On Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck down some limits on financing political campaigns, arguing that donations are speech and deserve First Amendment protections. Liberals were predictably outraged at the news — but so was supposedly-objective CNN anchor Carol Costello, who complained the ruling is “a real problem” that now means “money is people too.”
After breathlessly warning that “this decision may have an immediate impact on November’s congressional midterm elections” and represents “one more blow” to federal campaign laws, Costello brought in legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin to explain the ruling.
“This is part of a series of decisions that the Supreme Court has engaged in about the First Amendment right to give money to political campaigns,” he said, referencing the 2010 Citizens United case that granted legal personhood status to corporations.
“This decision expands the Citizens United decision,” he continued. “It says that individuals have a First Amendment right to give as many different political campaigns as they want the maximum amount of money. There used to be a sort of overall limit to how much money you can give to individual campaigns.”
Costello could barely contain her contempt. “You know, these rulings continue to surprise me,” she said, “only because so many Americans are concerned about the money factor, whom [sic] gets elected to public office. They think it’s a real problem, and these kind of rulings seem to only exacerbate those problems.”
Toobin explained Chief Justice John Robert’s argument that, despite concern over money in politics, “the First Amendment trumps any other kind of law. We give freedom of speech to people who engage in hateful speech — like the Westboro Baptist Church — and so we have to give freedom of speech to people who want to give to political campaigns.”
That didn’t convince Costello, who couldn’t resist editorializing further. “So now we know corporations are people, and money is people too,” she scoffed.
“‘Corporations are people’ was Citizens United,” Toobin corrected. “But the heart of today’s opinion is that giving money to candidate is like speech. And a lot of people disagree with it, but that’s the law of the land.”
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