U.S. Supreme Court sweeps away limits on corporate, union campaign spending - Macleans.ca

U.S. Supreme Court sweeps away limits on corporate, union campaign spending

Decision seen as a sea-change in the way elections will be conducted


In a split decision that overturns a 63-year-old law, yet features a long, pointed dissent, the U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out limits on campaign spending by corporations and unions—a move experts say will have a transformative effect on candidate elections in the United States. Whether corporate speech enjoys the same protections as normal speech is a question every democracy—including Canada—has wrestled with. Today, the U.S. high court found that Washington cannot regulate political speech regardless of whether it is paid for by an individual or an organization. The finding will allow corporations to spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress. The decision arose from a controversial documentary about Hillary Clinton that had been produced by a conservative non-profit corporation, and released during the Democratic primaries for the 2008 presidential election.

Washington Post

New York Times

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U.S. Supreme Court sweeps away limits on corporate, union campaign spending

  1. Alas, where is a Notwithstanding Clause when you need one?

  2. I suspect this is the beginning of the end for the US political system as it is.

  3. The American system is a duopoly, now it is a duopoly that can be purchased.

  4. This may make it a bit more obvious who'd calling the shots, but won't really change much else. Presidential elections have been for sale for centuries, the buyers have just had to be a bit more creative for the past few decades.

    • If they hadn't adopted the ludicrous legal principle that corporations constitute "persons" under the law (which even Adam Smith thought was a bad idea), this wouldn't be a problem.

      • That's only half of it, the other half is that money is speech.

  5. Corporations are people too!

  6. it's pretty scary that unions will be able to spend as freely as they wish, sounds like communism

  7. Government Research / Funding Scandal

    CAMH / Brock University / Privacy Commissioner of Canada

    Medicine Gone Bad



  8. whatever. how are the fading unionists or collapsing corporatists going to exact their power without the slick peddling of bit homelies. I don't see it. No amount of badly done surveys will get them into the disparate heads of today. Ad Agencies may rejoice but it will only be money burned in solitude while the real world keeps churning … center stage left … or right … or left …. or …

  9. All politicians are for sale or rent. This will hopefully clarify who actually owns them (or is borrowing them).

  10. This doesn't change a thing in actuality. It is though, yet another example of the increasingly brazen, full-scale open fascism in the US.

  11. its more scary when the government tries to control peoples lives, thats the real fascisim …i don't see how more money spent on advertising influences people ..i have been voting the same for twenty years or more…it doesn't matter what ads they run