I understand of the decision (from news sources), it does not affect how much can be given to a PAC or how much a PAC can spend. The "Rauner killed your grandma in the nursing home" ads, while paid for by some union interest or another, had "Sponsored by --- PAC, not endorsed by any candidate" at the end.

    There was some PAC behind the Robin Kelly ads in the special election, but it was mostly Bloomberg's money. He managed to beat Debbie Halverson, but has Robin Kelly done anything since being elected then? Note that those ads were not present before the 2014 primary. so we can assume she coasted unopposed, and will stay in that seat until she suffers the fate of the last 3 representatives from the 2CD.

    As I noted above, Blago and JJJr. were bought off real cheap.

    Citizens' United might have been a significant departure, but this case does not appear to be.

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