Ok, so I’m admittedly a bit late to the party on this, but I’ve only really become interested in politics since Trump’s appearance on the stage, so forgive me if I dig up old issues. I’ve got some questions about Citizens United that should probably be answered before I decide to join some militant resistance group dedicated to overthrowing the government and burning the Constitution and common law.
If the court majority believed that First Amendment rights trumped (sigh, must he insinuate himself everywhere?) any potential for corruption, I would understand, if not agree, with their logic. But they seem to argue that corporate expenditures simply don’t lead to corruption. Now I’ve read that critics of the decision believe that the majority’s definition of corruption as “quid pro quo” is too narrow, but it seems to me that, even with that definition, corporate expenditures can give rise to corruption.
In the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy argues that “independent expenditures,including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” On its face that seems utterly insane, so I’m wondering if Kennedy is actually insane or is just really shitty at making himself understood. Is he saying that since independent expenditures do not necessarily give rise to corruption (or the appearance thereof) that it’s unfair to to take away the First Amendment rights of those playing the game fairly or does he really see no reason to suspect that independent expenditures might lead to corruption? Or, does he not see a “wink wink” implied quid pro quo expenditure as meeting the definition of corruption? Since Kennedy later says that “the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy,” I suspect he’s just delusional, but I’d like to keep my day job if I’m wrong.