Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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Citizens United revisited--Watch out!

I wrote earlier about the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v FEC and expressed doubt that it would produce much additional corporate money in politics because there wasn't much additional air time free to buy. I watched Bill Moyers Journal last night and wish to revise my conclusion. Moyers has a long review of money in elections of state court justices link here. That is where the decision is likely to cut first. And the program reviews three judicial elections, one each in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Texas where corporate contributions bought the result Big Business wanted.

It also has a 1999 interview with Justices Kennedy and Breyer opposing corporate money in such elections. Since Kennedy was the crucial deciding vote in favor of the Citizens United decision, their words drip with irony. They argue that corporate money will destroy public faith in the fairness of our legal system. In fact, most people when asked, find it very strange that the courts have given corporations so many of the same rights as a real person.

Moyers also makes the point that the Supremes did not have to decide Citizens United on grounds so broad that it greatly expanded the first amendment free speech rights of corporations from more than a hundred years of settled law. And the decision was only reached after very unusually reconsidering the case from an earlier hearing. All the justices currently on the court testified at their Senatorial appointment hearings that they were firm believers and adherents of precedent. Hypocrisy of a high order.

So where will public faith in the courts lie now? Not very high, I am afraid.


Moyers spent the better part of an hour stating the obvious criticism in his typical lib-didactic style, but missing the solution. Here it is in three words: privatize the courts. A second best solution is to end judicial elections in the 39 states that have them. And while we're on the subject of politics, there should be a rule prohibiting lawyers from being legislators. Allowing lawyers to legislate is a huge institutional conflict of interest, and brings tons of rent seeking in its wake. Of course, as Spooner pointed out, legislation is an absurdity, a usurpation, and a crime, but that's another matter.
"So where will public faith in the courts lie now? Not very high, I am afraid. "

Afraid? This is all to the good. The state is criminal and is able to get away with its systematic crime precisely because the public has the fallacious view that the state and its constituent organs are legitimate. There is, indeed, no reason to have "faith" much less rational confidence in the legitimacy of the state's courts; they are nothing but fake courts of a criminal agency, merely posing as courts of justice. They give lip service to it to go along with the charade. The public should not have faith in courts since they are not real courts of justice.

And real courts of justice would be that, then? Privately owned and operated? Some "justice" if, as would presumably be the case, anyone with enough money could just buy their way out of trouble. Not to mention it would give a whole new meaning to the phrase "jurisdiction shopping".

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