Thursday, January 05, 2012

Montana Judges Stare Down Corporatist US Supreme Court, Reject "Citizens United."

Judges of Montana's Supreme Court have defied the US Supreme Court and refused to apply the perverse Citizens United decision in their state.   The court upheld Montana's right to regulate how corporations can raise and spend money for political purposes.

One judge dissented, Justice James Nelson, holding (properly) that Montana was obliged to follow the USSC precedent but left no doubt that the Citizens United decision was utterly rancid:

While, as a member of this Court, I am bound to follow Citizens United, I do not have to agree with the [U.S.] Supreme Court’s decision. And, to be absolutely clear, I do not agree with it. For starters, the notion that corporations are disadvantaged in the political realm is unbelievable. Indeed, it has astounded most Americans. The truth is that corporations wield enormous power in Congress and in state legislatures. It is hard to tell where government ends and corporate America begins: the transition is seamless and overlapping.”

 “It should be noted that the Montana Corrupt Practices Act was adopted in 1912 at a time when the country’s focus was on preventing political corruption, not on protecting corporate influence,” wrote Nelson, later in his dissent.

"...the [majority] ruling quoted a fund-raising brochure that said, “If you decide to support this program, no politician, no bureaucrat, and no radical environmentalist will ever know you made this program possible.” The group also is involved in a third suit challenging the state’s campaign spending disclosure law.

“'We take note that Western Tradition appears to be engaged in a multi-front attack on both contribution restrictions and the transparency that accompanies campaign disclosure requirements,' the Court said, adding in a footnote that the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices called the group a “sham” because it failed to register with the state, and refused to disclose the sources of its funds or its spending—as required by law."

The decision sets the stage for the US Supreme Court to stand its ground and reaffirm the establishment of corporatism as the dominant force in American politics.   If it does it will also confirm that the US Supreme Court is itself rotten to the core.

For those blessedly spared the drudgery of corporate law, corporations were initially granted status as persons for specific purposes necessary for commerce.   Their personhood was termed a "legal fiction."  As notional persons they had capacity to hold property, enter into contracts, sue and be sued in courts of law.  The rights granted corporations were inherently commercial, not political.   Every starry-eyed law student understands this and so do all the judges on the United States Supreme Court.   Their decision in Citizens United was intellectual dishonesty bordering on perfidy, a trampling of the rights of the American people in order to unjustifiably elevate the rights of American corporatism.  As one of the Occupy Wall Street protesters observed, a corporation shouldn't be accepted as a person until Texas begins executing them.

1 comment:

crf said...

Executing them? If they're people, how about subjecting them to taxes at the Personal rate?