WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that corporations may spend as freely as they like to support or oppose candidates for president and Congress, easing decades-old limits on business efforts to influence federal campaigns.
By a 5-4 vote, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said companies can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to produce and run their own campaign ads.
The justices also struck down part of the landmark McCain-Feingold campaign finance bill that barred union- and corporate-paid issue ads in the closing days of election campaigns.
Advocates of strong campaign finance regulations have predicted that a court ruling against the limits would lead to a flood of corporate and union money in federal campaigns as early as this year's midterm congressional elections.
The decision removes limits on independent expenditures that are not coordinated with candidates' campaigns.
It was pretty easy to see this coming with shrub's two supreme court appointees being openly pro-corporation. Once you own the Supreme Court it's a lot easier to buy the rest of the government.
Our democracy was plenty dysfunctional before, and elections dominated by money. Now corporate money will openly pour into elections, effectively overwhelming populism. The average American voter wasn't very sophisticated before (witness the tea party people), and now they'll be subjected to even greater manipulation. The upcoming election cycles are going to be even uglier, and the smear campaigns even louder, as big money dominates the airwaves. Your choice of candidates will now have fewer options than a fast food menu, and the quality will be at the level of choosing between McDonalds or Jack-in-the-Box. Sorry if you want something better; the corporate masters aren't offering that. "Of the people, by the people, for the people" has been taken off the menu.
American democracy had a pretty good run, lasting over 230 years. It's a shame that it was sold so cheaply.