The SCOTUS decision in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett

http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/10-238.pdf

Page 7 begins Chief Justice John Robert’s majority opinion (ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, and ALITO, JJ., joined).
Page 37 begins Kagan’s dissenting (minority) opinion (JUSTICE KAGAN, with whom JUSTICE GINSBURG, JUS-TICE BREYER, and JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR join, dissenting).

The “hypothetical” given by Kagan was merely an attempt to describe the situation that led to Arizona adopting the law in the first place. Much was made of it as if it were not “proper” judicial language, but it was merely an attempt to explain the situation as the judges’ viewed it.

Footnote No. 11 in the majority opinion describes the case:

The State claims that the Citizens Clean Elections Act was passedin response to rampant corruption in Arizona politics — elected officials”literally taking duffle bags full of cash in exchange for sponsoring legislation.” (Brief for State Respondents 45). That may be. But, as the candidates and independent expenditure groups point out, the corruption that plagued Arizona politics is largely unaddressed by the matching funds regime. (AFEC Brief 11, n. 4). Public financing does nothing to prevent politicians from accepting bribes in exchange for their votes.

It is true that public financing cannot, by iteself, correct the corruption in politics caused by the undue influence of corporations and special interests on politicians and the political process. On that we agree. However, what the majority opinion does not point out is that the Court’s past decisions to legislate from the bench regarding corporate personhood and extending the rights and protections under the law that natural persons enjoy to corporations and other legal organizations has caused a ripple effectof corruption — an effect of creating an even more favorable environment for undue corporate influence in politics, and therefore an environment of even more-entrenched political corruption in our political process.

This Arizona law is a case that tries to correct the SCOTUS decision of Citizens United, where the SCOTUS contorted the true meaning of the 14th amendment (which was intended to extend constitutional rights and protection under the law to all natural persons, i.e., human beings, mainly slaves of African descent) and create a new class of being — corporations, formerly considered only legal persons for the limited purposes of conducting business and entering into contracts — and make them equal to natural persons, or live human beings. This concept is called corporate personhood.

By the conservative majority on the SCOTUS making this decision in Citizens United that extended cprporate personhood, and therefore, free speech protection to corporations, their Citizens United decision helps to support the political corruption that is rampant in all political campaigns at virtually every level of government, and that is the corruption of Big Business and Special Interests controlling political campaigns through Big Money, and justifiying it with free speech protection. By extending free speech and protection to Big Business, SCOTUS weakened the voices of natural persons — real, live human beings that are tax-paying American citizens, and makes it virtually impossible for any politician to win election without the support of corporate overlords to whom they become beholden and, in exchange, provide greater access and favors to their corporate benefactors once in office.

The SCOTUS decision in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club Pac et al. v. Bennett, Secretary of State of Arizona, et al., strikes down the state law enacted by Arizona that is an attempt to counteract political corruption and the effects of the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United.

I do not believe that the Arizona state law was proper based on constitutional principles, but not for the same reason as the majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts. I do not support the SCOTUS decision extending protected rights of natural persons to legal entities, or legal persons, which is corporations or other legal organizations. Nor do I believe that corporations and special interests should be able to contribute to political campaigns. I believe that this gives them a louder voice than natural persons, which is contrary to the principles of the Constitution, which were founded on principles of the Individualist movement (where men are more important than governments and organizations).

The ideal scene would be to eliminate all forms of campaign financing and corporate involvement. I have provided my solution earlier in the previous post Why corporate person is unconstitutional, and I stand by it.

The SCOTUS majority opinion was proper only in that the Arizona law was inartfully crafted. However, it was crafted that way in order to get around the bad decision of the majority in Citizens United that extended free speech protection to corporations, which is also improper, IMHO.

Rather than read a journalists’ or bloggers’ interpretation of the SCOTUS decision, I urge you to read the majority and minority opinions firsthand.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/default.aspx is the home page of the U.S. Supreme Court. I suggest you store that in your favorites under Government along with http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php, which is the Library of Congress website that will give you access to all the bills before both houses of Congress. http://www.whitehouse.gov/ is the main website of the White House., especially http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/executive-orders, which lists the Executive Orders signed by the President and http://www.whitehouse.gov/search/site/Presidential%20Signing%20Statements, which discusses Presidential Signing Statements (a feature that was significantly agused by GWB).

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About Laura Schneider

Retired IT consultant (disabled), musician and animal lover. I support the constitutional concept of Right of Privacy and no discrimination against any person based on race, religion, ideology, gender, sexual preference or disability. I am very concerned about the erosion of our constitutional rights and protections under GWB (and even this administration). I strongly oppose torture, rendition or illegal search and/or seizure (without a warrant) and warrantless wiretapping. I believe that education is our best hope of a bright future for our children. Knowledge is power, and that's the kind of authority (Biblically speaking) that our children must have in order to be successful in a 21st century world.
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