Opinion

Commentary: Supreme Court opens floodgates for corporate, union money

If you think corporations and unions already have disproportionate power in American politics, brace yourself — it's going to get worse. A lot worse. Thanks to last week's radical ruling by the five "conservative" members of the U.S. Supreme Court, corporations and unions can now spend unlimited amounts of money to elect or defeat political candidates.

No longer will special interests have to raise money through voluntary contributions made specifically for political purposes. They'll be able to take money collected from customers, government contracts, or union members and use it to help political friends and punish political foes.

The five justices threw out a 60-year-old federal ban on corporations and unions running campaigns for or against candidates. In the process, the five reached for a result none of the parties asked for and they overturned two previous Supreme Court rulings, including one from just seven years ago.

The ruling is a textbook example of "judicial activism" by justices who regularly argue for "judicial restraint."

From the ruling, it's unclear how the government can legally ban foreign interests, like the Chinese government, Mexican drug lords or Russian oligarchs, from creating U.S. corporations so they can spend millions of dollars to influence our elections.

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