We all know that some parts of the Constitution are vague. Even though the document was ratified over 222 years ago, constitutional scholars still fiercely debate over what a “well-regulated militia” actually means. Depending on whom you ask, “cruel and unusual punishment” can be swatting a fly or it could be water boarding. Some people believe there should be a federal ban on gay marriage, and there are some who believe the decision should be left up to the states. The self-proclaimed “textualist”, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, said “[it] is the law that governs, not the intent of the lawgiver.” In a perfect world, this should be the case. However, the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission makes me wonder if it really is the case.
Last Thursday the United States Supreme Court got rid of a critical section of the McCain Feingold Bill .The ruling allows corporations to open their pocketbooks even wider and spend as much money as they wish to support or oppose candidates. Justices Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy agreed that corporations are equivalent to individuals, thus they are protected under the free speech clause in the 1st amendment of the Constitution. Even vociferous Jim Cramer won’t be able to talk louder than corporations. This single decision not only undermines Democracy, it opens the floodgates for special interests.
Although we all may have varying interpretations of the Constitution, we should always be mindful of the fact that this imperfect document should be about the protection of the people. Unfortunately, I think the justices who signed onto the majority opinion were looking at another Constitution. Maybe it was this one……
We the People of the United States of Corporations, in Order to form a more perfect Business Union, establish Just-us, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the non- defense, promote our Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our partners, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of Corporations.