Persona status for corporations
January 22, 2010
The Supreme Court's ruling that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress brought this dissenting opinion: "...In a democratic society, the longstanding consensus on the need to limit corporate campaign spending should outweigh the wooden application of judge-made rules. The majority’s rejection of this principle “elevate(s) corporations to a level of deference which has not been seen at least since the days when substantive due process was regularly used to invalidate regulatory legislation thought to unfairly impinge upon established economic interests.” Bellotti , 435 U. S., at 817, n. 13 (White, J., dissenting). At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics."


--Justice John Paul Stevens

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