It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Supreme Court on Campaign Finance Tomorrow

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 12:20 PM

There is going to be a special meeting by the Supreme court tomorrow which could potentially herald in the most monumentous change in campaign finance in over a century.

The Supreme Court in it's last session discussed the arguements over whether or not Hillary Clinton should become an electioneering communication and should be subject to campaign finance rules.

This important question lead to a much broader vision of governments right to regulate political advertising and corporate contributions to and for political campaigns.

By not addressing the issue of Hillary they instead called for a rehearing which just may institute corporate monies flowing into our political systems in unpresidented amounts.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

Supreme Court of the United States
Argued March 24, 2009
Reargued September 9, 2009

Full case name Citizens United, Appellant v. Federal Election Commission
Docket nos. 08-205
Prior history defendant granted summary judgement 530 F. Supp. 2d 274 (D.C. 2008),[1] certiorari granted U.S.
Questions presented
Whether federal campaign finance laws apply to a critical film about Senator Hillary Clinton intended to be shown in theaters and on-demand to cable subscribers.
Court membership
Chief Justice
John G. Roberts

Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Antonin Scalia
Anthony Kennedy · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Samuel Alito · Sonia Sotomayor

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is an ongoing legal case in which the United States Supreme Court will decide whether a politically charged film can be defined as a "campaign ad" under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold Act. This case is an appeal from a lower court case of the same name from 2008, in which the United States District Court for the District of Columbia sided with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that Hillary: The Movie could not be shown on television right before the 2008 Democratic primaries under the McCain-Feingold Act. Legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky called it “one of the most important First Amendment cases in years.”[2]

Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit organization, wanted to run television commercials promoting its film Hillary: The Movie, a documentary critical of then-Senator Hillary Clinton.[3] In January 2008, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the commercials violated the provision in the McCain-Feingold Act restricting "electioneering communications" 30 days before primaries and clearly had no other purpose than discredit Clinton; Citizens United argued that the film was fact-based and nonpartisan.[4]

The Supreme Court docketed this case on August 18, 2008,[5] and heard oral arguments on March 24, 2009.[3][6][7] A decision was expected sometime in the early summer months of 2009.[8]

However, on June 29, 2009, the Supreme Court issued an order directing the parties to reargue the case on September 9 after issuing briefs on larger issues.[9] At oral argument, Citizens United is to address the following question: "For the disposition of this case, should the Court overrule either or both Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the part of McConnell v. FEC which addresses the facial validity of Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002?”[10]

[edit on 8-9-2009 by antar]

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 12:43 PM
This could potentially become the single most important issue of our future, it will in essence decide how the first amendment incorporates into freedom of speech, freedom of press and other such issues that have already seen the decline of our soverign Nation.

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the Congress from making laws "respecting an establishment of religion", prohibiting the free exercise of religion, infringing the freedom of speech, infringing the freedom of the press, limiting the right to peaceably assemble, or limiting the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Although the First Amendment only explicitly applies to the Congress, the Supreme Court has interpreted it as applying to the executive and judicial branches. Additionally, in the 20th century, the Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the limitations of the First Amendment to each state, including any local government within a state.

As we have so often seen issues being tossed into the ring under the cover of shadow contentions, this too may become ruled upon to strip away other rights and freedoms which we hold most important.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 01:00 PM
reply to post by antar

So sad that I have not seen anything in the news about this, incredible how some information just goes unnoticed by the regular population.

Transparency in Washington is nothing but a joke, and the so call promises of keeping lobbyist away from Washington is nothing but a big campaign lie.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 02:41 PM
reply to post by marg6043

Yes so lets just see what red herring is brought into play tomorrow to keep us looking in the opposite direction. I will do what I can to report back my findings.
Thanks for posting, I guess this is not as important as the AJ hoax.

I know its boring political governemt stuff, so I will attempt to color it with witty opine.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 02:45 PM
S + F, important stuff here.

Maybe its better just to let corporations fund these kind of smear commercials, that way real stuff like this can get through.

Hope they rule in favour of Citizens United.

Check out the McCain-Feingold Act

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 02:55 PM
Star back at ya, because this is really what it is all about and I for one do not want to see corporate America gaining any more power over the average citizen whom they have so brazenly sold out in the past few years.

So far in 2009 over 263 million dollars has been spent in lobbyists for the health care system and look at where we stand on that position today.

If this passes we will see a century of hard word undermined if not completely blown away, our rights of the first amendment shattered.

Thank you for your input.

Wow edit for 20/20 spell check lol.

[edit on 8-9-2009 by antar]

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 03:43 PM
From a link on the corporate Justice blog

Citizens United v. FEC

Case Summary

On December 13, 2007, Citizens United, a nonprofit membership corporation, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the constitutionality of the statutory provisions governing disclaimers on, and disclosure and funding of, certain "electioneering communications" (ECs). On January 15, 2008, the District Court denied Citizens United’s motion for a preliminary injunction, in which Citizens United requested that the court prevent the FEC from enforcing its electioneering communications provisions.

An EC is a broadcast, cable or satellite communication that refers to a clearly identified federal candidate and is publicly distributed within 30 days of a primary election or within 60 days of a general election. 2 U.S.C. §434(f)(3)(A)(i) and 11 CFR 100.29(a). Corporations and labor organizations are generally prohibited from using their general treasury funds to finance ECs. 2 U.S.C. §441b(b)(2) and 11 CFR 114.2(b)(2)(iii).

The Commission recently modified its regulations governing the funding of ECs by corporations and labor organizations in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. (WRTL II). In that case the Supreme Court held that because the ads in question were not the "functional equivalent of express advocacy," the prohibition on corporate or labor organization funding of ECs was unconstitutional as applied to WRTL’s ads. The Court further held that a communication is the "functional equivalent of express advocacy" only if it "is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate."

The FEC revised its rules to provide a general exemption from the prohibition on corporate and labor organization funding of ECs unless the communication is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a clearly identified federal candidate. The revised regulations do not exempt any ECs from the reporting and disclaimer requirements.

From the NY Times:

In an 1816 letter, Thomas Jefferson declared his hope to “crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

The point here is that the big corportations are already running free on a roller coaster without breaks. They operate above the law and yet fall short of Gods law of nature.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 07:20 AM
The problem is that the whores in Washington can not get enough of their share of billions of dollar on campaign donations coming from the corporate rats lobbyist.

How can you stop this corruption when we the American people can not bargain against that, we are screw, our tax payer money mismanaged, wasted is not enough to buy ourselves one of the congress whores.

People doesn't understand that Americas system of government is corrupted, dirty and doesn't work for the American hard worker anymore.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:04 AM
Does anyone know how to find out more information on this issue live as it happens? I have a few feelers out but nothing I can get back to you with.

Seems no one is interested in covering anything other than Healthcare speech by President Obama tonight...

[edit on 9-9-2009 by antar]

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:18 AM
Supreme Court May Overturn Campaign Finance Laws

There are two precedents at stake in Wednesday’s rehearing of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. One is the court’s 1990 decision in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, in which it upheld a state law that said corporations could be barred from spending their profits to urge a candidate’s election or defeat.

The second is part of the 2003 decision upholding Congress’s Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. The court ruled 5 to 4 that Congress may curtail corporate spending on advertising that mentions a candidate shortly before an election, even if it does not explicitly support or oppose that person.

Three current justices — Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas — have said Austin should be overturned, and all three said in McConnell v. FEC that McCain-Feingold violates the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech. Those who favor the restrictions said a recognition that government may treat corporations and individuals differently when it comes to political spending dates back more than 100 years.

Found this, I hope it helps.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 10:26 AM
I'd be checking the Citizens United website as it has a good amount of detail on the issue.

reply to post by marg6043

Banning lobbying altogether might work, make it so that representatives can only be approached by their constituents. No lobbyist system should mean less corruption.

But of course that would also mean non profit organisations/charity's would be hit as well, and if you made it so only non profit organisations could lobby then the big Corporations would just donate through phony companies.

Removing the system altogether until a better way is found seems the way forward to me, regulation can be exploited.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 11:07 AM
Ok so on msnbc Senator Mccain and Feingold speaks very strongly on reform:


The influence in money corporate and union and soft money on the lgustrative process, it was Roosevelt that talked about the corrupting influence of big money in politics, and the issue of corporate funding and union funding has not been an issue since early early in the last century, now there are certain judges alleging corporations have the same rights as citizens, I dont accept that premise.


And of course were concerned when a court sets a special argument and not an issue relating specifically to Mccain Feingold but whether that law should be over turned and the idea in an era of AIG and Exxon that their corporate treasuries would be opened up to destroy the political processes is a very bizarre time for these justices to be considered to destroy this long standing law that has protected our Democracy.


One thing I know that if the court over turns long standing bans for Bicra or Mccain Feingold,the ban on corporate and union campaign contributions, I think you will see an era of corruption and then you will see an era of reform. Just as you've seen throughout our history.


And if they do it strictly on a first amendment ground, not allowing us to regislate, they will disable the Government. The representatives of the people of this country from ever fixing the campaign finance system. That could be the result of this, we could have no ability to change it at all.


Does anyone believe that the rights of average citizens to be heard in washington would not be over ridden by massive , unlimited campaign contributions? Corporations and Unions? That is a disconnect from reality! We saw the corruption, and we acted and that's why congress acted. Not in congress's self interest but because it was a demand on the part of the American people for us to act and we did.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 11:10 AM
Sorry a few of the words in spell check changed, but I was anxious to get these words of warning out to you. I am deeply concerned by this issue and think that the reversal of our rights and privileges are being rescinded here today and with it much more than what is being spoken in regards to the Feingold Mccain issue.

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 11:30 AM
The Supreme court is on the verge of changing the laws of where the big finance monies are coming from in American politics!

In the past the laws have banned corporations and unions from making contributions to candidates and today they discussed over turning that order to support or destroy candidates by buying ads to support certain candidates. This all stems from the movie they wanted run last winter called Hillary the movie when it was looking like she might have won the democratic nomination. The feds said no it is an attack on a candidate through a corporation and it has been banned in that corporations are not allowed to run ads which attack a candidate.

There may have been 5 votes on the supreme court today to change that law. If this happens no longer will we see any candidate speaking for the people, but instead becoming the mouth piece for the Unions and corporations.

How could this even be possible in as Senator McCain stated how we have seen the era of AIG and Exxon? We know that wall street and the big finacers are not on the side of the people, instead they would sell the very last soul of the American people for greed and profit.

[edit on 9-9-2009 by antar]

posted on Sep, 9 2009 @ 12:15 PM
I like the way this little lady makes pancakes, oh and she makes a pretty good explanation of this whole first amendment issue.

posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 07:29 PM
Not sure if this has been included yet.

Quite a double edged issue, if citizens united fail then its a blow to freedom of speech, and if they win it potentially gives corporations more political influence.

It would be better if the money raised went towards more debates instead of Ads, a fairer way and one which would allow 3rd party candidates more of a chance.

posted on Sep, 10 2009 @ 07:33 PM
United Corporate States of America!

Corporations should not have the rights of a HUMAN BEING...ever...yet they do....and an individual CANNOT COMPETE WITH A CORPORATION...especially when politics are concerned.

Of won't see nary a Republican post in this thread...they love corporations...but then again...Democrats are no different. They are using certain corporations to attack the health insurance industry...which is really just another leeching bank.

Amazing no one picks these things up. Thank for posting this!


posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 11:58 PM
Sorry I am delinquent on getting this out to you, I am just floored by the way this went and you will be too once you read the full transcripts.

I will hold off any personal comentary for the moment.

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by antar

Thanks for the transcript of the arguments.

Has a decision come down yet?
Any news on when it's expected?

posted on Sep, 24 2009 @ 01:55 PM
reply to post by Gools

Not sure but I will keep you informed as soon as I find out. What did you make of the discussions? I was simply in jaw dropping state as I read the comments by the Supreme court Justices in this one, in fact I was cracking up at the wordiness and square dance they did around the issue.

They actually used words like magic and others I cant recall right off hand but yes, it was something to read huh?

Sounded like they are wanting to keep things as they are but only to protect the individual, this being messed with corporations at the conception of the constitution was brilliant, it protects the corporations by naming them as individuals, so if they loose their first amendment rights so does everyone else.

Also to note it was interesting how they seemed to defend the out of country investors too, that was almost telling if you ask me.

Thanks for taking time to read this important session, did you by chance know about any of the other issues they bring to the discussion? Sounded like if they allowed this it would overturn many others already decided.

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in