Fw: “The Rise of the Corporate Court”

Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2010 10:43 AM
Subject: “The Rise of the Corporate Court”

A new message from your friends at People For the American Way.

Rise of the Corporate Court

Read the report >

Dear Daniel,

People For the American Way Foundation has just released a report titled, The Rise of the Corporate Court: How the Supreme Court is Putting Business First which details the Court’s role in the making of a “corporate democracy” from Bush v. Gore (2000) to Citizens United v. FEC (2010).

The vast majority of Americans agree that corporations have too much power in our government and politics. Ours is a government constructed to be Of the People, By the People and For the People and regulated by a vital system of Checks and Balances. However, in an age in which electoral politics have become dominated by money and corporate influence, the Judicial Branch has in too many cases become an enabler of undue overreaching power instead of a necessary Check, thanks to a Supreme Court dominated by pro-corporatist ideologues.

In its new report, PFAW Foundation illustrates how in one case after another, the conservative majority on first the Rehnquist Court and then the Roberts Court has decided with a strong and undeniable bias toward powerful corporate interests, even when it meant contorting, reinterpreting and even overturning long-settled legal precedent. The legal gymnastics performed by the conservative Justices in order to reshape the law according to their pro-corporatist ideology are astounding and this report helps prove that despite the empty rhetoric of the Far Right, the core of the conservative bloc — Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Scalia and Thomas — are the real “judicial activists” with an “outcomes-based” approach to how they decide cases.

Because today is Earth Day, it’s worth noting that particular attention is paid to several cases in which the Court’s conservative majority bent over backwards to weaken environmental protections and rule in favor corporate polluters — most famously in the case of Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, which had to do with damages from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The report is a must read for anyone who cares about the Supreme Court or about the dangerous direction in which our democracy has been moving under the overwhelming influence of powerful corporate interests. It’s especially relevant following the recent retirement announcement of Justice John Paul Stevens, who has been a tireless advocate for the constitutional principle that the law exists to protect the rights of individuals from the encroachments of powerful interests, not the other way around.

Read the report here.

You can download and print a pdf version of the report for distribution.

And please take action by joining PFAW’s petition urging Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the Roberts Court’s disastrous decision in Citizens United and help get corporate money out of elections.

— Ben Betz, Online Communications Manager

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