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Anniversary of Citizens United decision observed with protest rally

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To mark the third anniversary of the Citizens United decision, nonprofits and community groups held a rally at the federal courthouse in downtown Indianapolis Friday.

About 50 people, holding signs and American flags, listened to speeches decrying the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which removed limitations on corporation spending to support or defeat a candidate or issue.

A handful of speakers from labor, health care and environmental advocacy organizations denounced corporate influence on elected officials and public policy. They charged big business was spending money to manipulate public opinion and to support candidates sympathetic to the business agenda.

“Let’s get big money out of politics and take back the Statehouse,” Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition, said to the crowd.  

The rally, which lasted was about an hour, took place at the southeast corner of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. It was part of the national Occupy the Courts movement which will hold about 250 similar rallies across the country to protest the Citizens United decision.

Members of the Move To Amend – South Central Indiana group traveled from Bloomington to attend the event. James Allison of South Central said the purpose of the demonstration was to make the public aware of the issues surrounding the Supreme Court decision and to promote an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The national Move To Amend organization is pushing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United by stating corporations are not people and money is not speech.

During the speeches, the crowd attending the rally was mostly silent and few people walking by the courthouse stopped to listen. One passerby inquired what was happening. When one of the demonstrators told him the gathering was to protest Citizens United and unlimited corporate spending, the passerby muttered, “oooooooh,” and walked away.

Julia Vaugh, policy director of Common Cause Indiana, asked the crowd to lobby the Indianapolis City-County Council to adopt a resolution supporting Move To Amend’s constitutional amendment.

More and more people are paying attention, she said, because Citizens United impacts the issues people care about.
 

 

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  1. IF the Right to Vote is indeed a Right, then it is a RIGHT. That is the same for ALL eligible and properly registered voters. And this is, being able to cast one's vote - until the minute before the polls close in one's assigned precinct. NOT days before by absentee ballot, and NOT 9 miles from one's house (where it might be a burden to get to in time). I personally wait until the last minute to get in line. Because you never know what happens. THAT is my right, and that is Mr. Valenti's. If it is truly so horrible to let him on school grounds (exactly how many children are harmed by those required to register, on school grounds, on election day - seriously!), then move the polling place to a different location. For ALL voters in that precinct. Problem solved.

  2. "associates are becoming more mercenary. The path to partnership has become longer and more difficult so they are chasing short-term gains like high compensation." GOOD FOR THEM! HELL THERE OUGHT TO BE A UNION!

  3. Let's be honest. A glut of lawyers out there, because law schools have overproduced them. Law schools dont care, and big law loves it. So the firms can afford to underpay them. Typical capitalist situation. Wages have grown slowly for entry level lawyers the past 25 years it seems. Just like the rest of our economy. Might as well become a welder. Oh and the big money is mostly reserved for those who can log huge hours and will cut corners to get things handled. More capitalist joy. So the answer coming from the experts is to "capitalize" more competition from nonlawyers, and robots. ie "expert systems." One even hears talk of "offshoring" some legal work. thus undercutting the workers even more. And they wonder why people have been pulling for Bernie and Trump. Hello fools, it's not just the "working class" it's the overly educated suffering too.

  4. And with a whimpering hissy fit the charade came to an end ... http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2016/07/27/all-charges-dropped-against-all-remaining-officers-in-freddie-gray-case/ WHISTLEBLOWERS are needed more than ever in a time such as this ... when politics trump justice and emotions trump reason. Blue Lives Matter.

  5. "pedigree"? I never knew that in order to become a successful or, for that matter, a talented attorney, one needs to have come from good stock. What should raise eyebrows even more than the starting associates' pay at this firm (and ones like it) is the belief systems they subscribe to re who is and isn't "fit" to practice law with them. Incredible the arrogance that exists throughout the practice of law in this country, especially at firms like this one.

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