The Sweeping Impact of SCOTUS's Campaign-Spending Decision

I rarely attend a Supreme Court argument, but I did last fall for a "rehearing" of the campaign-spending case. I wrote a column about it, predicting that the Roberts Court would sweep away long-established restrictions on spending by corporations. The most vivid image I saw was the red-faced Chief Justice John Roberts, veins popping on his neck as he vibrated with disgust at the idea that government could limit what a corporate entity could do or say in the political arena.

The 5–4 opinion issued Thursday by the Roberts Court—written by swing voter Anthony Kennedy—was even more sweeping than I had imagined and predicted.

It's nothing short of revolutionary. Here's how I add up the possible consequences:

  • It adds to Republican chances of pickups in red states with small, cheap media markets.
  • It turns the cottage industry of campaign consulting into a Hollywood-lucrative major media sector.
  • It reduces candidates and political parties to mere appendages in their own campaigns.
  • It will turn corporate boardrooms into political cockfighting pits, since that is where the key decisions will be made.
  • It gives President Obama a populist issue, if he has the cojones and imagination and sense of injustice to take it on.
  • It rips the veil of "conservatism" from this court, which just rendered one of the most wildly "activist" opinions in decades. It makes a mockery of the legal theory of "original intent." The Founders would be rolling over in their graves.

 Other than that, it's not much of a story.

You can read Newsweek’s exclusive interview with Justice Anthony Kennedy who wrote the decision here 
And you can view our gallery on other Supreme Court Justices here

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