Archive for justice stevens

Are Corporations People or Not? If They Are, We Can Put Them Involuntarily In Conservatorship

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Corporations are people 2

Republicans, led by the vocal charge of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney have been saying corporations are people, too.

Then in 2010, the Supreme Court with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, determined that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to exercise their freedom of speech to buy elections and run our government.

In my mind, it's human beings that are people and corporations are strictly legal entities. And now it comes down to the distinction. Because if corporations are people, I want them treated that way.

If I make a series of bad, irrational or even questionable actions as an individual I can be deemed a threat to myself or others. I can be forced to appear in court and prove my competency or I can be institutionalized or made to report to a conservator. My rights can be taken away from me.

Using the Citizen's United ruling, can't we, as a stock holder (meaning someone with a vested interest in the well-being of the "individual) or purchaser of a company's product, petition the court and make them appear before a judge and prove to be competent enough to avoid supervision? Can you imagine the competency hearings that could spur on?

Outrageous, of course. That's taking the ruling way too far. But didn't the Supreme Court do the same thing?

They gave corporations the right to make donations large enough to sway elections and therefore impact my well-being. So why can't the shoe be put on the other foot? Just think about it for a minute.

show on other footThe reason there's local courts is to handle local issues, violations of laws. There are state Supreme or Superior courts to review those when justices may have made a mistake. There's Federal Appeals courts to review possible mistakes by Superior Courts. And there's the Supreme Court to review those possible misrulings. What happens when the Supreme Court makes a mistake? They can be guilty of that just as easily as any other court.

Well, like with your iPhone, we have an app for that.

MovetoAmend.org has been created to put some sanity back in America after the egregious Citizen's United ruling. They want to see it change -- recent elections have proven we need to take steps to protect our votes and now. MovetoAmed makes the argument is that with unlimited corporate money in the election process individuals rights are being trampled.

Remember Orwell's 1984 with big brother looking over our shoulder. We scoffed. Then come 2013 and Snowden's revealing the vast big brother of the NSA. It became reality.

So if you think corporate takeovers of this country isn't possible, you're naive.

Dissenting Justice Stevens wrote:

". . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."

~Supreme Court Justice Stevens, January 2010

The video below demonstrates how we CAN and MUST take corporate and special interests out of political campaigns. It's really a hopeful few minutes, definitely worth a look-see.

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VIDEO- Justice Stevens agrees: Anonymous, unlimited, untraceable, unaccountable campaign money is wrong. Thanks Citizens United.

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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A billion dollars. A BILLION dollars.

Imagine how that money could be used to help Americans in need.

The L.A. Times is reporting that retired Justice John Paul Stevens, who dissented from the 2010 Citizens United decision, said that President Obama was right in challenging the court’s opinion during a State of the Union speech.

He was right to say that the president was right:

“First, it did reverse a century of law; second, it did authorize unlimited election-related expenditures by America’s most powerful interests; and, third, the logic of the opinion extends to money spent by foreign entities.” [...]

“During the televised debates among the Republican candidates for the presidency, the moderators made an effort to allow each speaker an equal opportunity to express his or her views,” he said, speaking in Little Rock, Ark. If there were six candidates, he said, they were given roughly the same amount of time to speak.

Both the candidates and the audience would surely have thought the value of the debate to have suffered if the moderator had allocated the time on the basis of the speakers’ wealth, or it they had held an auction allowing the most time to the highest bidder,” Stevens said.

That sums it up so well, so simply, that even a conservative can understand it.

Scroll through our posts about Citizens United here, and be sure to have some Tums nearby.

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President Obama's Gift to Sestak

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From back in the days when Arlen was still trying to pander to his R buddies. Via Taegan-

With multiple polls showing Rep. Joe Sestak (D) now leading Sen. Arlen Specter (D) in their Democratic primary race, the challenger just received an unintended gift from President Obama.

Specter is the only Democratic senator who voted against Elena Kagan when she was nominated as solicitor general. With just a week before the primary, Sestak has yet another talking point on who is the real Democrat in the race.

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Video- Media Matters on Supreme Court Nominees: Think This Time Will Be Any Better?

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Signs Point to Kagan for Supreme Court

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Bummer, I was rooting for Crenshaw.

Mike Allen: "Look for President Obama to name his Supreme Court pick Monday, and look for it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean. The pick isn't official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it's otherwise. Kagan's relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy into some coalitions The West Wing may leak the pick to AP's Ben Feller on the later side Sunday, then confirm it for others for morning editions."

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Video- President Obama at a Bipartisan Meeting on the Supreme Court

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Rahm Emanuel Predicts Big Battle Over Supreme Court Pick

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Bring it on. Fracking R's have a knuckle buster coming to them. Via Taegan-

The other news from White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel's fascinating interview with Charlie Rose last night -- other than he wants to be Chicago's mayor -- was his prediction that there will be a big battle over President Obama's upcoming Supreme Court nomination.

Said Emanuel: "I think that there'll be a huge, huge battle... I think the President will obviously appoint a person that he thinks is appropriate and right for the Supreme Court, as he laid out the kind of criteria in the Justice Stevens model. I think if people took a fresh look at that, I don't think it has to be that type of battle. But we may be at a system and a time in which we have that type of battle."

First Read is a bit skeptical noting "we haven't had a real SCOTUS battle since Clarence Thomas in 1991, and the current vacancy is swapping one liberal (John Paul Stevens) for probably another liberal (whomever Obama picks)."

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