icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
17 May, 2010 13:41

US Supreme Court too close to corporate America

The US Supreme Court is meant to provide liberty and justice for all, but some claim it no longer does. Critics say big business holds too much sway over the legal body.

The separation of powers is a clause in the US constitution intended for the three branches of government – the President, Congress and the court. It could be argued, however, that lately there is also someone else in charge. Recently, MoveOn.org expressed its concern in the Washington Post about the tight knit relationship between corporate America and the Supreme Court. It calls out the Supreme Court for being too close to companies like Aetna, British Petroleum and Goldman Sachs. The article says the Supreme Court was founded to protect the American people, not big businesses.

Radio host Thom Hartmann has been talking about the issue for a long time.

“Most Americans don’t realize that we’re getting screwed, and it’s the Supreme Court that’s doing it,” he said.

It is also an issue US President Obama is passionate about, even calling out the Supreme Court for their recent decision blocking the ban of political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

“Last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests, including foreign corporations, to spend without limit in our elections,” Obama said on January 27.

“We’ve had law in this country that says that if corporations give money to politicians, they go to jail and the politician goes to jail,” Hartmann told RT. “That’s established law and [Justices] Alito and Roberts overthrew that in Citizens United.”

Part of those concerned point out potential future cases to be heard by the high court. Already late last month the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving genetically engineering products, specifically a breed of pesticide-resistant alfalfa, being banned from the US farming industry; it is a ban that corporate giant Monsanto is against.

The case will be decided in June and those in favor of the ban are not optimistic due to the close links between the company and the court.

“Frankly it needs to be said that they do have a friend in the high court, and it’s chief Justice Thomas who’s a former Monsanto attorney,” said Bill Freeze from the Center for Food Safety.

As the lines between the state and private sector continue to blur, Hartman foresees a steady increase in power, which will offset the balance.

“If we continue down [this] road, we are going to end up with a country more like what Mussolini envisioned than what Jefferson envisioned,” concluded Thom Hartmann.