With the Court back in session on Monday, the New York Times on the Robert’s Court and the kinds of cases it chooses. Emphasis mine.
The Supreme Court enjoys all but free rein in selecting which cases to review. From the end of one term in the summer until the start of the next, on the first Monday in October, the work of the court is to sift through thousands of petitions from parties that lost in one of the federal appeals courts or highest state courts and are eager for the justices to reverse their fate.
The kinds of petitioners favored say a lot about the court’s interests and biases. The Warren court, eager to champion individual rights, chose a large number of petitions from downtrodden people. The Rehnquist court, looking for opportunities to vindicate states’ rights, favored petitions from the states.
The Roberts court has championed corporations. The cases it has chosen for review this term suggest it will continue that trend. Of the 51 it has so far decided to hear, over 40 percent have a corporation on one side. The most far-reaching example of the Roberts court’s pro-business bias was Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. By a 5-to-4 vote, the conservative justices overturned a century of precedent to give corporations, along with labor unions, an unlimited right to spend money in politics.
A coalition headed by New York City Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, seeks to convince corporations to voluntarily assist in mitigating the effects of the Citizen’s United ruling. Emphasis mine.
The Coalition for Accountability in Political Spending, spearheaded by New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio (D), aims to secure promises from major corporations to fully disclose any political spending and, ideally, to avoid spending corporate money directly on elections.
The effort marks the latest response to the Supreme Court's landmark ruling early this year in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allows corporations, unions and nonprofit groups to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections. The ruling has helped fuel a record year for spending by outside interest groups, mostly in favor of Republicans, records show.
A special report by the Center for Public Integrity contains the most damning news regarding the fallout from the Citizen’s United ruling.
Last April, a group of a couple of dozen friends lunched and plotted. The group included Karl Rove, former Republican National Committee chairman, Ed Gillespie, Bill Miller, the political director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, former Sen. Norm Coleman, CEO of the American Action Network, and Steven Law, a former general counsel to the Chamber, and president of American Crossroads. Emphasis mine.
Altogether, the groups represented at the lunch -- and a few others some of whom have attended subsequent sessions -- plan to pour some $300 million into ads and get out the vote efforts to help scores of Republican Congressional candidates win in November, an effort that has been likened to a shadow GOP.
GOP allies have built a huge lead of almost five to one in ad spending compared to their Democratic counterparts, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group. GOP-affiliated groups spent $24.8 million on Senate and House ads from Aug.1 to Sept. 20 while their Democratic rivals spent just $4.9 million in the same period, according to CMAG data.
According to Marcus Owens, a partner at Caplin & Drysdale, as well as a former IRS director of exempt organizations, there is too much money to regulate. Emphasis mine.
“The financial flows into this election cycle are beyond regulation and beyond the existing mechanisms of the Federal Election Commission and the IRS.
It would be worth your time to read the full report.
The amount of money flowing in to secretive groups with undisclosed donors made possible by the Citizen’s United ruling, is not only unprecedented, but is going to Republicans, and donors are largely undisclosed. In fact, Democrats are being outspent 7:1
The $80 million spent so far by groups outside the Democratic and Republican parties dwarfs the $16 million spent at this point for the 2006 midterms. In that election, the vast majority of money – more than 90 percent – was disclosed along with donors’ identities. This year, that figure has fallen to less than half of the total, according to data analyzed by The Washington Post.
Startling stat from Res Publica:
Number of political organizations established since June to raise unlimited amounts of money to elect or defeat candidates: 33
For all posts on the fallout from/aftermath of, the Citizen's United ruling, click here.