Strict Construction and the Dred Scott Decision

SCOTUS says this is propertyOn March 6, 1857 the United States Supreme Court delivered the decision commonly known as Dred Scott. This catastrophically wrong-headed decision was firmly rooted in strict construction. If you have any doubts about the capacity of strict construction to subvert the fundamental values and continuing evolutionary application of these values to American life, read the coverage below and think about how the right of women to vote, own property, hold office and countless other basic rights that no one would challenge wilt under the application of strict construction combined with ideological goals.

Today, in the USA, we live in the aftermath of another Dred Scott quality decision – Citizens United – a decision that marries a corporate, profit-driven ideology with application of strict construction application of first amendment rights – the right of free speech to come to a new Dred Scott moment: today, the Supreme Court believes that corporations are persons and can spend as much money as they like to influence elections and legislation in the US.SCOTUS says this is a  person

In an obscene mirror image of Dred Scott, a decision that looked at a black man and said, that is not a human being, that is property, the Roberts Court looked at a legal fiction, a corporate charter, and said, that is a person with inalienable rights that must be protected.

If you want to do something about Citizens United, jump to and sign up.

“I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816

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Decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case

The Ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise Declared Unconstitutional
Washington, Friday, March 6 – The opinion of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott Case was delivered by Chief Justice Taney. It was a full and elaborate statement of the views of the Court. They have decided the following important points:

First – Negroes, whether slaves or free, that is, men of the African race, are not citizens of the United States by the Constitution.

Second – The Ordinance of 1787 had no independent constitutional force or legal effect subsequently to the adoption of the Constitution, and could not operate of itself to confer freedom or citizenship within the Northwest Territory on negroes not citizens by the Constitution.

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How is this not considered simple bribery? Illegal kickbacks?

The US has the best government that money can buy. Read all about it:

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In e-mails, lobbyists perceive ties between campaign cash, earmarks

Lobbyists and corporate officials talked bluntly in e-mail exchanges about connections between making generous campaign donations and securing federal funds through members of an important House Appropriations subcommittee, according to not-yet-public documents reviewed by ethics investigators.

In summer 2007, for example, senior executives at a small McLean defense firm tried to figure out which of them would buy a ticket to a wine-tasting fundraiser for Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a member of the Appropriations subcommittee on defense. At the time, the company sought help from Moran’s office in securing contracts through special earmarks added to the defense bill.In an e-mail exchange, one senior officer said he didn’t understand why he had to attend the fundraiser when he didn’t even drink wine.

“You don’t have to drink,” Innovative Concepts’ chief technology officer, Andrew Feldstein, shot back in an e-mail. “You just have to pay.”

“LOL,” responded the other officer.

The fundraiser was hosted by the PMA Group, a powerful lobbying firm whose unusual success in obtaining “earmarked” contracts from members of the military subcommittee was a key focus of a recent House ethics investigation.

Moran raked in $91,900 in campaign checks to his personal campaign and leadership PAC that day. He secured an $800,000 earmark for Innovative Concepts in the 2008 defense appropriations bill.

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