By now you’ve no doubt heard about the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission, a decision that will have a wide-reaching impact on future campaigns, allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in support or opposition to a particular candidate, opening up the very real possibility that elections (and elected officials) could be bought and sold by lobbyists and special interests. In dissenting with the 5-4 decision issued by the Court’s pro-corporate majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said the court had reached out to decide questions not properly before it, had issued a needlessly broad ruling when narrower grounds were available and had failed to show due respect for precedent.
The New York Times sums up the Supreme Court’s decision thusly:
The Supreme Court has handed lobbyists a new weapon. A lobbyist can now tell any elected official: “if you vote wrong, my company … (will) spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election.”
Stuart Carlson of Carlsontoons.com sums it up best: