Dark money windfall | Nation

Dark money windfall |  Nation

Imagine how Lois Lane would feel if she found out that a wealthy maker had given Lex Luthor $1.6 billion to start Kryptonite mining. Her comic book howl is the only thing I can think of that might approximate my reaction to the news that electronics mogul Barre Seid has given conservative King Leonard Leo $1.6 billion, tax-free, for his new “non-profit” venture, the Marble Freedom Trust. America’s most effective villain just got a real fortune to play with.

Liu is the longtime Federalist Community Leader. As such, he is as responsible as any individual can be for conservative control of the judiciary. He has nurtured the careers of countless conservative judges and helped develop theories of law that confer rights to gun owners over the half of the population with a uterus. He was instrumental in lobbying Republican politicians to support his judicial candidates. Importantly, Liu was able to elicit support from various Republican electoral groups, such as the Gun Lobby and the Religious Right, to functionally compromise the judicial nominations process for him and his organization. Judge Samuel Alito may have been murdered Raw vs. WadeBut it was Leo who made the murder weapon and put it in his hand.

Assad and the Federal Assembly accomplished all this with a relatively small budget. The association’s 2020 tax filing lists revenue of just $20 million. Additionally, Leo is the center of a network of conservative nonprofits that raised millions in “dark” donations — more than $250 million between 2014 and 2017 alone — to help reshape the justice system, according to the Washington Post.

This may sound like a lot, but the sad truth is that buying the Supreme Court, as Liu and the Federal Assembly so effectively did, is very cheap. To put the money spent on the judiciary in context, the two leading candidates in the 2020 presidential election raised $1.8 billion, and an estimated $14 billion was spent on the election as a whole. The 2022 midterm is expected to bring in an advertising tab of $9 billion. Obviously winning the White House and the Senate are important steps on the path to political dominance, but winning the judiciary offers something more: Once a group like the Federal Society influences the selection of a single Supreme Court justice, that justice serves for life and doesn’t have to run every two years. or four or six years; They are then ideally positioned to form the laws that determine who has rights, who is entitled to vote, and who will win an election. In this way, Liu was able to alter the balance of power in this country at a fraction of the cost of influencing the popular vote.

Given what Leo managed to make with a quarter of a billion dollars, the prospect of what he would do with 1.6 billion dollars is pretty terrifying. Although we do not know exactly how he intends to use the funds, the stated mission of the Marble Freedom Trust – described in tax returns as “to preserve and expand human liberty in keeping with the values ​​and ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States” – It’s ominous when you think about who the framers of the Declaration and the Constitution deemed qualified for “human freedom,” and who did not.

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