U.S. Supreme Court says the First Amendment protects privacy

Voting rights

Just so I’m getting this straight:

According to the U.S. Supreme Court, banning contributions of snacks and waters to voters (often of color) waiting in long lines at polling places (that are often harder to locate and that often have disproportionately fewer voting machines[1]) is just fine,[2] but to require contributions of vast sums of money to political action committees be de-anonymized has an unconstitutional “chilling effect” because the First Amendment mysteriously protects “privacy.”[3]

From “dark money” and corporate personhood[4] to voter identification and registration requirements[5] to a citizenship question on the census[6] to gerrymandering[7] to the filibuster,[8] against the background of the electoral college and the composition of the U.S. Senate,[9] it has to be getting harder not to notice a white wealthy male supremacist pattern in what is ever less deniably a constitutional oligarchy[10] and which exploits the fears and bigotries of those authoritarian populists whom Thomas Frank called “Cons,” who became the Tea Party movement,[11] and who became indistinguishable from social conservatives and paleoconservatives under Donald Trump.[12]

Discrimination, according the Court, is just fine as long as it is not overt,[13] opening the door further to systemic discrimination.[14] Apparently equal protection[15] need not apply.

Amanda Marcotte, “Kyrsten Sinema’s run out of excuses: Supreme Court leaves Senate Democrats with little choice,” Salon, July 2, 2021, https://www.salon.com/2021/07/02/kyrsten-sinemas-run-out-of-excuses-supreme-court-leaves-senate-democrats-with-little-choice/

Josh Gerstein and Zach Montellaro, “Supreme Court nixes California disclosure law in blow to dark-money opponents,” Politico, July 1, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/01/supreme-court-california-disclosure-law-donors-497554


Worst presidents

David Charter, “Donald Trump is only fourth worst president, say US historians,” Times, July 2, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trump-is-only-fourth-worst-president-say-us-historians-in-survey-sszzftqct


Pandemic

Maggie Fox, “Unvaccinated people are ‘variant factories,’ infectious diseases expert says,” CNN, July 3, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/03/health/unvaccinated-variant-factories/index.html


  1. [1]Sarina Vij, “Why Minority Voters Have a Lower Voter Turnout: An Analysis of Current Restrictions,” American Bar Association, June 26, 2020, https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/voting-in-2020/why-minority-voters-have-a-lower-voter-turnout/
  2. [2]Marjorie Cohn, “Supreme Court Drives a Stake Through the Heart of the Voting Rights Act,” Truthout, July 2, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/supreme-court-drives-a-stake-through-the-heart-of-the-voting-rights-act/
  3. [3]Josh Gerstein and Zach Montellaro, “Supreme Court nixes California disclosure law in blow to dark-money opponents,” Politico, July 1, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/01/supreme-court-california-disclosure-law-donors-497554
  4. [4]Matt Bai, “How Much Has Citizens United Changed the Political Game?” New York Times, July 17, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/magazine/how-much-has-citizens-united-changed-the-political-game.html; Carey L. Biron, “Chevron Rejects Shareholder Demands to Explain Record Political Spending,” InterPress Service, May 29, 2013, http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/05/chevron-rejects-shareholder-demands-to-explain-record-political-spending/; Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010); Marjorie Cohn, “Supreme Court Drives a Stake Through the Heart of the Voting Rights Act,” Truthout, July 2, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/supreme-court-drives-a-stake-through-the-heart-of-the-voting-rights-act/; Gail Collins, “Surprise! The Rich Won One,” New York Times, April 2, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/03/opinion/surprise-the-rich-won-one.html; Democracy Now! “Citizens United Backlash Grows from Cali. to NYC Urging Congress to Overturn Corporate Personhood,” January 5, 2012, http://www.democracynow.org/2012/1/5/citizens_united_backlash_grows_from_cali; Democracy Now! “Occupy New Hampshire Protester Takes Romney to Task for Declaring ‘Corporations Are People’,” January 5, 2012, http://www.democracynow.org/2012/1/5/occupy_new_hampshire_protester_takes_romney; Stephen Dinan, “Justice says Supreme Court should revisit campaign finance,” Washington Times, February 17, 2012, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/17/justice-says-supreme-court-should-revisit-campaign/; Ben Geman, “Report: Ginsburg sees ‘sharp disagreements’ as court rulings near,” Hill, June 16, 2012, http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/legal-challenges/233045-justice-ginsburg-warns-of-sharp-disagreements-on-high-court-as-landmark-rulings-loom; Matt Gouras, “Appeals court reinstates campaign finance limits,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 10, 2012, https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/oct/10/appeals-court-reinstates-campaign-finance-limits/; Lawrence Lessig, “The (Almost) Brilliance of Representative Dingell and His Friends,” Atlantic, August 4, 2012, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/08/the-almost-brilliance-of-representative-dingell-and-his-friends/260714/; Adam Liptak, “Court Declines to Revisit Its Citizens United Decision,” New York Times, June 25, 2012, https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/us/supreme-court-declines-to-revisit-citizens-united.html; Adam Liptak, “Supreme Court Strikes Down Overall Political Donation Cap,” New York Times, April 2, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/03/us/politics/supreme-court-ruling-on-campaign-contributions.html; Melanie Mason, “California Supreme Court blocks Citizens United measure from ballot,” Los Angeles Times, August 11, 2014, http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-supreme-court-citizens-united-20140811-story.html; New York Times, “The Cacophony of Money,” October 7, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/opinion/the-cacophony-of-money.html; Eliza Newlin Carney, “Court’s Conservatives Maintain Skepticism of Campaign Money Limits,” Congressional Quarterly Roll Call, October 8, 2013, https://www.rollcall.com/2013/10/08/courts-conservatives-maintain-skepticism-of-campaign-money-limits/; Alex Park, “10 Supreme Court Rulings—Before Hobby Lobby—That Turned Corporations Into People,” Mother Jones, July 10, 2014, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/how-supreme-court-turned-corporations-people-200-year-saga; Eduardo Porter, “Business Losing Clout in a G.O.P. Moving Right,” New York Times, September 4, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/04/business/economy/business-losing-clout-in-a-gop-moving-right.html; David G. Savage, “Supreme Court rebuffs Montana on corporate election spending,” Los Angeles Times, February 17, 2012, https://www.latimes.com/world/la-xpm-2012-feb-17-la-na-court-montana-20120218-story.html; David Schultz, “A Federal Court Just Threatened Citizens United,” Talking Points Memo, July 8, 2015, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/federal-court-citizens-united; Alex Seitz-Wald, “Report: SCOTUS naive on super PACs,” Salon, March 5, 2013, http://www.salon.com/2013/03/05/report_scotus_naive_on_super_pacs/; James Trimarco, “Delaware Is 15th State to Seek Overrule of Citizens United,” Yes!, June 11, 2013, http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/states-push-back-on-citizens-united
  5. [5]Ethan Bronner, “Voter ID Rules Fail Court Tests Across Country,” New York Times, October 2, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/us/pennsylvania-judge-delays-implementation-of-voter-id-law.html; Lauren Feeney, “Bill Moyers: Election Expert Richard Hasen on Voter Fraud and Disenfranchisement,” Truthout, September 28, 2012, http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11838-election-expert-richard-hasen-on-voter-fraud-and-disenfranchisement; James Hohmann, “Gov. Scott Walker defends voter ID law in first debate,” Politico, October 11, 2014, http://www.politico.com/story/2014/10/scott-walker-wisconsin-voter-id-law-111804.html; Eric Lipton and Ian Urbina, “In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud,” New York Times, April 12, 2007, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/washington/12fraud.html; Andrew Prokop, “Hillary Clinton: Let’s make voter registration automatic,” Vox, June 4, 2015, http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2015/6/4/8731965/hillary-clinton-automatic-voter-registration; Daniel Strauss, “Scott Walker On Voter ID: ‘Doesn’t Matter If There’s One, 100, or 1,000’,” Talking Points Memo, October 11, 2014, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/scott-walker-voter-id-law-debate; Josh Voorhees, “SCOTUS Strikes Down Arizona’s Voter Registration Law,” Slate, June 17, 2013, http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/06/17/scotus_arizona_voter_id_law_arizona_v_the_inter_tribal_council_of_arizona.html
  6. [6]Avery Anapol, “Judge orders Trump admin to explain how it decided to add citizenship question to census,” Hill, July 3, 2018, http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/395400-federal-judge-says-trump-admin-acted-in-bad-faith-with-citizenship; Tara Bahrampour and Robert Barnes, “Despite Trump administration denials, new evidence suggests census citizenship question was crafted to benefit white Republicans,” Washington Post, May 30, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/despite-trump-administration-denials-new-evidence-suggests-census-citizenship-question-was-crafted-to-benefit-white-republicans/2019/05/30/ca188dea-82eb-11e9-933d-7501070ee669_story.html; Robert Barnes, “On Census citizenship question, Supreme Court’s conservatives appear to be united,” Boston Globe, April 23, 2019, https://www2.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2019/04/23/census-citizenship-question-supreme-court-conservatives-appear-united/tB1KUI3oACQAIAjQxVyXRL/story.html; Gillian Brockell, “No, the census has never been delayed. Even when it was really hard to conduct,” Washington Post, June 27, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/06/27/no-census-has-never-been-delayed-even-when-it-was-really-hard-do/; Mike DeBonis, “Stepping up Trump clash, House votes to enforce Barr and McGahn subpoenas,” Washington Post, June 11, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/stepping-up-trump-clash-house-to-vote-to-enforce-barr-and-mcgahn-subpoenas/2019/06/11/a1343cea-8c4f-11e9-b6f4-033356502dce_story.html; Garrett Epps, “Is the Citizenship Question Dead?” Atlantic, June 27, 2019, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/court-wants-real-reason-citizenship-question/592864/; Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung, “Trump fumes as Supreme Court blocks census citizenship question,” Reuters, June 27, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-census/trump-fumes-as-supreme-court-blocks-census-citizenship-question-idUSKCN1TS1BL; Eugene Volokh, “Is the Government Required to Count the Number of Citizens in Each State?” Reason, April 25, 2019, https://reason.com/2019/04/25/is-the-government-required-to-count-the-number-of-citizens-in-each-state/; Hansi Lo Wang, “Trump Administration’s Census Citizenship Question Plans Halted By 3rd Judge,” National Public Radio, April 5, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/04/05/700982993/trump-administrations-census-citizenship-question-plans-halted-by-third-judge; Michael Wines, “Reopened Legal Challenge to Census Citizenship Question Throws Case Into Chaos,” New York Times, June 25, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/25/us/census-citizenship-question.html; Matt Zapotosky and John Wagner, “Trump asserts executive privilege to shield documents on census citizenship question,” Washington Post, June 12, 2019, copy in possession of author
  7. [7]David G. Savage and Mark Z. Barabak, “Supreme Court’s approval of partisan gerrymandering raises 2020 election stakes,” Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-supreme-court-partisan-gerrymandering-republicans-20190627-story.html
  8. [8]Sarah Binder, “Mitch McConnell is wrong. Here’s the filibuster’s ‘racial history,’” Washington Post, March 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/03/24/mitch-mcconnell-is-wrong-heres-filibusters-racial-history/; Osita Nwanevu, “Republicans Know They’re Losing the Filibuster Fight,” New Republic, March 19, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/161765/republicans-losing-filibuster-fight-mcconnell
  9. [9]Meagan Flynn and Fenit Nirappil, “Democratic control of Senate — and Capitol breach — put D.C. statehood front and center,” Washington Post, January 7, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-statehood-bowser/2021/01/07/91eeacae-511d-11eb-83e3-322644d82356_story.html; Michael Lind, “The ZIP Codes That Rule America,” Tablet, December 16, 2020, https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/the-zip-codes-that-rule-america
  10. [10]David Benfell, “A constitutional oligarchy: Deconstructing Federalist No. 10,” Not Housebroken, May 10, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/22/a-constitutional-oligarchy-deconstructing-federalist-no-10/
  11. [11]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126); David Benfell, “Barack Obama asks, ‘Why is it that the folks that won the last election are so mad all the time?,’” Not Housebroken, November 4, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/11/04/barack-obama-asks-why-is-it-that-the-folks-that-won-the-last-election-are-so-mad-all-the-time/; Thomas Frank, What’s the Matter with Kansas? (New York: Henry Holt, 2005).
  12. [12]David Benfell, “The seven tendencies of conservatism,” Irregular Bullshit, n.d., https://disunitedstates.com/the-seven-tendencies-of-conservatism/
  13. [13]Marjorie Cohn, “Supreme Court Drives a Stake Through the Heart of the Voting Rights Act,” Truthout, July 2, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/supreme-court-drives-a-stake-through-the-heart-of-the-voting-rights-act/
  14. [14]Alexander Bolton, “International monitors at US polling places draw criticism,” Hill, October 20, 2012, http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/263141-international-monitors-at-polling-places-draw-criticism-from-voter-fraud-group; Sarina Vij, “Why Minority Voters Have a Lower Voter Turnout: An Analysis of Current Restrictions,” American Bar Association, June 26, 2020, https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/voting-in-2020/why-minority-voters-have-a-lower-voter-turnout/
  15. [15]U.S. Const., Amend. XIV, § 1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.