Monday, April 5, 2010

The Supremes Redux

Readers may recall that I have previously lamented the Supreme Court’s unfortunate decision in Citizens United v. FEC as being—to use the most charitable animadversion that comes to mind—less than sound.

No lawyer myself, I am nevertheless supported in such heterodoxy by Justice John Paul Stevens, whose eloquent dissent is a model of jurisprudential common sense. Even more eloquent is the outrage of the American public, which—according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll—opposes the decision by an 80% margin.

The facts of the case are by now well known and have been debated in the press and the blogosphere ad nauseam, so I won't rehash them herein. What is new, however, is that Citizens United, a self-declared lobbyist, having convinced the Court’s conservative majority that CU's corporate underwriters are persons (and therefore subject to the free speech provisions of the 1st Amendment), is now asking the FEC to declare CU a media company of the sort entitled to the special latitude granted to the news media under the Federal Election Campaign Act and McCain-Feingold.

Americans are all too well aware of the sins against accuracy, fairness and objectivity committed by the press over the past couple of centuries, but, for a propaganda-film producer like Citizens United, whose sole purpose is to manufacture and distribute agitprop, to claim to be a practitioner of legitimate journalism, is sophistry run amok.

One can only hope that the FEC is more cognizant of the perniciousness of money-driven political corruption than is the current Supreme Court, and will, consequently, turn down the Citizens United petition.

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