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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. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

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