"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power."
A divided Supreme Court struck down decades-old limits on corporate political expenditures, potentially reshaping the 2010 election landscape by permitting businesses and unions to spend freely on commercials for or against candidates.
President Barack Obama attacked the ruling and said it gave "a green light to a new stampede of special-interest money in our politics," particularly "big oil, Wall Street banks, health-insurance companies and the other powerful interests" that "drown out the voices of everyday Americans." He pledged to work with lawmakers to craft a "forceful response."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who has long fought campaign-finance regulations, hailed the court for a "monumental decision" toward "restoring the First Amendment rights of [corporations and unions] by ruling that the Constitution protects their right to express themselves about political candidates and issues up until Election Day."
Some company executives and unions said they were ready to jump more directly into this year's congressional campaigns under the new rules, but big companies may remain cautious about doing so for public-relations reasons.
The ruling, which overturned two precedents, underscored the impact of former President George W. Bush's two appointments to the court. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito joined the five-justice majority that struck down not only a provision of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance act limiting corporate-funded political ads immediately before federal elections, but also federal laws dating to 1947, and state laws that were older still. Those earlier laws restricted corporations from directly funding political activity from their general treasuries.
WASHINGTON — When liberal Justice John Paul Stevens dissented Thursday as the Supreme Court permitted new corporate spending in elections, he invoked the names of influential and long-gone justices.
He began with retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, with whom he had worked on a 2003 case the majority was partially overruling. He referred to the late Justice Thurgood Marshall's warning in a 1990 case, also overturned, about how corporate money can distort political debate. Stevens then cited the late Justice Byron White about the importance of deferring to Congress, which had passed the law the majority discarded Thursday.
As Stevens invoked lions of the past and decried the majority's decision, he spoke for twice as long from the bench as Justice Anthony Kennedy had for the majority. Over the course of his 20 minutes, Stevens also spoke with more passion — and more weariness.
His words about the changed court reminded spectators not only of a passing era in campaign finance law but of all that Stevens had witnessed over his nearly 35 years on the bench, including the ideological shift to the right under Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed by President George W. Bush in 2005.
The five-justice conservative majority, which has flexed its ideological muscle in many areas in recent years, had been moving toward greater limits on government power to regulate campaign money. Thursday's decision, blurring legal distinctions between corporations and individuals and highlighting free political speech, is the most significant to date.
The corporate personhood debate refers to the controversy (primarily in the United States) over the question of what subset of rights afforded under the law to natural persons should also be afforded to corporations as legal persons.
In the United States, corporations were recognized as having rights to contract, and to have those contracts honored the same as contracts entered into by natural persons, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward Corporations were recognized as persons for purposes of the 14th Amendment in an 1886 Supreme Court Case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394. Some critics of corporate personhood, such as author Thom Hartmann in his book "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," claim that this was an intentional misinterpretation of the case inserted into the Court record by reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis.  Bancroft Davis had previously served as president of Newburgh and New York Railway Co.
Proponents of corporate personhood believe that corporations, as representatives of their shareholders, were intended by the founders and framers to enjoy many, if not all, of the same rights as natural persons, for example, the right against self-incrimination, right to privacy and the right to lobby the government.
The Supreme Court decision: http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf
"We the corporations"
On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions. The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.
We Move to Amend.
We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:
* Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.
Sign the Motion
Signed by 6,308 and counting . . .