The 2010s were the decade of Citizens United

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The US is prosecuting the Russia based Concord Management and Consulting over some FB posts. Would their activities be perfectly legal if they had incorporated a US subsidiary?


The Court ruled the government cannot ban books or movies simply because they criticize politicians and I’m good with that.

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All politicians love the yummy money, but the TGOP has turned it into a competition sport.


good point but i think of it as the instagram decade. well really it took off in mid 2011 when it hit android too, but i saw a huge shift in how people do vacations from when i backpacked at the beginning vs the end of the decade. i feel like this changed society too. performative, but no authenticity.


If we come out of this current crisis with liberal democratic values still relatively intact, Citizens United will rival Dredd Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson as one of the most destructive SCOTUS decisions in American history.


I don’t know the details, but considering how so many companies in the US are “subsidiaries” of other companies in different countries for tax purposes it wouldn’t surprise me if that was a loophole they could’ve taken, maybe tweaked what they were doing in general a bit.

Your “if,” sir or madam, it is gigantic. What do you feed it?

More seriously, I think “one of the” is nowhere near superlative enough. I believe it literally is the worst SCOTUS decision ever.

Citizens United was simply the culmination of a number of Supreme Court decisions (going back to Buckley v. Valeo in 1976) that, over time, increasingly opened the floodgates of big money into politics. Corporate Democrats and liberals like to focus on Citizens United, as if simply overturning would fix the problem. It won’t, and they know it won’t, and they don’t care because they are not interested in fixing the problem. They are interested in the money.

If a someone is really interested in fixing big money in politics, they will be doing more than repeating “Citizens United bad!”, they will be promoting real solutions. Such as: Sanders Files Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision

I think the “Democracy Dollars” concept is also a good approach.

It’s well past time that we demand that all of our “representatives” get strongly behind these kind of real fixes, and make it clear that our votes depend on their doing so.


The question is: which of the current candidates for president has taken a position that Citizens United must be law-ed out of existence.


Not even remotely related to what the Citizen’s United decision was about.

The case was originally about the 1 month window before a primary election in which corporate electioneering was not allowed. The right end of the court actually sent the suit back to Citizen’s United and encouraged them to repetition the following year on the grounds that any restrictions on corporate electioneering is unconstitutional. They did, the court jumped at the chance to strike down all electioneering restrictions under the logic that corporations exercise speech through money and they have 1st amendment rights, so therefore restricting their spending is a violation of the 1st amendment

eidt: it was the state primary, not the general election, that was in conflict


I would say it goes back to Santa Clara vs. Southern Pacific (1886) where the court reporter tacked on that the 14th amendment applies to corporations. Personally, I would like to have that one undone, but yes Buckley v. Valeo and Bank of Boston v. Bellotti would need to be revisited at a minimum to make a real dent in the election spending rules.

I would recommend all Americans read Justice Stevens and Thomas dissents. Stevens because it is well written. Thomas because it is batshit – he calls for eliminating all transparency laws so that there can be no possible backlash against corporations that promote unpopular policies


To me, the obvious fix is to pass a constitutional amendment that specifically states that money is not equal to speech and grants the government the power to regulate campaign donations. The corporate elites will try to convince you this is impossible. Don’t believe them.

Looking at the Slate article, I am struck how completely devoid it is of possible solutions. Apparently they’re so determined to not reference Sanders that they can’t bring themselves to mention his proposed amendment.


The case was about whether or not the state may abridge the freedom of speech, or of the press. The majority ruled that the First Amendment does not distinguish between media and other corporations, which is a fine result to those who do not want the government to become the gatekeepers of thought.

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Citizens united determined that any spending is speech. So money is speech. Meaning that all election related speech can now be entirely dominated by unaccountable private plutocratic autocracy.

Citizens united entirely hinges on the idea that money = speech. And since restricting money would make a republican have a seizure, money won and democracy lost.


To quote myself from 2016:


Scotus actually classified corporate electioneering as protected speech in Buckley (1976), and ruled the following year that individual states couldn’t pass restrictions. The main change in Citizen’s United was more about the government’s right to regulate that “speech”.

Previously it was ruled that in the interest of fair elections, preventing corruption or its appearance, and maintaining public confidence in government that some simple restrictions should be put in place. In Citizen’s United they rejected that precedent and ruled there should be no restrictions, because wealthy people should have more acces and influence in government and that unless politicians were outright selling votes it wasn’t corruption. (I really wish that last sentence was a mischaracterization)

Or as Kennedy put it, with the McCain-Feingold act "Congress has created categorical bans on speech that are asymmetrical to preventing quid pro quo corruption.” Meaning its more important to let wealthy corporations have extra influence on elections than it is to prevent corruption.


Their defense arguments include their corporate free-speech rights. AFAIK that law does not discriminate by nationality.

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