Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Supreme Court, LLC Proudly Presents

Your bright, Sheldon Adelson future.

From Charlies Pierce on today's McCutcheon decision:
It is here helpful to note the everlasting irony of Antonin Scalia's view of Bush v. Gore. There is no individual right to vote, but an individual's right to purchase a candidate must be untrammeled -- but here, Roberts is saying it plain. To restrict money is to restrict speech. Period. And the only real legal restraint on the wholesale subletting of American democracy is John Roberts's strange devotion to "disclosure" as some sort of shaming mechanism within the electorate. Good luck with that one.

Justice Stephen Breyer takes up a lot of these points in his dissent, most notably, the majority's laughably narrow definition of what political corruption actually is -- that political corruption exists only if you buy a specific result from a specific legislator. But it hardly matters. The five-vote majority in favor of virtually unlimited corporate and individual spending in our elections is a rock solid one. Four days after almost every Republican candidate danced the hootchie-koo in Vegas to try and gain the support of a single, skeevy casino gazillionnaire, the majority tells us that there is no "appearance of corruption" in this unless somebody gets caught putting a slot machine in the Lincoln Bedroom on behalf of Sheldon Adelson.
Time to start thinking about shuttering the blog and learning how to deal Pai Gow.

Bill Moyers adds some more salt to the wound:
A Blistering Dissent in ‘McCutcheon’: Conservatives Substituted Opinion for Fact
The court’s four-member minority issued a blistering dissent, written by Justice Stephen Breyer. He charged that the majority’s “conclusion rests upon its own, not a record-based, view of the facts.”
Its legal analysis is faulty: It misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake. It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions. It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign.
Taken together with Citizens United, Breyer writes that McCutcheon “eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”
He goes on to dissect the claims on which the court’s ruling rest. He first takes issue with the idea that the government only has an interest in preventing a direct exchange of cash for votes.


Anonymous said...

This is why everyone should take Charlies advice and listen to Greenwald and support him. When they do that they will realize that they need to punish the Democrats. This will give us a Republican president and possibly two more Republicans on the supreme court.

Sorry Charlie but you don't get to cry about this. You have to cheer when the decisions go 7-2 along with your libertarian idle.

CM said...

Damn! With Dems likely to lose the senate in 2014 Obama will not get a chance to nominate new justices to the Supreme Court. So after Jeb wins in 2016 we may have to get used to similar SCOTUS decisions with 7-2 margin for the next few decades.

CM said...

Oops, did not read anon @ 12:37 pm before my previous post.

Jack said...

You know what just occurred to me?

Those fuckers are going to put Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court. Mark my words: He'll be the 1st or 2nd pick of the next Republican president.

CM said...

**Those fuckers are going to put Ted Cruz on the Supreme Court.**

Certainly possible. After all Louis Gohmert and Jon Cornyn used to be judges in Texas court system.

Kathleen said...

Anonymous 12:37 You read my mind and stated it much better than I could. Oh, yes, and let's fire Eric Holder, Charlie. That will show those simpering Democrats!

Marc McKenzie said...

@Anonymous 12:37. Yep. Pierce can't start shedding tears about this. Neither can Moore or most of those who keep insisting that there's no difference between the parties. The starting point for this decision goes all the way back to 2000--but I seriously doubt that some folks will do some soul-searching and realize just how fucking stupid they were for pulling the lever for Ralph or GW or not deciding to vote at all.

Elections have consequences. Glad to see that Pierce has learned that lesson, even if it's just been shoved up his ass.

n1ck said...

Remember: vote Republican or don't vote at all, because then something something mass social uprising, something something utopian social democracy!


Anonymous said...


It will be good for Pierce if there is a Republican. Then he can really unleash his drunken Irish vitroll and generate page hits. It's a huge win for him.

TheStone said...

If you are on the left and are putting any eggs in the SCOTUS basket, you've already lost. I think some viewed the Marshall and Brennan courts as more representative of the federal courts' history than they actually were. Most of this nation's history, they've been primarily employed as paladins of property. By all means vote left and nominate left judges when available, but as an institution it skews conservative and always will as long as operating under the US constitution and English common law.

CM said...

Are the Supreme Courts of other civilized countries (Eg. Canada, UK, etc,) this bad when it comes to siding with power and money and be generally against people?

Horace Boothroyd III said...

You guys have said it all.

For the moment I have the rare privilege of settling back and basking in the warm glow of friendship and domesticity.

Thanks, Drifty.

Cliff said...

This is why everyone should take Charlies advice and listen to Greenwald and support him. When they do that they will realize that they need to punish the Democrats.

Driftglass might just have the pissiest comments section of Left Blogistan. At least over at Balloon Juice the pissants use handles.

This isn't a hard topic to understand:

Obama is worlds better than McCain or Romney, but sometimes he fucks up.

The Democrats are better than the GOP, but they still make bad decisions much of the time.

Horace Boothroyd III said...


the pissants use handles...
the pissants use handles...
the pissants use handles...

Is that some kind of code, over which we must puzzle like SAC with General Ripper's references to our precious bodily fluids?

But you are correct that this isn't a hard topic to understand: sometimes portions of the Democratic Party take positions that we do not like, but deliberately throwing elections to the Republicans as a way to punish the Democrats and teach them fear of the purity ultras on the outer fringes of the Left is never, ever the right thing to do. Such behavior angers the Democratic Base (to which you do not belong, despite your squawking) and teaches the party leadership that everyone on the Left is stupid and unreliable: reasonable Social Democrats and ineffectual pseudo radical wankers alike.

Cliff said...

but deliberately throwing elections to the Republicans as a way to punish the Democrats and teach them fear of the purity ultras

Show me where Pierce has made that recommendation.

AFAICT, Pierce occasionally criticizes the Democrats. Which is allowed (shocking, I know, and necessary in our politics.

I feel like you've got a tiny Andrew Sullivan running around in your head, shrieking about Fifth Columnists.

Pierce isn't a Fifth Columnist. He's not secretly working to throw all elections to the conservatives. Ninety percent of what he writes is on how fucking awful the conservatives are.

Chill the fuck out.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

@ Cliff

I don't give a rat's patoot about your paranoid fantasies: you can feel anything you want, just have the decency to do it in the privacy of your own home.

Pierce is a nice guy, but he is hardly the beginning and end of the smug and self-satisfied wing of the Left. Go haunt the fever swamps of FireDogLake, pay a visit to the hysterical ninnies of the Daily Kos, dunk your head in the fetid sewers of Democratic Underground or the Smirking Chimp and you will find a fistful of selfish lunatics who are - even as we quibble - plotting to throw elections to the Republicans for the reasons mentioned above, among others. These people are nothing if not inventive in their animal cunning.


They gave us President Nixon, they gave us President Reagan, the gave us President Bush the Lesser, and they would give us President Cruz in a heartbeat because they have this persistent and unquenchable fantasy that this all somehow rebounds to their benefit.

So chill the fuck out? Only if you are stupid and naive and ignorant of your own history. You are in no position to be condescending, and even less of a position to be giving orders.

In conclusion, criticism of the Democrats is great. Lord knows I have my list of complaints. Just don't use your petty gripes as a pretext to stab the coalition in the back. That just feeds the monster.