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Supreme Court Gives Super Rich The Green Light to Buy Elections

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    The Supreme Court just dealt a major blow to those hoping to reign in the moneyed interests that permeate our Federal Government after they basically legalized money laundering by wealthy donors. Before today's ruling, a single individual could only donate a total of $48,600 to all individual candidates running for federal office and a total of $74,600 to political committees. The politically divided Robert's Court decided that limit was infringing on the super rich's First Amendment rights and threw the limit out the window.

    Many people will claim that this ruling, McCutcheon v. FEC, doesn't mean much since the ruling leaves in place the limit an individual donor can give to a single candidate ($5,200 per election cycle), but I do not agree with them. I worry that the Supreme Court just gave the green light for a small group of our nations super rich to join together and buy the entire House and Senate.

    What worries me the most is exactly what Justice Breyer laid out in his strongly worded dissent. He took the unusual step of reading part of his dissent from the bench and laid out a few hypothetical's that show how the moneyed interests in this country could use this ruling to launder money via "Join Party Committees" that could then be funneled to smaller party entities. Once this money is "donated" then these committees are free to do with it as they wish. So safely red states can donate as much money as they want to competitive races in swing districts or states. Justice Breyer and the courts liberal justices see a slippery slope ahead and I sadly agree with them.

    We all know that money plays a huge role in our elector process, but I believe that we need to start reigning that in and not expanding it. We have to find a way to get money out of politics and get off this asinine idea that money is speech. Unfortunately this far right court doesn't agree with me.
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    If memory serves me right, when this issue was first brought up, the issue was that since the unions were exempt ,so then Corps. should also be allowed to donate without limits to political candidates who have their interests at heart, if not ,then those same Unions should be held to the same standard. This ruling probably answers that question.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    no money...no representation...lots of money,,,lots of representation. the court seems to think money is free speech, or at least an extension of the 1st am.

    So if you lack money you have no rights
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote: no money...no representation...lots of money,,,lots of representation. the court seems to think money is free speech, or at least an extension of the 1st am.

    So if you lack money you have no rights
    You won't lack rights just not as many as the those with money, and wealth really has very little do with it, it's just those with a lot more than you, human nature is such that there are some who are always looking to take an unfair advantage over someone less fortunate then they.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    This is classic in protecting the right to vote and encouraging and motivating people to vote. The people you endorse for a public office may have direct influence to who's in the Supreme Court. Scalia, Kennedy, Allitto, Thomas, and Roberts are the reasons why decisions are made like the recent campaign finance law allowing unlimited donations by individuals. This means Koch brothers and Stephenson can buy the politics. They can buy, if America lets them. America does vote in majority, thus money donated to influence elections is money well spent for someone's agenda. This is wrong.

    Remember the votes in 2014 and 2016 can determine influence in the Supreme Court. Although it is the President that appoints, the President can be influenced by Congressional members and people that can donate. This needs to stop. Since the membership of SCOTUS rules for life, there's no term limits. Scalia is due to retire as is Kennedy. Both have implied a retirement. The next President may produce a new Justice, generally one each term, but if there is a retirement, I think a President may appoint a replacement. Obama has already appointed two Justices. So, I'm not sure he may be able to appoint another Justice in his remaining Presidency. However, a full SCOTUS requires 9 Justices, so I believe that Obama may get to appoint more Justices if Scalia and Kennedy retires.

    I read Thomas's opinion that indicated he would vote for eliminating all limits opening the bank for any amount. This Justice is dangerous and needs to vacate the SCOTUS. He is often silent, but writes some horrible opinions on freedoms. Kennedy has often been good and has made decisions approving gay rights. Kennedy though is a loose cannon, and America can't rely on which way he will decide. Scalia and Thomas............as the umpire says, ..."Your outta here", as baseball season is starting. Allitto and Roberts (Chief) they are also unknown, but often will vote in the direction of the appearing majority as if they choose not to meddle in the splitting the baby. I can survive with Allitto, Kennedy and Roberts, but Scalia and Thomas, please leave.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    There were only 3 possible endings to the lawsuit, and only 2 of them would have been constitutional ('fair' to both sides...) The first possible outcome was that they left the law alone and let the Unions continue to buy elections without giving the Corporations the same option. The second is to make it so EVERY group (including the Unions) had a limit they could donate. The third is what happened, they opened it up so the corporations no longer have a limit... Personally, I'd have rather they gone with option 2, no group (union or corporation) should be able to 'buy' an election...
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    johnnycee Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote: no money...no representation...lots of money,,,lots of representation. the court seems to think money is free speech, or at least an extension of the 1st am.

    So if you lack money you have no rights
    You won't lack rights just not as many as the those with money, and wealth really has very little do with it, it's just those with a lot more than you, human nature is such that there are some who are always looking to take an unfair advantage over someone less fortunate then they.
    Due process and Equal protection guarantee each citizen the protection of law. How does the court apply the law evenly when handing down a decision such as this. Doesn't it seem odd or unfair en prima facia (on it's face) So the majority rules that

    money is free speech and can be given in an unlimited amount to further your speech.. So less money limits the free speech process. less money means less representation.

    I've always believed that the Supreme court from the bench is the most corrupt branch of government. the most dangerous because their rulings have such a direct and immediate impact on our lives.

    If you don't know....in the federal system acquitted conduct can be used for sentencing purposes under relevant conduct. plainly put...I can have 4 charges pending against me. I go to trial. I'm acquitted on 3 counts and found guilty on 1 count....I will now be sentenced to all counts US v. Watts

    There are no mitigating factors at sentencing. only aggravating. Which means that your sentence can only increase. A pre sentence investigation is conducted.... this is called your roll in the instant offense. Each roll may have enhancements. example....your convicted of distribution. You will be given an enhancement for 'facilitating a cell phone' in furtherance of drug activity- 2 points...leadership role-2points and always a money laundering enhancement 2-points


    Your base offense may be 32 with at least 5 kilos of cocaine...this triggers the mandatory minimum 10 years....with the 6 point enhancement your base offense is now 38...a six point enhancement increases your sentence by 7 years....So 10 plus 7 = 17 years. The points that were added constitute a penalty....but I was never charged with these offenses by indictment...How can a person receive more time for crimes that he hasn't been charged with, plead to, or found guilty by jury...This is a 6th amendment violation/ due process

    The jury doesn't know about the enhancements. any knowledge will cause an immediate mistrial. The feds can sentence for crimes for which you were not charged. Apprendi v. New jersey

    The constitution grants that an Habeas corpus writ can never be waived. But the Supreme court severely restricted the writ habeas corpus.
    So after conviction, you have 1 year to file a direct appeal, and 1 year to file a 2255 if direct appeal is denied.....after that..your case is over....you are procedurally barred from court

    .....
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote:
    johnnycee Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote: no money...no representation...lots of money,,,lots of representation. the court seems to think money is free speech, or at least an extension of the 1st am.

    So if you lack money you have no rights
    You won't lack rights just not as many as the those with money, and wealth really has very little do with it, it's just those with a lot more than you, human nature is such that there are some who are always looking to take an unfair advantage over someone less fortunate then they.
    Due process and Equal protection guarantee each citizen the protection of law. How does the court apply the law evenly when handing down a decision such as this. Doesn't it seem odd or unfair en prima facia (on it's face) So the majority rules that

    money is free speech and can be given in an unlimited amount to further your speech.. So less money limits the free speech process. less money means less representation.

    I've always believed that the Supreme court from the bench is the most corrupt branch of government. the most dangerous because their rulings have such a direct and immediate impact on our lives.

    If you don't know....in the federal system acquitted conduct can be used for sentencing purposes under relevant conduct. plainly put...I can have 4 charges pending against me. I go to trial. I'm acquitted on 3 counts and found guilty on 1 count....I will now be sentenced to all counts US v. Watts

    There are no mitigating factors at sentencing. only aggravating. Which means that your sentence can only increase. A pre sentence investigation is conducted.... this is called your roll in the instant offense. Each roll may have enhancements. example....your convicted of distribution. You will be given an enhancement for 'facilitating a cell phone' in furtherance of drug activity- 2 points...leadership role-2points and always a money laundering enhancement 2-points


    Your base offense may be 32 with at least 5 kilos of cocaine...this triggers the mandatory minimum 10 years....with the 6 point enhancement your base offense is now 38...a six point enhancement increases your sentence by 7 years....So 10 plus 7 = 17 years. The points that were added constitute a penalty....but I was never charged with these offenses by indictment...How can a person receive more time for crimes that he hasn't been charged with, plead to, or found guilty by jury...This is a 6th amendment violation/ due process

    The jury doesn't know about the enhancements. any knowledge will cause an immediate mistrial. The feds can sentence for crimes for which you were not charged. Apprendi v. New jersey

    The constitution grants that an Habeas corpus writ can never be waived. But the Supreme court severely restricted the writ habeas corpus.
    So after conviction, you have 1 year to file a direct appeal, and 1 year to file a 2255 if direct appeal is denied.....after that..your case is over....you are procedurally barred from court

    .....
    L.A. your statement:

    "I've always believed that the Supreme court from the bench is the most corrupt branch of government. the most dangerous because their rulings have such a direct and immediate impact on our lives."

    The problem is indeed that these old buzzerts know the game and are experts in twisting facts and words; also as with "bibles" you can interprete old documents as you see fit; like what they wrote in 1776, how can we make it fit "modern times" I doubt that our forefathers ever had the "internet" to search for things, let alone assault riffles, drones or corruption as of today; so actually this whole Constitution "interpretation" is a huge farce; I think there is nothing left of what these guys in those days actually meant.
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    To think that 5 people can ruin your life in majority.......
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote: To think that 5 people can ruin your life in majority.......
    I don't know about you; but more people than that are capable of ruining my life!!! What about the tax man?
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote:

    The constitution grants that an Habeas corpus writ can never be waived. But the Supreme court severely restricted the writ habeas corpus.
    So after conviction, you have 1 year to file a direct appeal, and 1 year to file a 2255 if direct appeal is denied.....after that..your case is over....you are procedurally barred from court

    .....
    The constitution actually provides for 2 times when Habeas Corpus can be taken away. Those are invasion or rebellion. As for Habeas Corpus and appeals... Unless you are trying to claim the court that sentenced you didn't have the authority or jurisdiction (and if you were living in the city/state of the court is in you were under their authority and jurisdiction) or you are claiming that your sentence has expired (happens, rarely.) Habeas Corpus DOES NOT APPLY. You should stop trusting those jail house lawyers LA... The writs you'd want to use would be for post sentence relief, an appeal based on illegal rulings made by the judge or based on the jury considering things they aren't allowed to when deliberating. Those would be covered by the writ of certiorari and the writ coram nobis, but these come AFTER the direct appeal to the court that sentenced you...
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    Dutch Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote: To think that 5 people can ruin your life in majority.......
    I don't know about you; but more people than that are capable of ruining my life!!! What about the tax man?
    There's always been a shadow over the 16th amendment and the ratification issue......The 16th amm. overruled the constitution.....a simple clarification on whether or not congress violated tbhis process has never been addressed with the Supreme court.

    We had a revolution on taxes and now the government can tax any income.....The court is a sham
  • Liberal
    Other Party
    Llos Angeles, CA
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    RanmaMOJ Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote:

    The constitution grants that an Habeas corpus writ can never be waived. But the Supreme court severely restricted the writ habeas corpus.
    So after conviction, you have 1 year to file a direct appeal, and 1 year to file a 2255 if direct appeal is denied.....after that..your case is over....you are procedurally barred from court

    .....
    The constitution actually provides for 2 times when Habeas Corpus can be taken away. Those are invasion or rebellion. As for Habeas Corpus and appeals... Unless you are trying to claim the court that sentenced you didn't have the authority or jurisdiction (and if you were living in the city/state of the court is in you were under their authority and jurisdiction) or you are claiming that your sentence has expired (happens, rarely.) Habeas Corpus DOES NOT APPLY. You should stop trusting those jail house lawyers LA... The writs you'd want to use would be for post sentence relief, an appeal based on illegal rulings made by the judge or based on the jury considering things they aren't allowed to when deliberating. Those would be covered by the writ of certiorari and the writ coram nobis, but these come AFTER the direct appeal to the court that sentenced you...
    I'm a jail house lawyer...the 2241 writ of habeas corpus is contesting the conditions of your confinement. The warden is your legal custodian and if your claiming an illegal sentence you file against him.....Any constitutional issues can never be waived.

    The post conviction writ to which you speak is the 2255 "innefective assistance of council" exactly why the 2241 is needed. An illegal sentence wouldn't be the fault of your attorney.

    Since the constitution was silent on restricting it...the supreme court allowed congress to pass PLRA prisoner litigation reform act.....which severely limited the 2241


    The cert writ doesn't apply.... a cert writ is BEGGING the court to hear your case.....95 percent are denied

    Remember...the appellate courts review your case de novo and they will only address what you ask.....if you miss the opportunity on direct appeal you can raise it on the 2241.....inmates unfortunately understand the law wayyyyyy later when its too late.....Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse.

    A 3582 is the usual petition one would file for an illegal sentence.....but the supreme court allowed congress to place time limits...the 2241 was fail safe that people have in case of miscarriages of justice.....and I'm not talking about inmates who file writs because the institution ran out of sugar in the chow hall.
  • Independent
    Widefield, CO
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    L.A. Citizen Wrote:
    RanmaMOJ Wrote:
    L.A. Citizen Wrote:

    The constitution grants that an Habeas corpus writ can never be waived. But the Supreme court severely restricted the writ habeas corpus.
    So after conviction, you have 1 year to file a direct appeal, and 1 year to file a 2255 if direct appeal is denied.....after that..your case is over....you are procedurally barred from court

    .....
    The constitution actually provides for 2 times when Habeas Corpus can be taken away. Those are invasion or rebellion. As for Habeas Corpus and appeals... Unless you are trying to claim the court that sentenced you didn't have the authority or jurisdiction (and if you were living in the city/state of the court is in you were under their authority and jurisdiction) or you are claiming that your sentence has expired (happens, rarely.) Habeas Corpus DOES NOT APPLY. You should stop trusting those jail house lawyers LA... The writs you'd want to use would be for post sentence relief, an appeal based on illegal rulings made by the judge or based on the jury considering things they aren't allowed to when deliberating. Those would be covered by the writ of certiorari and the writ coram nobis, but these come AFTER the direct appeal to the court that sentenced you...
    I'm a jail house lawyer...the 2241 writ of habeas corpus is contesting the conditions of your confinement. The warden is your legal custodian and if your claiming an illegal sentence you file against him.....Any constitutional issues can never be waived.

    The post conviction writ to which you speak is the 2255 "innefective assistance of council" exactly why the 2241 is needed. An illegal sentence wouldn't be the fault of your attorney.

    Since the constitution was silent on restricting it...the supreme court allowed congress to pass PLRA prisoner litigation reform act.....which severely limited the 2241


    The cert writ doesn't apply.... a cert writ is BEGGING the court to hear your case.....95 percent are denied

    Remember...the appellate courts review your case de novo and they will only address what you ask.....if you miss the opportunity on direct appeal you can raise it on the 2241.....inmates unfortunately understand the law wayyyyyy later when its too late.....Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse.

    A 3582 is the usual petition one would file for an illegal sentence.....but the supreme court allowed congress to place time limits...the 2241 was fail safe that people have in case of miscarriages of justice.....and I'm not talking about inmates who file writs because the institution ran out of sugar in the chow hall.
    LA, when I was in prison I saw hundreds of writs of habeas corpus go out, many against the warden. Fact is, as you said, he's your legal custodian. He was put there by the state, so he does have authority and jurisdiction over your case. The only time I've ever seen a writ of habeas corpus won while I was in prison is when they over-incarcerated someone, and that was due to paperwork getting lost. (Don't know if it was intentional or not) That person got a settlement for his over-incarceration. In fact the Colorado courts get so many writs of habeas corpus they considered imposing a fine for the people who file them wrongfully. (Not that they don't have the information on it correct, but they file against the wardens and such...)
  • Democrat
    Philadelphia, PA
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    I think that since money is the fuel for this nations governing policies, then everyone should be able to spend whatever they want, if you place limits only on certain groups and not everyone then you are just asking for trouble, if you will allow political contributions then make them public knowledge and also have limits, do not make them Tax deductible and also have the contributors acknowledge that there is no expectation of favors or special treatment attached to their contribution. Maybe this might work ,maybe not, but hell at least try.