Supreme Court and the Constitution Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

That's why I am instructing my Administration to get to work immediately with Congress on this issue. We are going to talk with bipartisan Congressional leaders to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less.

Eight justices did concur that Congress has the responsibility to require corporations to disclose their spending and to run disclaimers with their advertisements, for "disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way," Justice Kennedy wrote. The majority referenced a myriad of past decisions that recognize the First Amendment rights of corporations. Justice Stevens conceded that "we have long since held that corporations are covered by the First Amendment."

In Justice Kennedy's view, "…When the government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought…This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves." While some hail the decision as the protection free speech -- Fox news ran a headline suggesting the founding fathers were smiling -- others see it as favoring entrenched corporate interests, while still others see it as practical to forming public policy. "Corporations have lots of knowledge about environment, transportation issues, and you are silencing them during the election," Justice Anthony said during arguments. Justice Anthony was mirrored by Justice Scalia, who said: "To exclude or impede corporate speech is to muzzle the principal agents of the modern economy," Justice Antonin Scalia said. "We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate." Senator John McCain offered criticism, although nearly not as biding as the criticism from President Obama:

I am disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court and the lifting of the limits on corporate and union contributions. However, it appears that key aspects of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), including the ban on soft money contributions, remain intact.

Some researchers see the decision as a throwback to the Reagan era, when his administration sought to open up the market to extremely free trade; that is, freeing business from government regulation. Interestingly, of the give justices who made up the majority in last month's case, all were appointed by Reagan or worked as young lawyers in the Reagan administration. "This is a different brand of conservatism," said Trevor Potter, an election law expert who served as counsel to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's election campaign. "The justices are shaped by society. Those that came after the Great Depression saw government regulation of corporations as natural and necessary. This younger generation sees it very differently. They have a real distrust of government." (Savage) This distrust of government manifests itself, first and foremost, as distrust of big government. The belief that the "invisible hand" of the free market will allocate resources and wealth in an equitable manner is one that goes back to the foundation of free market thinking in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, which, ironically enough, was published in 1776. Many argue that, in fact, big government or small government is not the issue. The issue, in other words, is not a matter of degrees or size, but, rather, type. Government, the argument goes, is merely a tool, used for different ends.

In the United States, corporations have played a major role in the development of the society, culture and state-enterprise. While, it is true, we are a nation of entrepreneurs, whose companies ought to be free to disseminate opinions and lifestyles freely, there are some entities which have grown so large, they stand to exploit decisions such as these. This decision affects all small businesses, colleges and other associations of persons who have become incorporated so as to receive the benefits of being an artificial person, but it is those "too-big-to-fail" corporations who control the volume of assets enough to easily sway the outcome of elections. Although there historically have been restrictions on campaign contributions such as those featured in the January 21, 2010 ruling, campaign contributions on behalf of certain candidates by corporate players, it is generally conceded, hold a considerable amount of sway over the election cycle in the United States.

That such a legislative and judicial development took place at the expense of the Fourteenth Amendment, meant to protect freed slaves, flies in the face of what the Constitution stands for. It is important for individuals everywhere to internalize the fact that, indeed, much information they receive regarding their election candidates might be contrived from the money of lobbyists and corporate interests. This, to be sure, is really nothing new in the makeup of the United States political system.

1. Bravin, Jess. (17 September 2009) Sotomayor Issues Challenge to a Century of Corporate Law. Wall Street Journal. Online Accessed at:

2. Smith, Bradley. (10 September 2009) Corporations Are People, Too. National Public Radio. Online Accessed at:

3. Hammerstrom, Doug. (2002) The Hijacking of the Fourteenth Amendment, Reclaim Democracy. Online Accessed at:

4. Kirkpatrick, David. (21 January 2010). Lobbyists Get Potent Weapon in Campaign Ruling, New York Times. Online Accessed at:

5. Liptack, Adam. (21 January 2010) Justices, 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit, New York Times.

Accessed at:

6. ____. (21 January 2010).

Reactions to the Supreme Court reversing limits on corporate spending in political campaigns, Washington Post.

Accessed at:

7. Savage, David. (9 February 2010) Corporate Free-Speech ruling speaks of shift in Supreme Court, Los Angeles Times.

Accessed at:[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Supreme Court And The Constitution" (2010, April 19) Retrieved October 24, 2016, from

"Supreme Court And The Constitution" 19 April 2010. Web.24 October. 2016. <>

"Supreme Court And The Constitution", 19 April 2010, Accessed.24 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Supreme Court and Public Opinion the Supreme

    Supreme Court and Public Opinion The Supreme Court of the United States was established in 1789 as part of the basic three sections of the American governmental system: Executive (President and Staff), Legislative (Congress), and Judicial (Supreme Court System). Each U.S. State also has a supreme court, which is the highest law for interpreting cases that move into that jurisdiction. Essentially, the Supreme Court has the ultimate jurisdiction over all federal

  • Supreme Court Case According to

    While the decision has hung over states as one national standard, it infringes the essential principles of federalism and separation of powers that are rooted in the country's constitutional system (Silversten, 2011). During the time that the Supreme Court made this ruling, the state of Georgia basically had the same position on punishment for the crime of rape with many states. Actually, very few states permitted the executions or enforcement

  • Supreme Court Cases Muller v Oregon Women s

    Supreme Court cases (Muller V. Oregon) women's right Why it was an issue of national importance The Muller v. Oregon case was among the most crucial Supreme Court cases in the U.S. during the progressive regime. The case held an Oregon law that limited the working days for female wage employees to a maximum of ten hours. In 1908, this case created a precedent to expand access of national activities into the

  • Supreme Court Summary Case Snyder v Phelps

    Supreme Court Summary Case: Snyder v. Phelps Docket Number: 09-751 Petitioner: Albert Snyder Respondent: Fred W. Phelps, Sr. Facts of the Case: The family members of Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder filed a lawsuit against the members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Louisiana. The members of the church had picketed at Snyder's funeral. The family alleged that the church members were guilty of defamation, invasion of privacy, and intentionally inflicting emotional distress to the Snyders.

  • Supreme Court Justices

    Supreme Court Justices Chief Justice John G. Roberts Biography John Glover Roberts Jr. was born on January 27, 1955, in Buffalo, New York. Roberts grew up with three sisters, Kathy, Peggy, and Barbara and his mother Rosemary. His father, John Sr., a plant manager at Bethlehem Steel, moved the family to Long Beach, Indiana, when Roberts was in fourth grade. After grade school Roberts attended La Lumiere School, a Roman Catholic boarding school

  • Constitution the Supreme Court Case

    What is interesting about this decision is how the Supreme Court was able to draw a fine line that allowed the rule of law to continue, yet not to such a point that it would interfere with Congress' post-war actions in the now occupied South. At the time of the decision, Congress was held by a Republican majority. What this case holds is that because the South seceded, during the

  • Supreme Court Case

    Supreme Court Case The Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson was an extremely important one, and one which set a significant precedent in the United States that would not be overturned until the Brown v. Board of Education decision in the middle of the 20th century. The former case set the precedent for what was known as the separate but equal doctrine. The principle question considered in this case was

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved