Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Clarence Thomas: The Tillman Act & How Campaign Finance Laws are Designed to Hurt Blacks

A big H/T goes to Maggie's Notebook for her post, and her finding this wonderful article and video.  She keeps her excellent blog updated often on various issues so I am asking you to please go and check out her blog.

Justice Clarence Thomas spoke to law students at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, FL. yesterday and gave the Court's Constitutional reasoning for the controversial striking down of some portions of the country's campaign finance laws. His explanation is dissimilar from any other you've heard, and guess what? It has to do with "race." He also paints a picture of what it is like to sit with the Supremes in a State of the Union address - a picture you and I do not see or hear. He wanted no part of it. See a video below.

If you need background on campaign finance laws and why it is in the news today, read this, which in short, has a former FEC chairman, Bradley Smith, defending the Supreme Court's ruling, saying unequivocally, the law after the ruling "continues to forbid election spending by foreign corporations. Smith also said the President's decision to reprimand the Court in the middle of a SOTU address was "pure demagoguery."

The remarks of Justice Thomas are always devisive, because he is a conservative Black man, and Lord knows, we can't have that. Just wait until you hear this, which boils down to Democrats trying to restrict the free speech of those favorable (Republicans) to our Black neighbors back to 1907. Source: New York Times:

He added that the history of Congressional regulation of corporate involvement in politics had a dark side, pointing to the Tillman Act, which banned corporate contributions to federal candidates in 1907.

“Go back and read why Tillman introduced that legislation,” Justice Thomas said, referring to Senator Benjamin Tillman. “Tillman was from South Carolina, and as I hear the story he was concerned that the corporations, Republican corporations, were favorable toward blacks and he felt that there was a need to regulate them.”

It is thus a mistake, the justice said, to applaud the regulation of corporate speech as “some sort of beatific action.”

Justice Thomas said the First Amendment’s protections applied regardless of how people chose to assemble to participate in the political process.

“If 10 of you got together and decided to speak, just as a group, you’d say you have First Amendment rights to speak and the First Amendment right of association,” he said. “If you all then formed a partnership to speak, you’d say we still have that First Amendment right to speak and of association.”

“But what if you put yourself in a corporate form?” Justice Thomas asked, suggesting that the answer must be the same.

Asked about his attitude toward the two decisions overruled in Citizens United, he said, “If it’s wrong, the ultimate precedent is the Constitution.”

In other words, Justice Clarence Thomas chooses to be a servant of Constitutional Law. God Bless this man, Amen.

It was odd to see the Supremes gathered at the SOTU and note the absence of Clarence Thomas. Here is his explanation:

I don’t go because it has become so partisan and it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there,” he said, adding that “there’s a lot that you don’t hear on TV — the catcalls, the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments.”

“One of the consequences,” he added in an apparent reference to last week’s address, “is now the court becomes part of the conversation, if you want to call it that, in the speeches. It’s just an example of why I don’t go.”


Opus #6 said...

Wow. That was educational for me. I like his moral courage in stating that if something is wrong based on what the Constitution SAYS, not what we want it to say, we must admit it.

And it makes sense to me that we are allowed to speak. We are allowed free association. And a corporation is a form of association.

Ron Russell said...

I like Justice Thomas and have been in his corner ever since that disgusting confirmation fight in the Senate years ago. This is a man who stands for constitutional values and principals and I have no problems with his recent votes on the court. We need more like him!

Maggie M. Thornton said...

Teresa, thank much for helping get the word out on this. There is so much that we do not about racism, and the general position is that Republicans are the racists.

I found some very interesting information on Tillman, and Clarence Thomas is firmly grounded in the comments he made.

Again, thank you!

Amusing Bunni said...

Good For Him! I respect him even more now, Teresa. Maggie does have a wonderful website, I'm glad you reposted this, I would have missed this....it's so hard to keep up with everything.

God Bless Justice Thomas. No wonder they all hate him and pick on him. A Honorable Man who upholds the Constiution.....something totally alien to these commies. I'm glad he didn't go to the speech either, I bet the rest of the supremes wish they stayed away too.

Snarky Basterd said...

Good post, Teresa. I love how Thomas drives the left nuts, or, for that matter, ANY black conservative drives them nuts. As if they expect him to step and fetch their beliefs ... and their bags.

Sorry about the blogroll thing with the new-old site. I'm trying to resolve that with Google. Will let you know.

Matt said...

Thanks so much for posting this Teresa. I may put the video up over the weekend. So, just as we have been saying, the Democrats are still as racist as ever, they just changed the rhetoric and techniques.