In 2010, in the Citizens United case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations had the same rights as humans. Therefore, the Court concluded that limiting their political contributions violated their First Amendment right to free speech.
This allowed Super PACs (Political Action Committees) to accept unlimited political contributions from corporations. In addition, Dark Money Groups, under IRS Code 501(c)(6), can accept unlimited contributions and are not required to disclose donors.
The average cost of a successful Senate race is over $10 million. Consequently, successful candidates must support the requirements of their biggest contributors in order to get elected.
In addition to funding elections, corporations and special interest groups have over 12,000 registered lobbyists. That is more than 22 lobbyists per member of congress.
Daniel Weiner of the Brennen Center wrote that the Citizens United decision “has helped reinforce the growing sense that our democracy primarily serves the interests of the wealthy few, and that democratic participation for the vast majority of citizens is of relatively little value.”
Global warming is probably the greatest issue facing civilization in this century. In the 2022 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) case, the Supreme Court removed the EPA’s authority to mandate carbon emissions. The court stated that these regulations should be set by the “people’s representatives.” In fact, the court has taken environmental regulations out of the hands scientists and regulators and put it in the hands of Congress, where the majority of members are attorneys, not scientists. Members of Congress are influenced by their corporate contributors who fund their elections and their influential lobbyists.
Because of the Citizens United decision, removing special interest funding from U.S. elections will be virtually impossible. Citizens United and the EPA decisions will likely go down as the worst Supreme Court decisions in American history since they have done the most damage to civilization.