Supreme Court

"What Citizens United Didn't Say"


That's the name on a new video from the pro-political-speech group the Center for Competitive Politics. Watch it below:

Link via the Twitter feed of Sean W. Malone.

Re-read Jacob Sullum's December 2010 cover story, "You Are Now Free to Speak About Politics," which delves at some depth into the bizarre claims about the left's favorite Roberts-court decision to hate. For more background about the legal undercurrents, try Damon W. Root's June 2010 cover story, "Conservatives v. Libertarians." And watch Nick Gillespie below give "3 Reasons Not to Sweat the Citizens United Ruling":

NEXT: Al Qaeda Psychos Butcher Newspaper Staff!

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  1. However you try to frame it, the Citizens United ruling explicitly said that a corporation is the same as a person. I guess we should just give each corporate entity the right to vote as well, then. No taxation without representation, after all — although many of them don’t even pay taxes, thanks to years of Republican rule. But why let such a triviality come between a corrupt oligarchy and the nation it tirelessly fleeces?

    1. I’m pretty sure that American companies still pay more taxes than companies based in any other country (at least in the West–not sure that comparison means much with semi-communist nations like China).

      1. Why do you talk to the fucking sockpuppet? Is it because your vacation made you relaxed?

        1. Busted. It just drives me insane that lefties (the real ones, I mean), keep harping on this idea that corporations and rich people don’t pay taxes. Um, yeah, they do. And a lot.

          1. It’s not that they don’t pay taxes the lefties think they “don’t pay their fair share” as defined by them.

            Right because a progressive tax system isn’t fair…

        1. But you’re okay with unions and other left-leaning organizations doing the same, Tony.

          All or nothing. Ban all big-money help from big organizations, or none of it.

          1. Dude. Obvious spoofer.

            1. I knew that, I’m just waiting for Real(ish) Tony to read it so he can whine and bitch about stupid shit.

          2. So the NYT and WaPo corps should not be permitted to publish political commentary, if you follow Tony’s logic.

    2. Corporations are banned from giving directly to candidates.

      People, of course, may (with limits).

      Other than that difference, your statement is spot on.

      1. Personally I don’t think anyone should be able to give money directly to politicians. You can use your money to make adds and speak on behalf of a politician and they can use their own money to speak for themselves and that’s it.

        1. In that case, only wealthy people would be able to run for office. That’s not exactly fair. Perhaps subsidies for over 100,00 signatures and campaign spending limits. Small price to pay for an even playing field.

    3. The root of Citizens United started growing because said group wanted to release a movie about a political candidate, Tony.

      Therefore, the whole case was based on prior restraint. And that shit don’t fly in America, or at least it shouldn’t.

      So, basically, you’re in favor of censorship; you’re just cloaking it with concern over one kind of political activism (corporations giving money to politicians) over another (unions giving money to politicians).

      1. Actually I’m pretty sure unions are incorporated, too.

        1. Fun fact. Many organizations, including non-profits and religious institutions are chaptered as corporations. It is always fun to mention to liberals that their precious Sierra Club, PETA, Moveon and the like are also corporations and see the look on their face as they try to comprehend that bombshell.

          1. Exactly.

    4. Corporations shouldn’t pay taxes. Corporate tax law is simply an excuse to use IRS as an auditing body. If you want a Corporation’s books to uphold a particular set of standards, then fine. But veiling this under the pretense of tax law is silly.

      Want more? Check out my blog.

      Seriously though, what’s the reason for Corporate taxation beyond having an audit mechanism to ensure that wages/benefits aren’t being mislabeled as expenses?

      1. None, if you want to tax the rich then tax their dividends and capial gains which is how the wealthy get their wealth out of the corporations. The coporate tax mostly just gets paid on to the consumers and employees who have the least say in the operations of a corporation.

    5. But to Tony’s original point, CU said that a person does not forfeit their speech rights simply because they are operating as part of a collective.

      1. But to Tony’s original point, CU said that a person does not forfeit their speech rights simply because they are operating as part of a collective.

        Was that not established as early as New York Times Co. v. United States , 403 U.S. 713 (1971)?

    6. Actually, the ruling said no such thing, but I guess the troll doesn’t know or care what “explicitly” means. The closest thing that the ruling said was that the government cannot restrict speech based on the speaker.

      You want to see real smarmy language-lawyering, look at Justice Stevens’ dissent in which he argues that bans are not really bans (even if corporations can’t publish, it doesn’t matter because all of the individual members of the corporation can still speak!), censorship is not really censorship (the FEC isn’t censoring speech because the restrictions are really narrowly tailored – you’re still free to speak at any other time, or about different subjects!), and the First Amendment apparently contains some language, which must be written in invisible ink because none of the rest of us can see it, that says Congress can make rules about the freedom of the press because maybe scary foreigners control the corporations.

      Really, if you look at Stevens’ dissent, he’s arguing back from consequences to principles: rich corporations might have a destructive effect on US policy; therefore we need to have laws restricting their political activity; therefore Congress has the power to do so.

    7. If you take away the right of the corporation to speak, you burden the speech of its members (who were utilizing the corporation as a tool for expression). If you take away the non-existent right of the corporation to vote, you don’t burden the franchise of its members.

      Also, “why don’t you just let them vote” is a stupid argument, even if you buy into retardo lefty premises about the corruptive power of corporate dollars. Money is something corporations have a lot of relative to the typical person, so fearing that is understandable, even if it’s wrong. Giving a giant megacorpation one single vote in an election with millions of voters, on the other hand, means fuck all to the political process.

    8. “the Citizens United ruling explicitly said that a corporation is the same as a person”

      That’s fucking stupid and simply false. It says no such thing. Nowhere in the first amendment does it say that freedom of the press/speech applies only to people acting as individuals.

  2. Corporations… allowed to disseminate political opinion? Disgusting.

  3. Corporations… allowed to disseminate political opinion? Disgusting!

  4. Corporations… allowed to disseminate political opinion?

    Surely, these are the end times.

    1. Surely, these are the end times.

      True dat.

      1. Uncle George told us to agree with MSNBC and General Electric on this one.

        1. why didnt uncle george tell me that? damn current tv…wait

        2. Did he forget to mention that GE owns MSNBC?

    2. Yes, please.
      Sing another song about a bridge Rachel.

  5. I’m so, so glad TEAM BLUE (sorry, META LUBE) decided to die on this hill. It’s the perfect combination of abject stupidity and anti-free-speech that exposes their utter scumbaggery.

    Now we need something for TEAM RED (sorry, RED MEAT) to die on. Abortion is so last few decades.

    1. I was hoping for torture, but that sort of fizzled out.

  6. “But there’s still another claim about Citizens United that is so bizarre that it’s made by only one constitutional law professor…”

    Barack Obama was not a constitutional law professor, and I pity the students who paid to be lectured to on the subject of the United States Constitution by that hack.

  7. I am hearing that they are making a movie about the Bin Ladin raid that is slated to come out in October of 2012. I look forward to leftists screaming about such blatant corporate support for a candidate.

    1. Well, at least it’s guaranteed to be horrible hagiography.

      1. I think they should write in a fictional SEAL traitor.

        1. Have your people text my people.

          1. I demand it be in the form of a JAG comeback movie.

            1. Only if Katherine Bell does every scene in the nude.

              1. This might work.

                1. It’s working for me right now.

        2. The traitor will be a white guy who believes that the war is an unconstitutional use of the war power and that the orders he is given are illegitimate because Obama is not a citizen.

          1. And he works for a corporation.

        3. Is he the one that shot the RPG at the helicopter?

      2. In the movie David Axelrod and Obama lead the raid and pop Bin Ladin, Chicago style just as he is making a new video encouraging his new found tea party followers to tow the lion on small government terrorism.

        1. “FIVE STARS!!!”

      3. Hey, hey – are you talking to me? Well you ought to be!

    2. It isn’t the Kochpocalypse when WE do it!

  8. Liberals supporting campaign finance reform have their hearts in the right place. Corporations have an out-sized and disturbing influence on American politics. The problem is, it’s not their campaign contributions; it’s their money. It’s the revolving door of money and power between big business and big government. It’s Senator Moron’s wife getting a plush six-figure foundation gig. It’s Senator Moron leaving office and founding a successful lobbying/defense company. Campaign finance reform both attacks free speech and doesn’t actually deal with the problem. I don’t know what the actual solution is, but campaign finance reform isn’t it.

    1. well said.

    2. Indeed. Quoth the Iron Law:

      Money and power will always find each other.

      Liberals come at it from exactly the wrong direction. If you want to reduce to unfortunate conjugation of money and power, you might try reducing the “power” side of the equation.

      1. But if we reduce the power of government over individuals we are *forcing* this anarchy on people! We MUST have the power to arrest you for installing the wrong kind of toilet.

      2. Liberals come at it from exactly the wrong direction. If you want to reduce to unfortunate conjugation of money and power, you might try reducing the “power” side of the equation.

        One’s not any easier than the other, sad to say.

        1. Maybe, but it’s time to take back some words. Libertarians can reach out to leftards by telling them we’re for redistribution of money.

          Now, technically we’re for redistribution of power. However, since they believe money is power, that means that power is money, so we’re really on the same side — they just don’t get it, yet. We just have to reduce it to an equation, like P = MC^2, where P is power, M is money, and the C’s are Corruption and Centralization.

          We want to take down the rich, and Washington’s political elite are the richest motherfuckers on the planet once you actually perform the calculations right.

    3. The solution is to have the government do less and spend less and regulate less.

      Do that, and lobbyists and rent seekers will have fewer reasons to make campaign donations.

    4. Do you think liberals would have supported these restrictions if they viewed corporations as “progressive” institutions?

      It seems to me that liberals view corporations as conservative, Republican institutions that are obstacles in the way of their statist desires.

      That’s why they want to limit their influence. Because they don’t hold or promote the “right” set of public policies.

      Not that they have too much influence; but they have too much of the wrong influence.

  9. The CU case was about the censorship of an anti-Hillary movie. The SCOTUS correctly found that to be unconstitutional.

    However, my problem is that SCOTUS went far beyond the specifics of the case and set new precedent for corporate influence in elections.

    I am all for corporations (far lower taxes and regulations, etc.), but I believe that shareholders who are US citizens have the right to decide on their political actions, not management by fiat.

    1. shareholders who are US citizens have the right to decide on their political actions

      And amazingly, they still have that right.

    2. I can see your point, but I think that small shareholders in a company can sell their shares if they don’t like what it does. Sorry, but owning a tiny minority stake in a company does not give you any recourse beyond selling your shares if the company does something you don’t like.

      1. I hear you both. The practical solution on this one is difficult. On this issue, I feel the same way about union members and unions as I do shareholders and corporations

        1. I believe, as it appears you do, that the aggregation of authority amongst a few key individuals is a defect of the corporate model, which becomes clearer the larger the corporation. The basic checks and balances of the Corporate model are insufficient to prevent a culture of abuse. This culture is periodically purged as the light is shined on it, but the consequences to the bad actors are minimal and the costs are diffused so the pattern repeats.

      2. Never heard of minority shareholder lawsuits?

    3. The problem is that you can either choose to have and wield power, or to cede it to a representative, but you can’t cede it to a representative and then go back and punish them just because you don’t like what they did with it, unless you can show they were acting in bad faith. Can you take it away after that? Sure. But a lawsuit is not really justified.

  10. If I remember the bruhaha correctly, it doesn’t actually say that corporations can give unlimited amounts of money to a campaign.

    And anyone that votes for a candidate because of Walmart of Coca Cola is a fucking moron.

    1. Hey, our vote is as good as anyone’s. I’m kinda hopin’ that Mt Dew Camacho guy runs.

  11. Damn. That was great. I like that Bradley Smith. He can come over to my house and fuck my sister.

  12. On second thought, don’t treat corporations like citizens. The bill of rights shouldn’t apply to them.

    So let’s get on with some warrantless searches of the offices of the ACLU, NARAL, NAACP, NRA, ABA, and the WTF.

  13. Obligatory link to The Onion:…..sto,11540/

    The Future Will Be A Totalitarian Government Dystopia
    The Future Will Be A Privatized Corporate Dystopia

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