U.S. Supreme Court Majority Rule on Citizens United v. FEC


"The past is not dead and gone; it isn't even past." -- William Faulkner

We have Bancroft Davis, Supreme Court Reporter, attorney, and former president of Newburgh and New York Railway, to thank for corporations incarnating as human beings.

In his role as Court Reporter for the U.S. Supreme Court in 1886, Bancroft Davis (as he was commonly known) took it upon himself to include the following in his headnote (reporter's short summary of the court's opinion), on the ruling in matter of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad: "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does." (See footnotes). After the Civil War ended the 13th Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery was passed in December 1865. The 14 amendment (ensuring that all former slaves were granted automatic U.S. citizenship, and be accorded all the rights and privileges granted under the law) passed 7 months later on July 13, 1866 -- or 33 days after U.S. corporations had already been granted those full rights and privileges in the Santa Clara case.

John Chandler Bancroft Davis

Dec 29, 1822, Worcester, Massachusetts, 42N13, 71W48 (no time known). Date and location of birth verified through the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. Wikipedia incorrectly states Davis was born on December 22nd.

Davis's chart, and the others we’ll examine, is heavily weighted with particular planetary setups that have come back around to haunt the beleaguered American landscape:

1. The Declaration of Independence (Sibley chart) and court rulings charts are heavily challenged in the cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) modality;

2. Longer term transits form a number of cardinal planet oppositions and t-squares natal charts under consideration; and

3. When comparing the charts the same cardinal oppositions and squares that ushered in significant social and political changes and periods of upheaval are repeating themselves today.

Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776, 5:10 PM, Philadelphia, PA, 39N57, 75W09, Asc: 12 Sagittarius

In fact, the charts show planet forces dinging like cosmic pinball machine. Points are racking up, but it doesn't appear that the American people are winning at Tommy's favorite game. [Sure plays a mean pinball . . .]

Davis's chart shows:

Seven planets in cardinal signs, 6 of which are in Capricorn. His Cancer Moon (depending on what time he was born) opposes one or more of his Capricorn planets. This is a full moon birth and Luna could possibly be conjoined to any number of the USA's Cancer planets (Venus, Jupiter, Sun, and Mercury) and very likely is in opposition to the USA's Mercury at 26 Cancer. If so, Davis's Moon opposes the USA's Wall Street capitalist/power grasping Pluto at 27 Capricorn.

Davis's Mars in exaltation at 26 Capricorn is conjunct the USA's Pluto making him an aggressive corporate advocate. He made sure his case notes were the first writings seen in the legal journal that served as a reference guide to lawyers practicing in the states.

The covert power alignment of Davis's natal Mars in conjunction to the USA’s Pluto conjunction resulted his sole power play by pen that turned one rather insignificant land tax case into a corporate doctrine of manifest destiny.

His Jupiter at 27 Taurus trines his power broker Capricorn Mars and the USA's Pluto as well. Jupiter expands and amplifies all he touches. His Jupiter in trine to his Mars atop the USA's Pluto is gasoline on a fire. Davis would be unable to restrain himself from spinning the court's ruling into a vehicle for the kind of corporate free for all he imagined. His Saturn at 3 Taurus (in mutual reception with his Venus) trines his Capricorn stellium making it easier still for him to "earth" whatever goals he set for himself -- including the construction of an entire nation -- his way.

Davis is rather a one trick pony. He has no fire or air in his chart. His spiritual inspiration or intuition is drawn from earthly Mercury on the fixed star Facies (to make; to fashion) conjoined to his Sun, Neptune, Uranus, Venus conjunction in administrative Capricorn. His vision is translated into to a greedy exuberance grounded by the drive to protect material manifestation. Legal mechanisms (Davis was a learned attorney) should be put in place to protect corporations as-if they were vulnerable, viable human beings.

Davis as Supreme Court reporter set the stage for the Roberts court's 2010 passage of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It is the ultimate in predatory capitalistic law because there is no mistake and no pretense as to 5-justice majority's intent:

People form corporations and therefore there should be no bar to their rights as equals to human citizens of the land. That means a corporation is entitled to full First Amendment rights of free speech and to the 14 Amendment (equal protection under the law and full rights of citizenship under Unites States law).

Corporate freedom, however, will be exercised as a carte blanche to throw billions dollars into television and print ads and into political candidates' coffers so that Senators and representatives can further devolve into what they've already become: corporate personal servants. Corporations are now free to purchase at least two branches of government: the Executive and Legislative branches.

The Judicial Branch, headed by Chief Justice Roberts, has no worries. The 5 right wing activist judges (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy) are (like their 4 dissenting colleagues) appointed for life. If corporations buy the president they want then they can be assured over the long haul that Supreme Court appointees will be the bench activists they want. Nothing at this juncture stops the multi-national arm of U.S. corporations from adding their billions into the campaign mix. Jokes are flying, but they are grim indeed: shall we welcome our Saudi Arabian Senator to luncheon today?

More on Davis

Davis's natal Jupiter is conjoined to the fixed star Alcyone, which was at 27 Taurus at the time of his birth in 1822. Fixed Stars move about 1 degree every 72 years.

In 2010, Alcyone is situated at 29 Tropical Taurus to 0 degrees of Gemini. Alcyone is associated with deep grief. It's the star astrologers recognize as the one that gives you something to cry about. The tears could come as a result of one's own badly thought out actions in life, or as in Davis's case, his 1866 agitations with his pen on court case notes saddled Americans with the legal means to plunder the poor in order to perpetually aggrandize the rich.

Davis's chart sports a Venus-Saturn mutual reception. Venus in Capricorn. Saturn in Taurus. Recently we experienced a Venus-Saturn mutual reception only this time Venus in Capricorn "received" Saturn in Libra, and vice-versa. Davis's Mercury (as I mentioned above) is in Tropical Capricorn and conjoined to the fixed star Facies:

"The Latin name is from the verb Facere, to make or do something, and it is often said to portend accidents due to the victim's own careless actions. . . . [Anne Wright's Fixed Stars]

In Law: " Prima facie is a Latin expression meaning on its first appearance . . . at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face", . . . It is used in modern legal English to signify that on first examination, a matter appears to be self-evident from the facts. . . . "

It would appear -- on its face -- that Davis's Mercury in Capricorn conceives then believes (conjunct Neptune) in legalized structures that buttress expansion of capitalistic gain for the predatory few at the expense of the vulnerable majority.

Two more gifts from Davis's chart

1. His South Node is very close to a conjunction with the USA's Leo North Node in the chart’s 8th house of corporate venture capital.

2. His Pluto at 28 Pisces conjoins the Ascendant of the January 21, 2010 Supreme Court ruling, Citizens v. FEC.

3. 28-29 Pisces is conjunct the fixed star Scheat. In it's negative manifestations Scheat is associated with drowning, poisons, poisoning and toxic liquids. In the legal cases under our scrutiny today, Scheat seems to signify legalities drawn from a poisoned well.

Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad 118 U.S. 394 (1886)

May 10, 1886, Washington, DC. 38N53, 77W02 (no time known)

This chart is usually considered to be the birth chart of the modern corporation. That is, the corporation as an entity with all the rights extended under the First and 14th Amendments of the United States. The Santa Clara chart also delivers cardinality to us via t-square and oppositions.

The modern chart's aggressive Venus at 4 degrees Aries is in exact opposition to destabilizing Uranus in Libra. The opposition is a confrontation between fairness (Venus) and radical realignment (Uranus) in connection with values (Venus). Venus in opposition to her sign of rulership brings her into detriment.

The radical overthrow of fairness (Libran justice) brought profound consequences for regular Americans. Courtrooms undermines the social contract. We do better in cooperation with each other than we do as atomized beings scrambling for the little left after the victor hoards the spoils.

The Santa Clara ruling was a part of a zeitgiest lasting several decades in American history designated as the "manifest destiny" phase. As America expanded from sea to shining sea her rapaciousness drove her to decimate Native American populations. Illness was delivered on small pox infected blankets to eradicate "the pests," and treaties were broken at will.

Prior to 1865, the slave trade flourished. Pirates rode the high seas grabbing rum and sugar from Cuba and helped themselves to slaves that were awaiting shipment to American selling blocks. These are but two of examples of genocides practiced in the early decades of America's founding that the nation is still atoning for today.

Santa Clara's Cardinal Planets

1. The Santa Clara Venus-Uranus opposition t-squares into its Saturn at 5 Cancer. Thus, we have all the planets needed to reveal this second example of a cardinal grand square set up to the USA's chart. America's Cancerian Venus, Jupiter and Sun are the stand-ins needed to complete the four corners of the square.

2. The Santa Clara Saturn on the USA's Jupiter is akin to the energy burst we receive at each of the 20 year cyclical conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn. The last of these conjunctions took place in Taurus in 2000. (See my article on this pairing on my website at Jupiter-Saturn).

3. Jupiter and Saturn are the two astrological "chronocraters" or timers. The nature of both combined is aligned with manifestation on the socio-economic level of national life. Saturn is form. Jupiter is expansion. The two in concert initiate the templates for social and economic patterns every 20 years. The USA is highly sensitive to this 20 year cycle. The conjunction of 1860 initiated the new energy template that resulted in the conditions needed to allow for the Santa Clara Supreme Court ruling.

The Tillman Act -- An Attempt at Remedy

Tillman Act, January 26, 1907, 12:00 pm, Washington, DC. 38N53, 77W02 (no time known)

By the time we reach the 1900's progressive factions in U.S. politics began advocating for labor laws, child labor laws, the 40 hour work week, women's suffrage (not granted until 1920; Uranus at 0 Pisces) and for a revision in the laws (including Santa Clara ruling) granting corporations the right to pump millions into political campaigns.

One such attempt at reining in corporate purchase of elections was enacted through the Tillman Act of 1907 which was signed into law by Teddy Roosevelt.

"The 1907 Tillman Act (2 U.S. Code section 441b) makes it "unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation…to make a contribution or expenditure in connection" with a federal election. The term "contribution or expenditure" is defined broadly, to include "any thing of value." The Tillman Act has never been interpreted to apply to propaganda from the media. So if the FEC were to interpret McCain-Feingold to apply to television dramas, the FEC would have to justify many decades of interpreting the Tillman Act another way." Kopel

An interesting side note: Court Reporter/Attorney Bancroft Davis died December 27, 1907, 11 months and one day after the Tillman Act of 1907 was signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt.

The Tillman chart's Uranus is at 10 Capricorn, opposite it's own Neptune and the USA's Sun. It's Uranus-Neptune opposition is close enough in orb to square the USA's exalted Saturn (14 Libra) and wounded-by-wars Chiron in Aries. The Tillman chart's Jupiter and Neptune in Cancer join Venus and Jupiter's natal placements in the USA's chart reiterating some of the soul of the founding fathers' and mothers' (!) original intent.

The Tillman's chart Pluto at 22 Gemini is conjoined to the USA's natal Mars and squares the USA's Neptune in Virgo. Venus at 19 Sagittarius fills in a mutable grand square by chart comparison. The Tillman Act was an ugly battle between the forces of reform and the forces of status quo antes. There is plenty of cardinality to initiate the change, but the mutablity in cross-chart comparison shows that campaign finance reform wouldn't last long and go through many different shapes and forms over the next century.

Pluto and Venus equates to a life and death struggle between human values and the higher laws that protect them versus the logical argument of allowing unbridled power to roam freely (Pluto in airy Gemini) in pursuit of personal wealth at any cost.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

January 21, 2010, 10:01 AM, Washington, DC, 38N53, 77W02, Asc: 28 Pisces

The Ascendant is 28 Pisces. It's here that we meet Bancroft Davis and the fixed star Scheat again. Davis's natal Pluto conjoins the Citizens United's rising. Blinded-by-belief Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces, is in mutual reception with radical revisionist Uranus. Jupiter, the planet associated with jurisprudence and the philosophy of law, is at 0 Pisces. He's back home for another year's stay.

We have cardinal lunar nodes North at 21 Capricorn, South at 21 Cancer, delivering the shock of two eclipses (Lunar at 10 Capricorn/Cancer on December 31, 2009 and Solar at 25 Capricorn on January 15, 2010).

We meet Bancroft Davis's Mercury again in this chart, too. The little messenger in 2010 transit is at 7 Capricorn. It is past the exact conjunction to Davis's, but translates its ideation by conjoining Davis's radical reforming Sun-Uranus conjunction.

Citizens United's Mercury at 7 Capricorn conjoins Facies (to make or fashion) just as Davis's did in 1822. So what he lived to fashion in his era is now reshaped or remade in 2010. The reiteration of an original personhood argument not really addressed by Chief Justice Waite in 1866 (see footnotes), gains complete legitimacy according to the Supreme Court majority's 2010 logic. A corporation's First Amendment (and 14th Amendment) rights should be clear "on its face."

The cardinal T-square in the citizen's chart is comprised of Moon at 10 Aries (close to a conjunction with Santa Clara case's Venus!) opposite heavy-handed Saturn in challenging square to 1907 Tillman Act's natal Uranus and Neptune (10 Capricorn and 10 Cancer, respectively).

Citizen's Saturn at 4 Libra (a restructuring of a ruling or a relationship) retrograde is in square to it's power of speech Pluto-Mercury conjunction. Thus, we have the t-square crossover that turns the USA's natal chart into a grand square.

Transiting Jupiter, now in Pisces, will rush through the sign and enter Aries on June 6, 2010. He'll meet up with iconoclastic Uranus at 0 degrees Aries giving us a first taste of our era's cardinal grand square. This signature planetary force will affect the nation for decades to come.

By retrograde cycling, both Jupiter and Uranus will move back into the late degrees of Pisces. Both planets will cross over the 28 degree mark that is Davis's Pluto and the the Ascendant of the Citizens United chart on the fixed star of toxic waters, Scheat.

Between now and November 2, 2010, Midterm Election night, it will be incumbent upon us to pay close attention to is throwing cash at the porous boundaries between corporations, church and state.

We need to do our own due diligence and find out what corporation is behind what candidate. We need to know what kind of snake oil corporate billionaires are trying to sell us.

To those who remain conscious, more will be revealed.

Starcats, January 27, 2010


1. Before official publication in "United States Reports", Davis wrote to Chief Justice Morrison Waite (May 26, 1886), to make ensure the accuracy of his headnote:

"Dear Chief Justice, I have a memorandum in the California Cases Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific as follows. . . . "the Court stated that it did not wish to hear argument on the question whether the Fourteenth Amendment applies to such corporations as are parties in these suits. All the Judges were of the opinion that it does."

Chief Justice Waite replied:

"I think your mem. in the California Railroad Tax cases expresses with sufficient accuracy what was said before the argument began. I leave it with you to determine whether anything need be said about it in the report inasmuch as we avoided meeting the constitutional question in the decision."

To Explore:

Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution,
George Washington's Inauguration USA Charts

Planet Motions for 2010

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