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ACLU May Reverse Course On Campaign Finance Limits After Supreme Court Ruling

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:06 PM
Original message
ACLU May Reverse Course On Campaign Finance Limits After Supreme Court Ruling
ACLU May Reverse Course On Campaign Finance Limits After Supreme Court Ruling
By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN, Special to the Sun | January 24, 2010


The first big impact of the Supreme Courts decision lifting restrictions on certain corporation campaign spending may be at the American Civil Liberties Union, which, after years of opposing restrictions on free speech grounds, is considering whether to reverse course and endorse government limits on money in politics.

The ACLU has long opposed government limits to how much a donor can give to a political campaign or spend airing advertisements on an issue during an election. On this point, the ACLU has been in agreement with conservative organizations that believe money contributions are a form of political speech and deserving of First Amendment protection. It has been at odds with many liberal organizations, which have argued money in politics must be strictly limited so that rich organizations and individuals don't wield outsize influence.

But Thursdays Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission, which would enable corporations to spend freely on political causes, is forcing the ACLU to address what one internal memo describes as a "Skokie moment," a reference to the controversy in which the organization defended the right of American Nazis to march in the Chicago suburb of Skokie. The moment is often seen as one of the acid tests of the ACLUs willingness to stick to its First Amendment principles.

more...

http://www.nysun.com/national/aclu-may-reverse-course-o... /
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Cassandra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. I thought the NY Sun folded last year.
They couldn't give their neo-con crap paper away. So why are they online and who's backing them?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. Deleted sub-thread
Sub-thread removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. Feeling the heat from supporting the latest travesty, 'eh?
Its about time they acted more responsibly, looking past the narrow issues and seeing that there may be consequences to these actions that end up being worse than the issue they supported in the original complaint.
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WA98296 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Does anyone know how the ACLU makes these decisions? If so please post.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Myopically
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
15. This decision was made in consultation with their national Board of Directors.
The ACLU national board is a combination of members elected
by the boards of directors of the local ACLU affiliates and at-large
members elected by all of the board members of the local affiliates.

Tesha
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groundloop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. You'd have thunk that they'd consider this before endorsing corporate "personhood"
Better late than never, but IMHO they had a serious OOPS moment when they backed that lawsuit. I generally agree with what they do, but this is one time I feel that they blew it.

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Krashkopf Donating Member (965 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. In Defense of the ACLU . . .
It did not "endorse corporate 'personhood.'"

It said, in light of the fact that the Supreme Court has recognized the right of corporate personhood, we, the ACLU, defend the right of all "persons" to free speech.

It is not inconsistent, at all, for the ACLU to now take a position AGAINST "corporate personhood."
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #13
23. No.. the filed an amicus brief in FAVOR of Citizens United BEFORE the SCOTUS decision

They were on the wrong side of history.



They blew it.
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Krashkopf Donating Member (965 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Yes, I know . . .
I've actually read the ACLU's amicus brief, have you?

No where in it does it does the ACLU argue in favor of "corporate citizenship."

Instead, in its very narrow amicus brief, the ACLU argues that, in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 the term "electioneering communications" is unconstitutionally vague.

In its amicus brief the ACLU explicitly states that the brief "does not address the issue . . . of whether the BCRA's ban on express advocacy by corporations and unions should struck down."

It is absolutely SHOCKING to see so many supposed "Democrats" "liberals" and "progressives" buy into right-wing smears against a such a stalwart defender of the Constitution like the ACLU.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. The idiocy on DU is only remarkable in light of the idiocy that they mock
from their fellow idiots on the right.

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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #25
44. The ACLU's mistake was political, they trusted this Supreme Court to be just, wise and respectful
of precedent.

The primary lesson to any organization dedicated to civil rights, freedom, the Constitution, and/or people power is that if you give this Supreme Court an inch, they will take a mile.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. rather than corrupt, pandering and deceitful?
Merely being "professional" would have helped. Doing their jobs.
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Kingofalldems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. RWers use the argument that the ACLU is for this decision.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 01:27 PM by Kingofalldems
I even saw that idea posed on DU.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:26 PM
Original message
It's a logical step.
If we buy into the fallacious equation of money with speech at all, we should at least ensure that no entity can buy up most or all of the speech.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
7. Just in time!
Not.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. you funny
:spray:
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arcadian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
8. Wonder how many people sent the ACLU their ripped up membership cards
To make this happen.
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. At least one.... me
.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. FUCK ACLU
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. After all, what have they done for *YOU* lately? (NT)
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. U got it
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #9
43. Funny--if it weren't for the ACLU you counldn't say "FUCK YOU" on this forum
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
10. I don't support them and this is the reason. nt
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #10
30. Que?
Do you even know what point the ACLU argued in their brief? Do you understand the underlying motivation for making their argument against Section 203 of McCain Feingold? Their argument has been that Section 203 is too vague given that "electioneering communications" are allowed in one venue but not another (that is, a corporation can print - a book, perhaps - an electioneering communication, but a corporation cannot broadcast an electioneering communication - well actually, they can broadcast an electioneering communication but they have to prove that the reach of that communication does not exceed a maximum threshold of viewers).

The brief did not argue a broad interpretation, in fact, it explicitly stated that it was addressing only a narrow ruling. It did not argue for unfettered corporate funding, it did not argue for "corporate personhood". Their argument was based on the fact that Section 203 was so vague that it effectively could result in the self-censorship of legal electioneering communications due to the cautiousness of organizations trying to avoid lawsuits.
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Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #30
42. So you agree that they oppose campaign finance reform. nt
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gmoney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. "I hate Illinois Nazis..."
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
14. This won't boost ACLU's credibility, unfortunately. nt
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ima_sinnic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
16. ironically, I remember Bush I (?) ridiculing "card-carrying ACLU members"
it might have been someone before Bush I, but I remember wondering at the time how anybody (let alone a president) could ridicule an organization that fights for constitutionally guaranteed civil rights.
but now I say, fuck 'em for equating money with speech.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. I'm expecting the Supreme Court to be too busy to hear any relevant cases.
Although they'll find time to hear an abortion case, I'm sure. :grr:
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
18. Oh thanks!
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
22. Too late. They filed an amicus brief in FAVOR of Citizens United... they've lost me
...forever.

They argued on behalf of turning the U.S. into the "Rollerball".


The ACLU is dead to me.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
29. No they didn't. Their brief made a very narrow argument.
To quote a well read, intelligent DUer upthread:

"I've actually read the ACLU's amicus brief, have you?

No where in it does it does the ACLU argue in favor of "corporate citizenship."

Instead, in its very narrow amicus brief, the ACLU argues that, in the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 the term "electioneering communications" is unconstitutionally vague.

In its amicus brief the ACLU explicitly states that the brief "does not address the issue . . . of whether the BCRA's ban on express advocacy by corporations and unions should struck down."

It is absolutely SHOCKING to see so many supposed "Democrats" "liberals" and "progressives" buy into right-wing smears against a such a stalwart defender of the Constitution like the ACLU."
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
26. BWAHAHAHEAHAH bwahHAHAHAHAHAHHHA HHHAHAHAHAHAHHH hahahahaha hahHAHAHAHhahaha
:banghead: :freak: :banghead: :freak: :banghead: :freak: :banghead: :freak: :banghead: :freak: :banghead: :freak: :banghead: :freak:
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
28. Money does not equal speech. Bribery is illegal
those two facts alone should be enough.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
31. They started hearing from their contributors.
Oh, NOW they get it.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. I upped my contribution.
I actually took the time to read the brief AND to read the source of their contention. They lost 10s of thousands of members after Skokie (I agreed with them on that, as well) but, ultimately, they were vindicated on Skokie and they will be vindicated on this, too.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:48 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. Let me know when you're RIGHT about something.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Thank you for your insight. You are, indeed a master debater.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #32
35. Can you encapsulate how they are right about this?
:hi:
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. Ultimately, it will result in regulations that don't run up against the Constitution.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. to prop up a SCOTUS decision that does?
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Do you even know the ACLU's position?
Did you read their brief? If you expect to engage in any kind of discussion, you need to start from their position and not some right wing style oppositional low information smear.
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omega minimo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Back off
That's not what I'm doing. I know enough to comprehend an answer if you gave one. Since you said you'd read so thoroughly, I thought you might share with others. Forgetaboutit. I'm sure someone will come along to have the fight you're looking for.

:thumbsdown:
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
37. Well did anyone inform the ACLU that SCOTUS already handed down their decision?
It's too damn late for them to change their mind, the damage is done. Asshats.
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Last Stand Donating Member (379 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
40. I wish you could only donate to specific causes of the ACLU.
Too much cash dumped into the wierdest and most questionable crusades.
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