August 21, 2009



A traitorous assault on our democracy
by Jim Hightower

In opposing Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination, Republican senators loudly denounced judicial activists who would use the bench to rewrite the founders' intent and invent new laws to advance a political agenda.

No doubt these same champions of strict constructionism will be on their high horses again in September, when Chief Justice John Roberts and others on the corporate wing of the court will try to pervert the founders' intent, nullify the will of the people, and radically rewrite a century of legal precedent — all to advance the political agenda of corporate power. At issue are longstanding laws that ban corporations from spending their bottomless financial resources directly on election campaigns.

Roberts, a lifelong corporate shill, hopes to get a five-member majority of the court to rule that corporations have a First Amendment right to pour unlimited sums of cash into our elections. Never mind that the founders feared and abhorred raw corporate power and deliberately wrote the Constitution as a document guaranteeing power to "We the People" — not to bloodless, soulless legal constructs that know nothing of morality and care nothing for our nation's fundamental values of fairness and justice.

In a quiet move just before the justices' summer vacation, Roberts got the court to schedule an extraordinary September reconsideration of two major campaign finance laws that the court previously okayed as constitutional. By reversing those rulings and declaring that corporate speech is equal to human speech, corporations would be unleashed to spend billions of dollars to control all of our elections.

What the Roberts’ Court is up to goes way beyond judicial activism — it's a traitorous assault on America's democracy by corporate autocrats intent on imposing their political will through five old men in black robes.

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