In a 5-4 split decision, the conservative majority in the Supreme Court struck down the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), a federal law which prohibited corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make independent expenditures for speech that is an “electioneering communication” or for speech that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a candidate. The Court held that because the question cannot be resolved on other, narrower grounds without chilling political speech, the Court must consider the continuing effect of the speech suppression upheld in a previous case, Austin. The Court then expressly overruled Austin stating that it no longer provides a basis for allowing the Government to limit corporate independent expenditures.
Now the Republicans will try to convince the ignorant masses, the Know Nothings and the Tea Baggers that this is a great victory for free speech, apple pie and the American way, just like pin-up boy's victory in Massachusetts, as the court's decision also frees up spending by the red menace, labor unions. But make no mistake, the average citizen, even united, even all the labor unions in the country combined, will prove no match for the corrupting power of billions of corporate dollars. Doesn't anyone remember or even care about the K Street Scandal? Hopefully Congress can come up with a counter in the form of legislation that will meet constitutional muster or there will be dire times ahead for the middle and working classes which are the backbone of this country.