“The politician is happy; the donors are happy. The only loser is the public.” - Justice Elena Kagan
"Republican-appointed justices struck down limits on candidates who lend large amounts of money to their own campaigns. FEC v. Cruz wasn’t just a loss for anti-corruption efforts, it was also a serious setback for common sense." - MSNBC
“Political contributions that will line a candidate’s own pockets, given after his election to office, pose a special danger of corruption. The candidate has a more-than-usual interest in obtaining the money (to replenish his personal finances), and is now in a position to give something in return. The donors well understand his situation, and are eager to take advantage of it. In short, everyone’s incentives are stacked to enhance the risk of dirty dealing.” - Kagan wrote in a dissent.
See how billionaires gain from this ruling and regular Americans lose as money gets more control over politics with this relationship map.
Political Bribery Approved relationship map
"The public is the loser"
Justice Elena Kagan noted the risk of corruption in a dissent, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Kagan laid out a potential scenario: “And as they paid him, so he will pay them. In the coming months and years, they receive government benefits ― maybe favorable legislation, maybe prized appointments, maybe lucrative contracts. The politician is happy; the donors are happy. The only loser is the public. It inevitably suffers from government corruption.” Kagan warned there could be major implications: “In striking down the law today, the Court greenlights all the sordid bargains Congress thought right to stop.” - HuffPost
Republicans rig the system
"Sen. Ted Cruz recognized the legal limit, but deliberately ignored it, lending his re-election campaign $260,000. The point, of course, was to trigger a legal challenge that the Texas Republican expected to win, thanks to conservative justices’ overt hostility toward campaign-finance restrictions. Those assumptions were correct: Each of the six Republican-appointed justices on the high court endorsed Cruz’s argument. The ruling was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, whose record on this issue is one of consistent opposition to reforms."
Cruz makes money from rich donors
"Allows Cruz to raise money from rich donors and political action committees to repay the more than half-million dollars he loaned to his two Senate campaigns. The case of Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate emerged in the final days of Cruz’s reelection campaign in 2018 against Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Cruz loaned his campaign $260,000, choosing this amount on purpose because it was $10,000 over the limit on post-election fundraising aimed at paying off personal loans. His intention in making the loan was to challenge this limit in court. And by winning he will not only get to recoup the $10,000 over the limit he loaned himself, but also another $545,000 he loaned his campaign in 2012 and hasn’t recouped. - HuffPost
What is a bribe?
"...money given in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust" - Mirriam Webster Dictionary
Elections have consequences
They decide who will sit on the courts and make the laws that impact we all have to live by. Who gets to vote? Can women get an abortion? Who can get a gun? How much influence over politics do billionaires get to have. Vote to make sure we get fair, non-partisan judges. Vote for politicians who intend to serve their constituents, not rig the system to make money.
TakeAway: Make it easier for people to see how Supreme Court decisions impact their lives - and the importance of voting.
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