Thursday, September 17, 2009

Colbert on the Imminent Supreme Court Ruling on Hillary the Movie (Video)

It appears that the Supreme Court is about to rule that the vile hit piece called Hillary the Movie is just another political ad, perfectly permissible because corporations are people. Good-bye campaign finance reform.

Or as Colbert says:

"Corporations do everything people do except breathe, die and go to jail for dumping 1.3 million pounds of PCBs in the Hudson River."

Colbert spent two full segments of his show focusing on the Citizens United Supreme Court case, which could - and probably will - lead to deregulating the entire campaign finance process, allowing corporations to give unlimited money to any candidate of their choosing. This severe step backwards with enormous implications has been barely discussed in any traditional media setting, but Colbert went after it vigorously, discussing the consequences and even the flawed legal rationale, a true third rail of American politics, corporate personhood.

Colbert explained that the 1886 case (Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad) that conferred 14th Amendment equal protection rights onto corporations wasn't even in the original ruling. But when the Chief Justice made an off-hand comment that the Court wouldn't hear an argument on whether the 14th Amendment applied to these corporations (saying, "We are all of the opinion that it does"), the court reporter wrote it into the ruling opinion, and the precedent has held ever since. And that reporter of the Supreme Court didn't only have ties to the railroad barons, he used to run one.