Tuesday, June 26, 2012
As we collectively held our breathes yesterday and will continue to do so until Thursday, awaiting the United States Supreme Court's decision on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare); the court gave the people of Montana and America the middle finger, again! I'm a bit confused and I am hoping someone can help me rid myself of this confusion. There is that old saying that "you can't have your cake and eat it too," well it seems to me that conservatives and the conservative leg of the US Supreme Court are looking to do just that.
On Monday, the US Supreme Court delivered a blow to the State of Montana and other states who may wish to challenge the Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The court ruled that Montana's long standing Campaign Finance Law, which limited corporate involvement in the election/campaign process, was no longer applicable. The Montana state law explicitly states - "a corporation may not make an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or political party." The State of Montana also pointed out to the Court, that since their landmark ruling in 2010, Montana has seen corporate expenditures lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption. Basically the political process in Montana has been tainted. The Court actually told the state of Montana that their arguments, facts and evidence supporting the corruption claim were already rejected in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Basically, "F" OFF Montana, We Win, You Lose!
Read Text of the Case Here
Here is where my confusion lies. On one hand, I can almost respect the Court for being consistent, because had they ruled differently they would have essentially admitted to us that they F'd Up in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (even though, we already knew that!), and would have opened the flood gates. On the other hand I can't respect them, because once again this was a punk move and their argument reeks of cowardly behavior. "Sorry, we already ruled on this matter" is not fair nor does it reach the level of judicial standards that one would expect from The US Supreme Court. The job of the Supreme Court is to thoroughly analyze a case and even analyze precedence and ensure that things are still current and fall in line with the US Constitution. I know that The Janitor will refute my thoughts and give us a more logical explanation, but this is the perception that we convey across the globe, especially when we get on our international soap box. It's only right that we at least practice what we preach. Plus, Justice Stevens originally voted against Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and even wrote the dissent, but ruled against the State of Montana in this case? I don't understand that logic.
We are slowly walking down a path where one body is superseding all the others. I know that we will have plenty of discussion on Thursday once we finally get the decision, but this is why I can't see the Court striking down the Affordable Care Act. This is now tit-for-tat and that is not cool, nor is it a conducive way to run a country. Congress passes a law -- certain people don't like -- sue your way to the Supreme Court -- get it overturned? Supreme Court rules -- Congress and President don't like -- pass legislation that overturns Supreme Court ruling. This is not how it should be.
On one hand conservatives will scream until the cows come home about State's Rights and we've even been given a hint by this court, that they subscribe to the same mantra. On the other hand they stand behind radical agenda's and push ideology that would abolish those very State's Rights. Everyone is conflicted and its starting to smell like hypocrisy and I don't take too well to hypocrisy. So which one is it?
Imagine if we had seen the same behavior in 1964 when the Civil Rights Act had passed? Come on people, can the grown ups show up for work. PLEASE! The first step to recovery is admitting when you are wrong.
1. What was up with Justice Stevens? Does anyone have a logical explanation?
2. Did Montana have a strong enough case to force the court to reconsider Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission?
3. Does this ruling conflict with the State's Rights argument?