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Defenders of Wildlife

Editorials and Opinion


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Globe editorial: Corporations aren’t people, don’t merit special protections (Boston Globe, 01/23/10)
"the Supreme Court had a choice between protecting the influence of real individuals and maximizing the influence of abstract entities created by legal fiat. And five justices chose the latter."

Editorial: Money talks even louder  (Staten Island Advance [NY] , 01/23/10)
"he court, whose chief justice, John Roberts, promised would limit itself to “call[ing] balls and strikes,” went much further than this particular case. It essentially threw out all the regulations that have prevented corporations, unions and other wealthy and well-organized special-interest groups from having as much of an influence on campaigns as they’d like to."

Editorial: ‘We the people’ should rule (Chattanooga Times Free Press [TN] , 01/23/10)
"five justices of the United States Supreme Court have made a dangerous mistake by ruling that corporations may potentially spend millions of dollars in ways to influence the elections of our officials,... Ironically, this highly troubling and improper ruling, which dilutes the power of “we the people” and gives great power wrongly to corporations and unions, has been made by a 5-4 Supreme Court “conservative” majority! ... The astoundingly wrong decision by the five conservative Supreme Court justices is a terrible threat to “government of, by and for the people,” and allows improper concentration and exercise of power by organizations."

Editorial: Money still tells tale of U.S. governance (Bakersfield Californian [CA], 01/23/10)
"It's been a sobering several days for Americans who believe that power should belong to the best qualified, not the highest bidder, the most effective fund-raiser, or the wealthiest. Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down longstanding limits on corporate political spending, effectively turning the 2010 campaign into a series of potential skirmishes between moneyed influence peddlers and rival moneyed influence peddlers."

Editorial: Supreme Court's blow to citizen democracy (Day [CT] , 01/23/10)
"The length to which the conservative justices went to provide money-rich corporations the means to overwhelm the political discussion was stunning....The court could and should have issued a narrow ruling ... Instead, it chose to eviscerate laws limiting special-interest influence in elections. The conservative justices, who have railed against judicial activism in prior writings and decisions, were guilty of exactly that. Legislating from the bench, they replaced the will of Congress with their own opinions on how elections should be run.... The court's eagerness to needlessly toss aside past decisions gives lie to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.'s testimony during his confirmation hearings that he would be loathe to overturn precedent."

Our views: Ruling on corporate campaign money hurts democracy (Florida Today, 01/23/10)
"Throwing away more than a century of legal precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Thursday the First Amendment allows corporations to spend unlimited amounts of cash to elect the candidates they favor and defeat the ones they oppose. The decision from its conservative majority mocks their purported belief in “judicial restraint,” not legislating from the bench and respecting legal precedent. Which, in this case, dates to 1907, when Congress reined in corporate titans of the Robber Baron era by banning corporate contributions to federal candidates, a move the high court repeatedly affirmed until Thursday."

Editorial: Saving democracy (Greensboro News & Record [NC], 01/23/10)
"Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court decision changes some of the rules for financing political campaigns in North Carolina and across the country, and probably not for the better. But the state can and should respond in ways that keep wealthy special interests honest."

A partisan Supreme Court: The decision on campaign finance points to something more troubling than unlimited corporate contributions. (Los Angeles Times, 01/23/10)
Tim Rutten Op-Ed: "Supreme Court decision granting corporations the right to spend unrestricted amounts of money supporting or opposing candidates in federal elections is so strained in its reasoning and so removed from the realities of American life that it would be grotesquely comedic, were its implications not so dire. of the most distressing things about this decision -- considered in a sequence stretching back to Bush vs. Gore -- is that it demonstrates that this is a partisan court, willing to hand down sweeping decisions that ignore decades of jurisprudence based on five Republican votes."

Editorial: Our View: Court ruling a troubling turn (Norwich Bulletin [CT] , 01/22/10)
"The U.S. Supreme Court decision this week allowing corporations and unions to freely pump as much money as they want into political campaigns is a major step backward in efforts to curtail special interest influence on the political process."

Editorial: Court's campaign ruling threatens the public interest: Our view: It's hard to see what good can come from unleashing companies, unions.  (USA Today, 01/22/10)
"the 5-4 majority abandoned judicial modesty and overturned all or part of two previous decisions, including a 2003 ruling that declared the ban was "firmly embedded in our law.""

Editorial: Big biz, 1 People, 0 (Hays Daily News [KS], 01/22/10)
"The Supreme Court was wrong to toss out the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill ...The financial juggernaut that's about to be unleashed in campaigns will be insufferable. The American public is the big loser with this decision. "

Citizens ruling: an intellectually dishonest power grab (Washington Post, 01/22/10)
Ruth Marcus: "In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty....It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.... As bad as the court's activism, though, was its shoddy scholarship."

Our view: Corporations free to speak over public voice (Town Talk [LA], 01/22/10)
"the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned 20 years of campaign finance regulations, unleashing corporations to wield unprecedented control over U.S. elections....Trust has just walked out the door."

Editorial: Coming soon: More attack ads: COURT RULING MAY UNLEASH POLITICAL SPENDING BY BUSINESS, OTHERS  (Sacramento Bee [CA] , 01/22/10)
"The 5-4 majority made up of conservative justices took a decidedly activist stand"

Editorial: Supreme Court opens floodgates of influence (Bakersfield Californian [CA], 01/22/10)
Justice John Paul Stevens, part of the majority in the two opinions that were overruled, had it right in his dissenting opinion Thursday. He called the opinion of the 5-4 majority "a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt."

Money talks. And buys votes in Congress (Atlanta Journal Constitution, 01/22/10)
Cynthia Tucker: "Lobbyists and their money have corrupted the American political process, legally buying members of Congress.... That trend will just grow worse with yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling."

Conservatives Forfeit High Ground On Activism: Citizens United Ruling Overturns Decades Of Precedent On Campaign Law (National Journal, 01/22/10)
Stuart Taylor, Jr.: "For decades conservatives have accused liberal Supreme Court majorities of judicial activism, by which I mean sweeping aside democratically adopted laws and deeply rooted societal traditions to impose their own policy preferences based on highly debatable interpretations of the Constitution's language and established meaning. On Thursday, the five more conservative justices -- and in particular Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito, who went well beyond anything they've said before -- forfeited whatever high ground they once held in the judicial activism debate."

Editorial: Court nixes wise limit on corporate money; Decision will unleash political spending by companies, unions. (Charlotte Observer [NC] , 01/22/10)
"The U.S. Supreme Court decision Thursday striking down restrictions on corporate spending in political campaigns was disappointing in its effect and astonishing in its was stunning because it represented the Supreme Court majority's enthusiasm for judicial activism. It expanded a narrowly-focused case to the broader question"

Campaign finance ruling reflects Supreme Court's growing audacity (Washington Post, 01/22/10)
Michael Waldman: "deeply significant is what this shows about the court and its relationship to the Obama administration and Congress. ...The Citizens United decision suggests an assertive court, eager to overturn precedent, looming as a challenge to President Obama's agenda. ... he court boldly reached to consider a major constitutional case when it didn't have to. ... Health care, climate change, financial reregulation, the auto bailout -- all heighten government's role in the economy. The Citizens United ruling suggests the court may smile on even the most audacious conservative legal theories, such as those alleging that regulations are an improper taking by the government. And it shows an unsettling eagerness to overturn precedent in line with ideological predilection."

Editorial: Campaigns up for sale (Boston Herald, 01/22/10)
"the court on a 5-4 vote overturned not simply a major section of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, but also a 63-year-old law.... In the interest of, as Chief Justice John Roberts put it, not restraining “the vibrant public discourse that is at the foundation of our democracy,” the court has thrown open the floodgates for special interests."

Editorial: Company cash: Flooding into politics? (Charleston Gazette [WV] , 01/22/10)
four right-wing justices -- Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts -- persuaded moderate Anthony Kennedy to join them in allowing corporate campaign cash, on the pretext that company spending is "free speech."

How the Roberts Court Announced its Coup in September (Talking Points Memo, 01/22/10)
Jim Sleeper: "Citizens United was never about "freedom of speech." It was never about "censorship." Ever since it was taken up by the Roberts Court, it has always been about judicial radicals' determination to give corporations "rights" a free people should never give them."

Editorial: Supreme Court favors corporations over voters (Advocate [Stamford-Norwalk, CT], 01/22/10)
"by elevating corporate influence to a shout, Thursday's 5-4 ruling diminishes the voice of average people to a relative whisper. We disagree with the high court's prevailing opinion that injecting billions of big-business bucks into election campaigns represents democracy in action."

Editorial: Corporate speech; Supreme Court's checkbook politics (Salt Lake Tribune [UT], 01/22/10)
"an absolutist Supreme Court would brook no middle ground. Its ruling returns U.S. politics to the Gilded Age, when corporations owned candidates and government."

EDITORIAL: Court ruling turns elections into Wild West  (Fresno Bee [CA] , 01/22/10)
"The 5-4 majority applied the same First Amendment that individuals enjoy to corporations and labor unions."

Editorial: The 1st Amendment and corporate campaigning: Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that rolls back limits on corporate political spending could strengthen the hand of special interests. (Los Angeles Times, 01/22/10)
"the court took the unnecessary step of overruling a 1990 decision. This overreaching by the majority, including Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., belies Roberts' assurances to the Senate during his confirmation that he believed in judicial modesty and decision-making by consensus.... We say this even though we support -- and advocated -- the specific outcome in this case."

Pioneer Editorial: Ruling opens campaign floodgates (Bemidji Pioneer [MN], 01/22/10)
"Election law became more clouded on Thursday as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that corporations and organizations can spend unlimited amounts of money on candidates in federal elections, making it hard to not pay attention to their positions."

Editorial: High court's gift to corporations is a terrible mistake (Capital Times (WI), 01/22/10)
"The decision by Chief Justice John Roberts and four other justices on Thursday to reject history and precedent in order to put a radical pro-corporate spin on the First Amendment throws into question rules designed to regulate even the worst campaign abuses by business interests."

Editorial: Reckless Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance: Special interests win, we lose (Star-Ledger Newark [NJ] , 01/22/10)
"The conservative majority of the Supreme Court just made a mockery of its claim to judicial restraint, overturning decades of law and legal precedent with a decision that will inevitably corrupt our democracy."