Head-Scratchers from the Nine

The recent ruling on corporate political rights left some observers to cry the sky is falling. Some past decisions really did merit Chicken Little's exclamation.
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It's way too early to tell if it ranks up there among the worst decisions in Supreme Court history, but the Supremes' recent ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission sure has plenty of people upset. The decision basically said that corporations have the same free speech rights as individuals, which means they can spend as much money as they want to make a political point.

Detractors, among them President Obama, who called out the justices in his State of the Union address for reversing "a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests ... to spend without limits in our elections," believe the ruling will further corrupt an already dirty electoral system. Proponents claim it will do nothing of the kind, that corporate power isn't necessarily corrupting and that limiting the amount of money a corporation, or anyone, can spend to make a political point violates the spirit of the First Amendment.

Will corporate bucks subvert our democracy? Or will increased business spending on political campaigns have about as much influence as a Bud Light commercial during the Super Bowl telecast? The jury — pun intended — is still out. And in fact, when it comes to really, really bad Supreme Court decisions, this latest ruling has a long way to go to meet the standards of some cosmically awful competition.

Check out our "Cosmically Questionable Supreme Court Decisions" graphic below:

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