Supreme Court Strikes Down Vermont's Election Spending Limits

I haven't posted a diary here in a long time; nevertheless, I think the decision handed down by the Supreme Court yesterday in the case of Randell v. Sorrell is of sufficient interest to warrant such action in order to bring attention to this decision which I initially learned of through the BBC, not the American media. I probably wouldn't have posted here if it were not for that fact - It really lit a fuse.  

Cross posted at my blog:


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Why We Should Worry About the Hostile Takeover of America's Court System

It's easy to forget what Supreme Court nomination fights really mean once they are over. They come along every few years, there's a whole media circus around them that focuses only on a very few hot-button social issues, and then, typically after Democrats roll over and die, there's little - if any - recollection of what it all meant, except in the few cases where the hot-button social issues actually come before the court, and they don't usually come up for years, so by that point, everyone has long forgotten which President or political party was responsible for the nominations that swung the court.

What gets buried in this cycle, of course, is the fact that the Supreme Court exerts itself most forcefully on the key financial and corporate power issues - the issues that engineer who are winners and who are losers in America's economy.

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Hostile Takeover: Supreme Court Helps Corporate America Emasculate Taxpayers

From the diaries--Chris

In a unanimous decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a lower court ruling that would have invalidated massive taxpayer giveaways to Corporate America. The Supreme Court has long been the victim of a hostile takeover by Big Money interests - it is a court now headed by a corporate lawyer that has repeatedly gone out of its way to protect Corporate America's ability to bleed the middle class dry. Today's ruling, though, is particularly egregious. Not only did the court strike down an important ruling, but it essentially emasculated taxpayers' ability to bring any such lawsuits against their own government in the future.

The details are as shocking as they are disgusting. As the Associated Press reports, "Two years ago, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Ohio's tax credit on new equipment, saying the practice hinders interstate commerce because the incentives are available only to businesses that invest in Ohio." In other words, the credits are creating a race to the bottom that taxpayers argue violates interstate commerce laws, whereby states and cities are competing with each other to give away more and more taxpayer cash to Big Business. In the Ohio case, the tax credit was used to give DaimlerChrysler roughly $300 million in taxpayer cash - cash that Toledo's county auditor says was siphoned away from local schools, forcing the city to close up to nine schools or fire 380 school workers.

In striking down the lower court ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court not only ruled against Ohio taxpayers, but against all taxpayers. Chief Justice John Roberts, formerly a corporate lawyer, said in the official opinion that "State taxpayers have no standing ... to challenge state tax or spending decisions simply by virtue of their status as taxpayers." In other words, not only will the Ohio law remain, but state taxpayers throughout the country now have no legal right to challenge the decisions of their bought-and-paid-for elected officials who are selling off our government to the highest bidder.

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The Five Percent Solution

The Republican plan for America, all along, was Banana Republic.

A nation of poorly educated renters and workers, ruled by their betters -- the wealthy five percent who own everything worthwhile, control all the capital, rule over the government, dictate laws in their own favor, stack the courts with their own judges, and send out the police and army to enforce those laws.

The Republican plan for America is the Five Percent Solution -- move all money and power into higher, tighter, whiter, righter hands.

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Judicial Activism Exposed

The nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, as well as any subsequent appointments creates a dilemma not recently witnessed in the course of American judicial history. The heightened level of consequence is well framed by the issue of abortion and the case of Roe v. Wade. Over the years, decisions made by the Supreme Court have generally granted additional rights and a generally more flexible interpretation of the Constitution. Examples include the repeal of prohibition, voting rights for women and blacks, integration, and affirmative action. Proponents of such decisions argue that the Constitution, albeit a document of arguably unequaled forethought, could not be expected to address all the issues that might occur over the course of time. They also argue that the court must often act to insure the rights of minorities in the absence of support by the majority.

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