Posts Tagged ‘Citizens United decision’

Supreme Court: Corporations Can Buy Judges

See also Citizens United Case – Corporate Campaign Contributions - my take on Citizens United. – Ilene 

Supreme Court: Corporations Can Buy Judges

court profanity

Courtesy of Washington’s Blog

You’ve heard that a recent Supreme Court decision said that corporations can give unlimited funds to politicians.

But did you realize that it said that corporations can give unlimited money to judges?

As William K. Black – professor of economics and law, and the senior regulator during the S & L crisis – pointed out last week:

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allows businesses to make unlimited political contributions to judges and politicians. When judges are elected, the need for these contributions inherently turns judges into politicians. Sympathetic judges are corrupt businesses’ most valuable allies. Corporations and their senior officials can commit civil or criminal wrongs with impunity if their case is assigned to a friendly judge. The Robber Barons often had judges on their payrolls. Judges can serve a corporation as both a shield and a sword. They can declare statutes and regulations unlawful. They can issue favorable decisions when corporations sue their critics, which can intimidate, tie up, or even bankrupt the critics.

The fact that corporations are “investing” so heavily in getting pro-business judges elected demonstrates that their CEOs believe that the election of friendly judges will increase their incomes and decrease the risk that they will ever be sanctioned. It’s a business decision – not a decision based on which judicial candidate would be more qualified or better serve justice. CEOs want to win cases when doing so would be unjust and contrary to the law, which is why they hire top attorneys and make the contributions necessary to elect judges they believe will be allies. The empirical evidence in Texas shows that judicial elections and contributions produces perverse dynamics. One study showed that hiring the former law firm of a Texas Supreme Court justice markedly increased the chances that the Texas Supreme Court would exercise its discretion and hear your appeal from an adverse decision. Hiring the former law firm of the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court produced an even greater chance of having one’s appeal heard.

As Yves Smith noted recently:

A Mother Jones article, “Permission to Encroach the Bench,” (hat tip reader Francois T) discusses how already big ticket battles


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Phil's Favorites

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Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



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