But in the broadest possible perspective as a landmark for the judicial wing of the ascendent conservative movement, it [the McCutcheon v. FEC decision] represents another step towards what might be called the “constitutionalization of privilege”—another piece of public life taken out of the give-and-take of democratic politics and enshrined behind the golden wall of an expanded notion of constitutional rights. It’s not just happening in the specialized area of campaign finance regulations. As Haley Sweetland Edwards observed in her important Washington Monthly article earlier this year on “The Corporate Free Speech Racket,” the same jurisprudence underlying such SCOTUS decisions as Citizens United and now McCutcheon is being deployed to take away government’s powers to regulate corporations generally.At both the federal and state levels, conservatives are increasingly attempting to take vast swathes of policy-making out of the hands of lawmakers (and the citizens who elect them) by declaring them constitutionally off-limits. Yet more evidence that conservatives know they cannot enact their ideology through a legitimate legislative process (which depends on winning over a majority of voters), so they will simply enact it any way they can.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Power From the People
Ed Kilgore at The Washington Monthly had an interesting piece yesterday examining what he terms "the constitutionalization of privilege":