Reading a recent commentary on the recent U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision (five right wingers vs.. four moderates) overturning any law forbidding corporations or unions from buying unlimited TV ads backing or opposing a particular political candidate, I have to agree that such an "activist" ruling - one called "devastating" by the president - is a sorry legacy of the Reagan-Bush years. I'm old enough to remember when conservatives cared about their country, as opposed to their corporate handlers.
Much has been written about how the ruling will let foreign corporations "buy" U.S. elections, but the issue is rather bigger even than that. In overturning 100 years of precedents, for no apparent reason except the foam of radical spleen, the five horses of the tea party have given top corporate executives the self-serving ability to spend untold amounts (of their shareholders' money) to further befuddle an already befuddled political process.
The court's simplistic understanding of the First Amendment undermines the basic purpose of free speech - the protection of democracy via facts and legitimate debate versus self-serving corporate big-lie propaganda. Corporations, by their very nature, are not "real people" under the First Amendment. Corporate officers lead highly organized, well-funded special-interest legal fictions that have no possible justification under the First Amendment to blow our rights away with a tsunami of money rightfully belonging to pensioners and mutual-fund holders like you and me.
Reagan and the Bush folks spent much hot air over the past few decades bemoaning an activist judiciary. Welcome to their legacy.