Thursday, February 18, 2010

Even 76% of Conservatives Oppose Supremes Giving Free Speech Rights to Corporations

Yahoo News reports that a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that roughly 80% of Americans believed the Supreme Court's conservative majority erred in extending individual free speech rights to corporations and labor unions who pay for political advertising.

Although the ruling has long been championed by conservative ideologues--most prominently, George Will--the poll found that even 76% of Republicans oppose it, joined by 81% of independents and 85% of Democrats. Evidently most Americans know judicial activism when they see it, and they decline to be bamboozled by conservative judicial activists masquerading as constitutional literalists.

Have we finally found an issue that both parties can agree on? Most of the Yahoo News article follows:

Much has been made of late about the hyper-partisan political environment in America...

But it appears that one issue does unite Americans across the political spectrum.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that the vast majority of Americans are vehemently opposed to a recent Supreme Court ruling that opens the door for corporations, labor unions, and other organizations to spend money directly from their general funds to influence campaigns.

As noted by the Post's Dan Eggen, the poll's findings show "remarkably strong agreement" across the board, with roughly 80% of Americans saying that they're against the Court's 5-4 decision. Even more remarkable may be that opposition by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents were all near the same 80% opposition range. Specifically, 85% of Democrats, 81% of Independents, and 76% of Republicans opposed it. In short, "everyone hates" the ruling...

The findings of the poll are a bit surprising considering the fact that the case split the Supreme Court, with the five conservative justices in favor and the four more liberal justices against it. The decision was almost universally hailed by Republicans in Washington, who saw it as a victory for the free speech provided for under the Constitution, while President Obama and prominent Democrats in Washington almost universally derided it as a dark day for American democracy.

However, Sen. John McCain, one of the original sponsors of the campaign finance law struck down by Court's decision and one of its few prominent Republican opponents, may have been prophetic when he predicted Americans would turn against the Court. McCain told CBS's "Face the Nation" that there would be a "backlash" once awareness grew about "the amounts of union and corporate money that's going to go into political campaigns."

Perhaps the new poll numbers show that McCain might have been onto something.

No comments: