Business for Democracy

The Citizens United Ruling And How It Could Be Overturned By The People- Not Politicians


To state that the Citizens United ruling by our corrupt U.S. Supreme Court is a tragic and forceful effort to subvert democracy is an understatement, and while SCOTUS may believe they are within their “legal” boundaries for making a decision that defies logic and perhaps the Constitution itself – common sense and logic belies their decision and in this writer’s opinion, has set-up the United States Supreme Court for legal action that could topple their own fascist/corporation-over-people ruling.

First of all, anyone with a brain is aware that corporations are not “people,” however, many such corporations are comprised of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of voting age individuals who may vote as they like during any Presidential/Congressional and/or local election. It is a violation of federal election laws to vote more than once in any election:

Persons must not vote more than once in any election (but this does not include voting a replacement ballot after a spoiled ballot was invalidated). [42 U.S.C. 1973i(e); R.C. 3599.12]

To the best of my knowledge and belief, businesses and corporations are not barred from attempting to influence how their employees vote; that said, most do not engage in overt measures to influence their employee’s votes – but do so through subterfuge and disingenuous statements that are designed to intimidate and influence their votes to further their own political ambitions, and this is especially so when it involves Unions:

Walmart Pressures Employees to Vote Republican

By Christine Mattice  (Excerpts)

In the past few weeks, thousands of Walmart store managers and department heads nationwide have been attending mandatory meetings designed to influence their vote this November, the Wall Street Journal has learned.

These meetings, according to employees who have attended them, are heavily slanted in favor of the GOP. Although Walmart executives do not specifically tell these employees to vote Republican, the inference is obvious. According to the Wall Street Journal, in these mandatory meetings:

Walmart executives claim that employees at unionized stores would have to pay hefty union dues while getting nothing in return, and may have to go on strike without compensation. Also, unionization could mean fewer jobs as labor costs rise.

Walmart’s actions come in response to the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that, if passed, would make it much easier for employees to unionize. Though this bill floundered under a Senate filibuster and a veto threat by President Bush last year, Democratic leaders promised to resurrect it in the future. A win by Obama, a co-sponsor of the EFCA, might be the stimulus needed to push it into law. Walmart does not want that possibility, nor do many other influential organizations and companies. The United States Chamber of Commerce, the Employee Freedom Action Committee, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, and uniform laundry giant Cintas Corporation are just some of the entities that are feverishly lobbying against the passage of the EFCA. Moreover, they have raised substantial money to ensure its defeat.

Walmart does not deny its opposition to the EFCA, but does deny that it told employees how to vote. According to attendees of the meetings, Walmart is telling the truth about this—well, sort of. As one employee told the Wall Street Journal:

The meeting leader said, ‘I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won’t have a vote on whether you want a union.’ [this employee said] I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote. (My emphasis) LINK

Now, to the gist of this train of thought; when the partisan hacks of SCOTUS voted on the Citizens United case and granted corporations “person-hood,” they effectively negated Federal Statutes that deem it a felony to allow any one individual to vote more than once in a federal election, and in fact elevated corporations above the average American. Corporations now have the right to pump any amount of money they want into our election process, allowing them to vote individually, and then with their money as well. A corporation, by and through their ability to make unlimited campaign contributions that are mostly secret in nature now have the ability to effectively negate their own employee’s vote through “Swiftboat Ads” and other deceitful campaign ads and propaganda, which allows them to subvert elections via their money, effectively allowing them to vote more than once in any given election.  You or I are regulated by the government as to how much money we can contribute to federal elections:

Contribution Limits

An individual may give a maximum of:

  • $2,500 per election to a Federal candidate or the candidate’s campaign committee.2 Notice that the limit applies separately to each election. Primaries, runoffs and general elections are considered separate elections.
  • $5,000 per calendar year to a PAC. This limit applies to a PAC (political action committee) that supports Federal candidates. (PACs are neither party committees nor candidate committees. Some PACs are sponsored by corporations and unions–trade, industry and labor PACs. Other PACs, often ideological, do not have a corporate or labor sponsor and are therefore called nonconnected PACs.) PACs use your contributions to make their own contributions to Federal candidates and to fund other election-related activities.
  • $10,000 per calendar year to a State or local party committee. A State party committee shares its limits with local party committees in that state unless a local committee’s independence can be demonstrated.
  • $30,800 per calendar year to a national party committee. This limit applies separately to a party’s national committee, House campaign committee and Senate campaign committee.
  • $117,000 total biennial limit. This biennial limit places a ceiling on your total contributions, as explained below.
  • $100 in currency (cash) to any political committee. (Anonymous cash contributions may not exceed $50.) Contributions exceeding $100 must be made by check, money order or other written instrument. LINK

Based on the restrictions that the government has placed on individuals, it is obvious that the Citizens United ruling has elevated corporations above any and all “people” whom have to respect and comply with the amount that can be donated to political campaigns as stated above. We believe that this is a direct Civil Rights Violation and as thus, is actionable in Federal Court. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically states:

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States[1] that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public (“public accommodations”).

Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who would later sign the landmark Voting Rights Act into law. LINK

Is there any critical thinking individual outside of the “Beltway” that does not recognize that the Citizens United ruling is in direct conflict with the Constitution as it pertains to equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment? If corporations are indeed “persons” as the SCOTUS ruling states, then why are they being granted Civil Liberties which are above and beyond that of the Average American? Would we be any less outraged if the same laws that pertain to whites were not equally binding on blacks, Asians, or any other ethnic group? And if a law or statute was implemented that did so, how long would it be until someone challenged said law or legal ruling through a Federal Civil Rights Action? I believe that a challenge would be almost immediate – and we believe that such a challenge should be made post-haste in order to challenge a Supreme Court that for all practical purposes, has no earthly idea of how to interpret and execute applicable Federal Law, or in the alternative, are in the pockets of Corporate America and therefore have no business being on the bench anyway.

Federal Civil Rights Actions may be filed by individuals, Law Firms, or ideally in this matter, by the ACLU. Since most of the legal precedents and arguments proposed herein are “Res Nova,” we find it doubtful that the ACLU would attempt to intervene based on these legal points and authorities, but that doesn’t prevent individuals or left-leaning Law Firms to take-up the cause.

NOTE:

Unfortunately, Voter Disenfranchisement cannot be used in any effective challenge to the Citizens United case as pointed out in the below article from ThinkProgress Justice:

Lawsuits Challenging Illegal Voter Disenfranchisement Laws May Have To Wait Until It Is Too Late

By Ian Millhiser on Oct 5, 2011 at 10:20 am

In preparation for the 2012 election, GOP state lawmakers launched what former President Bill Clinton described as the most determined voter disenfranchisement effort since Jim Crow. The centerpiece of this effort are so-called “voter ID” laws, which could prevent millions of voters from casting a ballot in 2012. Moreover, because the voters disenfranchised by voter ID are disproportionately minorities, students and low-income voters — all demographics that tend to vote for Democrats — the overall effect of these laws is to skew the electorate towards Republicans.

Voter ID laws are also illegal. Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act forbids state voting restrictions that have a greater impact on minority voters than on others. There is, however, a catch. According to one of the nation’s top voting rights experts, before DOJ can bring a lawsuit challenging this illegal voter disenfranchisement, it must first allow voters to be disenfranchised:

“In order to bring a Section 2 case, you’d have to as a practical matter show two things. One, that there’s a significant racial disparity and two, that the burden of getting an ID is significant enough for us to care about,” Samuel Bagenstos, who was until recently the number two official in the Civil Rights Division, told TPM.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Indiana voter ID case also suggests the court would be skeptical of a Section 2 case. And regardless of how the courts would find, any Section 2 case would almost certainly have to wait until after the 2012 election, since the evidence that the laws were discriminatory “can only be gathered during an election that takes place when the law is enacted,” Bagenstos said.

Sadly, the picture is even worse than Bagenstos suggests. If voter ID laws succeed in changing the result of the 2012 presidential election, than the next Attorney General will literally owe their job to their continued existence — hardly a recipe for vigorous enforcement of voting rights laws. Worse, the new Congress could very well owe its majority to voter disenfranchisement, and it could even repeal the Voting Rights Act outright if this law threatened their ability to remain in office.

The drafters of the Voting Rights Act anticipated this very problem, and they responded to it with Second 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Section 5 requires many states to “preclear” any new voting rules with a federal court or the Department of Justice, but it faces its own problem. Two years ago, the Supreme Court’s conservatives strongly hinted that they may strike down the provision of the VRA requiring many states to preclear new voting laws, and another recent case dealing with race discrimination in the workplace raises the — albeit less likely — possibility that they could also invalidate the VRA’s ban on laws that have a disproportionate impact on minorities. MORE

We expect that our Federal Civil Rights Action will be ready to file in Federal Court no later than January 20, 2012. We may not fare better than anyone else in this matter, however believe that any action, as long as it falls within federal statutes and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is far better than doing nothing at all.

 

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