The Pronk Pops Show 810, December 8, 2016, Story 1: Astronaut and Senator John Glenn Dies At 95 — The Right Stuff — Godspeed, John Glenn — Videos

Posted on December 8, 2016. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Defense Spending, Education, Government Spending, History, Human, Investments, John Glenn, Life, Media, News, Nuclear Weapons, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Senate, Space, Space Flights, Transportation, U.S. Space Program, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 810: December 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 809: December 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 808: December 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 807: December 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 806: December 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 804: November 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 803: November 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 802: November 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 801: November 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 798: November 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 797: November 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 796: November 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 795: November 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 794: November 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 793: November 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 792: November 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 791: November 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 790: November 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 789: November 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 788: November 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 787: October 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 786: October 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 785: October 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 784: October 26, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 783: October 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 782: October 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 781: October 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 780: October 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 779: October 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 778: October 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 777: October 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 776: October 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 775: October 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 774: October 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 773: October 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 772: October 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 771: October 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 767: September 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 766: September 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 765: September 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 764: September 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 763: September 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 762: September 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 761: September 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 760: September 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 759: September 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 758: September 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 757: September 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 756: September 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 755: September 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 754: September 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 753: September 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 752: September 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 751: September 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 750: September 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 749: September 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 748: September 1, 2016

Story 1: Astronaut and Senator John Glenn Dies At  95 — The Right Stuff — Godspeed, John Glenn — Videos

Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7Image result for john glenn mercury 7

Image result for john glenn mercury 7

Remembering John Glenn, space pioneer and American statesman

John Glenn Dead at 95 | Remembering the First American To Orbit Earth

Looking back at John Glenn’s history-making life

Former astronaut John Glenn dead at 95

Astronaut and Sen. John Glenn Dead at 95

John Glenn & President John F. Kennedy

The John Glenn Story (1963)

Senator John Glenn – Biography

THE JOHN GLENN STORY NASA FRIENDSHIP 7 PROJECT MERCURY 45404

First American in Orbit: John Glenn “Friendship 7” Project Mercury 1962 NASA

Project Mercury Summation 1963 NASA; First American Astronauts in Orbit

NASA Project Mercury: 1960’s Manned Spaceflight / Space Documentary S88TV1

Friendship 7 & Astronaut John Glenn – 1962 NASA Educational Documentary – WDTVLIVE42

John Glenn tells the story of Friendship 7

History in the First Person: Building the Mercury Capsule

Flying Mercury-Atlas 6 In Honor Of John Glenn

John Glenn: Earning the Right Stuff as a Decorated Marine Aviator and Navy Test Pilot

Longest Project Mercury Spaceflight: Flight of Faith 7 1963 NASA; MA-9; Gordon Cooper

The Real ‘Right stuff’

Great Books – The Right Stuff [TLC Documantary]

The Right Stuff Theme • Bill Conti

Published on Oct 11, 2013

From the 1983 Phillip Kaufman film “The Right Stuff” with Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris & Dennis Quaid. The film tells the story of the Mercury Seven Astronauts.

Chuck Yeager breaks The Sound Barrier (from THE RIGHT STUFF)

The Right Stuff (edited last scene) – Absolutely Awe-Inspiring !!

Mercury Capsule Without a Window

The Right Stuff – Glenn’s Launch Aborted

The Right Stuff. Godspeed Ed Harris – I mean, John Glenn.

The Right Stuff – The Bell X-1 (with Levon Helm as CPT Jack Ridley)

The Right Stuff (Part 2)

The Right Stuff (Part 3)

The Right Stuff (Part 4)

The Right Stuff (Part 5)

The Right Stuff (Part 6)

The Right Stuff (Part 7)

Annie Glenn: An amazing life

Mercury Space Project: ” The Astronauts”, the Real Right Stuff, training and development (1960)

Mercury astronaut launch in “The Right stuff” movie cut, 1983

Eighty-Nine Year Old Chuck Yeager • F-15 Eagle Honor Flight

An Evening With Two Mercury Astronauts

Godspeed, John Glenn

John Glenn, American hero, aviation icon and former U.S. senator, dies at 95

By Joe Hallett

The Columbus Dispatch  •  Thursday December 8, 2016 5:35 PM

His legend is otherworldly and now, at age 95, so is John Glenn.

An authentic hero and genuine American icon, Glenn died this afternoon surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus after a remarkably healthy life spent almost from the cradle with Annie, his beloved wife of 73 years, who survives.

He, along with fellow aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright and moon-walker Neil Armstrong, truly made Ohio first in flight.

“John Glenn is, and always will be, Ohio’s ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve,” said Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich. “As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation.

“Though he soared deep into space and to the heights of Capitol Hill, his heart never strayed from his steadfast Ohio roots. Godspeed, John Glenn!” Kasich said.

For more on John Glenn’s life, visit Dispatch.com/JohnGlenn

Glenn’s body will lie in state at the Ohio Statehouse for a day, and a public memorial service will be held at Ohio State University’s Mershon Auditorium. He will be buried near Washington, D.C., at Arlington National Cemetery in a private service. Dates and times for the public events will be announced soon.

Glenn lived a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! life. As a Marine Corps pilot, he broke the transcontinental flight speed record before being the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962 and, 36 years later at age 77 in 1998, becoming the oldest man in space as a member of the seven-astronaut crew of the shuttle Discovery.

He made that flight in his 24th and final year in the U.S. Senate, from whence he launched a short-lived bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984. Along the way, Glenn became moderately wealthy from an early investment in Holiday Inns near Disney World and a stint as president of Royal Crown International.

In one of his last public appearances, Glenn, with Annie by his side, sat in the Port Columbus airport terminal on June 28 as officials renamed it in his honor — the John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

In addition to his world-famous career in aviation and aerospace, Glenn had a relationship with that particular airport that is likely second to none. Glenn, who turned 8 the month that Port Columbus opened in July 1929, recalled asking his parents to stop at the airport so he could watch the planes come and go while he was growing up in New Concord, 70 miles east of Columbus.

Glenn recalled “many teary departures and reunions” at the airport’s original terminal on Fifth Avenue during his time as a military aviator during World War II. He and his wife Annie, who had been married 73 years, later kept a small Beechcraft plane at Lane Aviation on the airport grounds for many years, and he only gave up flying his own plane at age 90.

Privately, this man who had been honored by presidents and immortalized in history books and movies, told friends that for an aviator, seeing his name on the Columbus airport was the highest honor he could imagine.

Glenn, who lived with Annie for the past decade in a Downtown Columbus condo, dedicated his life to public service, devoting many of his later years to Ohio State University, which in 2005 converted the century-old Page Hall into the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy and the School of Public Policy and Management. It is now the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

“He was very proud of the Glenn College,” said Jack Kessler, chairman of the New Albany Company, a former Ohio State trustee and longtime friend of the Glenns. “It’s a legacy that will carry on his mission toward good public policy.”

While Glenn held office as a Democrat, he wasn’t partisan, Kessler said. “I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. Some of his best friends were Republicans, and he could work with anyone.”

Surrounded by dozens of students striving to earn master’s and doctoral degrees from the institute, Glenn said at its dedication, “If we inspire a few young people into careers of public service and politics, this will all be worth it.”

Remarkably physically fit and energetic, Glenn only began encountering health problems in 2013 when he had a pacemaker implanted and missed some public appearances due to vertigo.

In 2011, he and Annie both had knee-replacement surgery, which kept them from repeating a planned road trip like the impromptu 8,400-mile journey throughout the West they took a year earlier in their Cadillac when she was 89 and he 88.

Raised in New Concord, where he and Annie both went to Muskingum College, Glenn aspired to be a medical doctor, but World War II sidetracked that ambition and launched a life of uncommon achievement and bravery. At age 8, he took his first ride in an open-cockpit airplane and ended up virtually living life in the sky, continuing to fly until 2011 when he put up for sale the twin-engine Beech Baron he had owned since 1981.

“I miss it,” Glenn told The Dispatch in 2012 “I never got tired of flying.”

Glenn flew 149 combat missions in World War II and Korea, where his wingman and eventual lifelong friend was baseball legend Ted Williams. In Korea, Glenn earned the nickname “Old Magnet Ass” due to his skill in landing his airplane under any condition, even after it was riddled with bullets and had blown tires.

Born not far from New Concord in Cambridge on July 18, 1921, Glenn and his parents moved about 10 miles west in 1923 to New Concord. His father was a plumber and his mother a teacher who joined a social group called the Twice 5 Club, which got together once a month. Another couple in the club had a daughter, Annie Castor, who was a year older than Glenn, and the two toddlers often shared a playpen while their parents played cards.

Their relationship evolved into a quintessential American love story, with the spark between them first igniting when they were in junior high school.

“To write a story about either of them, if it doesn’t include the other, then it just isn’t complete,” their daughter, Lyn, told The Dispatch in 2007. She and her brother, David, a California doctor, survive.

John and Annie were married on April 6, 1943, and the next January, as they held each other searching for something to say as he prepared to ship out for combat in the South Pacific, John said, “I’m just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum.”

From that day on, she kept a gum wrapper in her purse.
To many with disabilities, Annie became a heroine in her own right as she struggled to conquer near-debilitating stuttering.

For more than half of her life, she counted on others to speak for her, publicly uncommunicative in a world that demanded more from her as her husband’s fame ascended.

Through it all, John stood by Annie, who, in 1973, underwent an innovative treatment regimen that dramatically improved her speech to the extent that she was delivering speeches on behalf of her husband’s 1984 presidential candidacy.

Glenn, who received his pilot’s license in 1941, was at home in the sky, soon evident after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and he left Muskingum College to enlist in the Marine Air Corps. In the Pacific, he flew 59 missions over the Marshall Islands.

After being stationed in China and Guam when World War II ended, Glenn was a flight instructor in Texas before being transferred to Virginia. When the Korean War broke out, Glenn applied for combat duty, and flew 90 missions. Overall, he received the Distinguished Flying Cross six times and was awarded the Air Medal with 18 clusters.

After returning from Korea, Glenn became a test pilot. He set a coast-to-coast speed record in 1957, piloting a Navy jet fighter from California to New York in 3 hours and 23 minutes. In 1959, he was selected as one of the country’s first seven astronauts, a historic group immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s 1979 book The Right Stuff, the basis for a movie of the same name.

The United States was enveloped in a cold war with the Soviet Union, and after a series of U.S. rockets had blown up, the American psyche was dealt a blow in 1961 when Russian Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space and the first to orbit Earth.

The third American in space after suborbital missions by Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom, Glenn finally equaled Gagarin’s achievement by blasting off on Feb. 20, 1962, after weather and mechanical problems caused his mission to be postponed 10 times.

Crammed into the 7-foot-wide Friendship 7 space capsule atop a 100-foot-tall Atlas rocket loaded with 250,000 pounds of explosive fuel, Glenn launched 160-miles into space, orbiting the world three times at 17,500 miles per hour.

Reflecting many years later, Glenn would say that computers were the greatest technological achievement during his life, but there were none on Friendship 7, and deep into the flight he had to take manual control of the capsule when systems malfunctioned.

As the capsule descended for a watery landing, mission control feared that its heat shield was peeling off. Well past four hours into the flight, Glenn was told of the problem and knew he could be burned alive in an instant (Annie was notified to expect the worst), but the astronaut stayed focused even as fiery pieces of his spacecraft flew by his window.

“You didn’t really have time to think about it,” he told students at COSI Columbus 45 years later. “Long before you actually got to the flight itself, you sort of made peace with mortality.”

Safely splashing in the Atlantic Ocean 800 miles southeast of Bermuda, Glenn’s historic flight invigorated the nation and catapulted him into American lore. He addressed a joint session of Congress and rode in a convertible with Annie as 4 million people cheered him in a Manhattan ticker-tape parade.

In 2007, 45 years after his historic orbital mission, Glenn told a Columbus audience how much he longed to return to space right away, only to learn years after leaving the space program that President John F. Kennedy, fearing the worst, secretly had barred him from other flights to spare the country the potential loss of a national hero.

Glenn admitted in that speech that he was jealous in 1969 when fellow Ohioan Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon.

In 1964, only two years after his famous flight on Friendship 7, Glenn ran in the Democratic Senate primary against incumbent Sen. Stephen M. Young. But only six weeks after announcing his candidacy, Glenn dropped out of the race after damaging his inner ear in a bathroom fall, an injury that caused severe dizziness and balance problems. He recovered eight months later.

Glenn ran for the Senate again in 1970, but lost in the primary to Howard M. Metzenbaum, whom he defeated in a rematch four years later. He handily won election that fall over Cleveland Mayor Ralph Perk and won re-election by huge margins in 1980 and 1986.

After winning re-election in 1980 by the largest margin in Ohio history, Glenn ran for president in 1984. He was seen as the leading challenger to former Vice President Walter F. Mondale for the Democratic nomination, and was the candidate many considered to have the best chance of defeating President Ronald Reagan in the general election.

But plagued by a disorganized campaign and with a centrist theme ill-suited to a liberal-dominated Democratic primary process, Glenn finished back in the pack in the important Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. He borrowed $2 million to compete in the Southern primaries, but he didn’t win a state and dropped out of the race.

The debt remaining from that race, which rose to more than $3 million, became a campaign issue for Glenn in subsequent Senate races and nagged him until 2006 when the Federal Elections Commission finally allowed him to close the books on it after years of chipping away.

The third term of his four in the Senate was dominated by a Senate investigation into allegations that he improperly interceded with S&L regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, who had raised or donated $242,000 to Glenn’s political committees. Glenn personally spent more than $500,000 to defend his honor, and the Senate Ethics Committee cleared him of wrongdoing.

“I spend half a million dollars on my defense, and I wouldn’t pull back a penny of it,” Glenn said then. “The reason I felt so strongly about it was that it involved my honor, and if I had to sell everything I had and mortgaged the house, I would have done everything I could to see the truth come out.”

In his final year as a U.S. senator in 1998, Glenn was reborn as an astronaut. At 77, he orbited the Earth with six astronauts aboard shuttle Discovery, once again rendering his body and mind to the study of science, providing insight into how the oldest man ever launched into space held up. Glenn, remarkably fit, became an inspiration once again to mankind.

The events of John Glenn’s life, and his footprint on history, are chronicled in countless books and beyond. The Friendship 7 capsule is in the Smithsonian, his papers and memorabilia are archived at Ohio State, and his life with Annie — and much more — are displayed at the Glenn Historic Site in New Concord.

Joe Hallett is a retired reporter and senior editor of The Dispatch.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/john-glenn/john-glenn.html

John Glenn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named John Glenn, see John Glenn (disambiguation).
John Glenn
John Glenn Low Res.jpg
Chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by William V. Roth Jr.
Succeeded by William V. Roth Jr.
United States Senator
from Ohio
In office
December 24, 1974 – January 3, 1999
Preceded by Howard Metzenbaum
Succeeded by George Voinovich
Personal details
Born John Herschel Glenn Jr.
July 18, 1921
Cambridge, Ohio, U.S.
Died December 8, 2016 (aged 95)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Annie Castor (1943–2016)
Children 2
Alma mater Muskingum University (BS)
University of Maryland, College Park
Civilian awards Congressional Gold Medal
Presidential Medal of Freedom
Congressional Space Medal of Honor
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
Signature
Military service
Service/branch  United States Navy
 United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1941–1965
Rank Colonel
Unit VMJ-353
VMF-155
VMF-218
VMA-311
51st Fighter Wing
Battles/wars World War II
Korean War
Military awards
John Glenn Portrait.jpg
NASA Astronaut
Other names
John Herschel Glenn, Jr.
Other occupation
Test pilot
Time in space
4h 55m 23s
Selection 1959 NASA Group 1
Missions Mercury-Atlas 6
Mission insignia
Friendship 7 (Mercury–Atlas 6) insignia
Retirement January 16, 1964
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) Congressional Space Medal of Honor NASA Distinguished Service Medal.jpg
JohnGlenn.jpg
NASA Payload Specialist
Time in space
9d 2h 39m
Missions STS-95
Mission insignia
STS-95 patch
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom

John Herschel Glenn Jr. (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was an American aviator, engineer, astronaut, and United States Senator from Ohio. In 1962 he became the first American to orbit the Earth, circling three times. Before joining NASA, he was a distinguished fighter pilot in both World War II and Korea, with five Distinguished Flying Crosses and eighteen clusters.

Glenn was one of the “Mercury Seven” group of military test pilots selected in 1959 by NASA to become America’s first astronauts. On February 20, 1962, he flew the Friendship 7 mission and became the first American to orbit the Earth and the fifth person in space. Glenn received the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990, and was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven.

After he resigned from NASA in 1964, Glenn planned to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Ohio. A member of the Democratic Party, he first won election to the Senate in 1974 where he served through January 3, 1999.

He retired from the Marine Corps in 1965, after twenty-three years in the military, with over fifteen medals and awards, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. In 1998, while still a sitting senator, he became the oldest person to fly in space, and the only one to fly in both the Mercury and Space Shuttle programs as crew member of the Discovery space shuttle. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.

Early life, education and military service

Glenn’s childhood home in New Concord

John Glenn was born on July 18, 1921, in Cambridge, Ohio, the son of John Herschel Glenn, Sr. (1895–1966) and Clara Teresa (née Sproat) Glenn (1897–1971).[1][2] He was raised in nearby New Concord.[3]

After graduating from New Concord High School in 1939, he studied Engineering at Muskingum College. He earned a private pilot license for credit in a physics course in 1941.[4] Glenn did not complete his senior year in residence or take a proficiency exam, both requirements of the school for the Bachelor of Science degree. However, the school granted Glenn his degree in 1962, after his Mercury space flight.[5]

World War II

Military portrait of John Glenn

When the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II, Glenn quit college to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps. However, he was never called to duty, and in March 1942 enlisted as a United States Navy aviation cadet. He went to the University of Iowa for preflight training, then continued on to NAS Olathe, Kansas, for primary training. He made his first solo flight in a military aircraft there. During his advanced training at the NAS Corpus Christi, he was offered the chance to transfer to the U.S. Marine Corps and took it.[6]

Upon completing his training in 1943, Glenn was assigned to Marine Squadron VMJ-353, flying R4D transport planes. He transferred to VMF-155 as an F4U Corsair fighter pilot, and flew 59 combat missions in the South Pacific.[7] He saw combat over the Marshall Islands, where he attacked anti-aircraft batteries on Maloelap Atoll. In 1945, he was assigned to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, and was promoted to captain shortly before the war’s end.[3]:35

Glenn flew patrol missions in North China with the VMF-218 Marine Fighter Squadron, until it was transferred to Guam. In 1948 he became a flight instructor at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, followed by attending the Amphibious Warfare School.[8]:34

Korean War

Glenn’s USAF F-86F that he dubbed “MiG Mad Marine” during the Korean War, 1953

During the Korean War, Glenn was assigned to VMF-311, flying the new F9F Panther jet interceptor. He flew his Panther in 63 combat missions, gaining the nickname “magnet ass” from his alleged ability to attract enemy flak.[9] On two occasions, he returned to his base with over 250 holes in his aircraft.[10] For a time, he flew with Marine reservist Ted Williams, a future Hall of Fame baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, as his wingman. He also flew with future Major General Ralph H. Spanjer.[11]

Glenn flew a second Korean combat tour in an interservice exchange program with the United States Air Force, 51st Fighter Wing. He logged 27 missions in the faster F-86F Sabre and shot down three MiG-15s near the Yalu River in the final days before the ceasefire.[9]

For his service in 149 combat missions in two wars, he received numerous honors, including the Distinguished Flying Cross (six occasions) and the Air Medal with eighteen award stars.[12]

Test pilot

Glenn returned to NAS Patuxent River, appointed to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (class 12), graduating in 1954.[13] He served as an armament officer, flying planes to high altitude and testing their cannons and machine guns.[14] He was assigned to the Fighter Design Branch of the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics (now Bureau of Naval Weapons) as a test pilot on Navy and Marine Corps jet fighters in Washington, D.C., from November 1956 to April 1959, during which time he also attended the University of Maryland.[15]

Glenn had nearly 9,000 hours of flying time, with approximately 3,000 hours in jet aircraft.[15]

On July 16, 1957, Glenn completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a Vought F8U-3P Crusader.[16] The flight from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, took 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8.3 seconds. As he passed over his hometown, a child in the neighborhood reportedly ran to the Glenn house shouting “Johnny dropped a bomb! Johnny dropped a bomb! Johnny dropped a bomb!” as the sonic boom shook the town.[17] Project Bullet, the name of the mission, included both the first transcontinental flight to average supersonic speed (despite three in-flight refuelings during which speeds dropped below 300 mph), and the first continuous transcontinental panoramic photograph of the United States. For this mission Glenn received his fifth Distinguished Flying Cross.[18]

NASA career

Main article: Mercury-Atlas 6

John Glenn in his Mercury spacesuit

While Glenn was on duty at Patuxent and Washington, Glenn began to read everything he could about space. His office was requested to furnish a test pilot to be sent to the Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to make some runs on a spaceflight simulator, which was a part of NASA research on reentry vehicle shapes. The officer would also be sent to the Naval Air Development Center in Johnsville, Pennsylvania. The test pilot would be subjected to high g-forces in a centrifuge to compare to the data collected in the simulator. Glenn requested this position and was granted it. He spent a few days at Langley and a week in Johnsville for the testing.[19]

Prior to Glenn’s appointment as an astronaut in the Mercury program, he participated in the capsule design. NASA had requested that military service members participate in planning the mockup of the capsule. Since Glenn had participated in the research at Langley and Johnsville, combined he with his experience sitting on mock-up boards in the Navy and his knowledge of the capsule procedures, he was sent to the McDonnell plant in St. Louis and acted as a service adviser on the mock-up board.[19]

In 1958, the newly formed NASA began a recruiting program for astronauts,[a] and Glenn just barely met the requirements as he was close to the age cutoff of 40 and also lacked the required science-based degree at the time. He remained an officer in the United States Marine Corps after he was selected in 1959.[8]:43 After his selection, he was assigned to the NASA Space Task Group in 1959, which was located at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.[20] The task force was moved to Houston in 1962 and became a part of the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center.[20] Glenn was a backup pilot to Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom, on the Freedom 7 and Liberty Bell 7 respectively.[20] Astronauts were given an additional role in the spaceflight program, and Glenn’s was the cockpit layout and control functioning, not only for Mercury but also early designs for Apollo.[20]

Glenn (center) with President John F. Kennedy and General Leighton I. Davis celebrating Glenn’s orbital flight, 1962

Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth, aboard Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962, on the Mercury-Atlas 6 mission, circling the globe three times during a flight lasting nearly five hours.[21] This made Glenn the third American in space and the fifth human being in space.[22][23][24][b] For Glenn the day became the “best day of his life,” while it also renewed America’s confidence.[30] His voyage took place while America and the Soviet Union were in the midst of the Cold War and competing in the “Space Race.”[31]

During the flight, Glenn’s heat shield had been thought to have come loose and likely to fail during re-entry, which would cause the entire space capsule to burn up. Flight controllers had Glenn modify his re-entry procedure by keeping his retrorocket pack on over the shield to help keep it in place. He made his splashdown safely, and afterwards it was determined that the indicator was faulty.[22] Glenn’s flight and fiery splashdown was portrayed in the 1983 film The Right Stuff.[32]

Glenn is honored by PresidentKennedy at temporary Manned Spacecraft Center facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida, three days after his flight

As the first American in orbit, Glenn became a national hero, met President Kennedy, and received a ticker-tape parade in New York City, reminiscent of that given for Charles Lindbergh and other great dignitaries.[22][33]

Glenn’s fame and political attributes were noted by the Kennedys, and he became a personal friend of the Kennedy family. On February 23, 1962, President Kennedy escorted him in a parade to Hangar S at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where he awarded Glenn with the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.[22]

In July 1962 Glenn testified before the House Space Committee in favor of excluding women from the NASA astronaut program. Although NASA had no official policy prohibiting women, in practice, the requirement that astronauts had to be military test pilots excluded them entirely.[34][c]

Glenn resigned from NASA on January 16, 1964, and the next day announced his candidacy as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate from his home state of Ohio. On February 26, 1964, Glenn suffered a concussion from a slip and fall against a bathtub; this led him to withdraw from the race on March 30.[36][37] Glenn then went on convalescent leave from the Marine Corps until he could make a full recovery, necessary for his retirement from the Marines. He retired on January 1, 1965, as a colonel and entered the business world as an executive for Royal Crown Cola.[22]

Political career

U.S. Senate

NASA psychologists had determined during Glenn’s training that he was the astronaut best suited for public life.[38] Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy suggested to Glenn and his wife in December 1962 that he should run against incumbent United States Senator Stephen M. Young of Ohio in the 1964 Democratic primary election. In 1964 Glenn announced that he was resigning from the space program to run against Young, but withdrew when he hit his head on a bathtub. Glenn sustained a concussion and injured his inner ear, and recovery left him unable to campaign.[39] Glenn remained close to the Kennedy family and was with Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated in 1968. He served as a pallbearer at Kennedy’s funeral.[3]:80

In 1970, Glenn was narrowly defeated in the Democratic primary for nomination for the Senate by fellow Democrat Howard Metzenbaum, by a 51% to 49% margin. Metzenbaum lost the general election race to Robert Taft, Jr. In 1974, Glenn rejected Ohio governor John J. Gilligan and the Ohio Democratic party’s demand that he run for Lieutenant Governor. Instead, he challenged Metzenbaum again, whom Gilligan had appointed.[39]

In the primary race, Metzenbaum contrasted his strong business background with Glenn’s military and astronaut credentials, saying his opponent had “never held a payroll”. Glenn’s reply came to be known as the “Gold Star Mothers” speech. He told Metzenbaum to go to a veterans’ hospital and “look those men with mangled bodies in the eyes and tell them they didn’t hold a job. You go with me to any Gold Star mother and you look her in the eye and tell her that her son did not hold a job.” Many felt the “Gold Star Mothers” speech won the primary for Glenn.[40][41] Glenn won the primary by 54 to 46%. After defeating Metzenbaum, Glenn defeated Ralph Perk, the Republican Mayor of Cleveland, in the general election, beginning a Senate career that would continue until 1999. In 1980, Glenn won re-election to the seat, defeating Republican challenger Jim Betts, by over 40 percentage points.[42]

In 1986, Glenn defeated challenger U.S. Representative Tom Kindness. Metzenbaum would go on to seek a rematch against Taft in 1976, winning a close race on Jimmy Carter‘s coattails.[43]

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Glenn and Metzenbaum had strained relations. There was a thaw in 1983, when Metzenbaum endorsed Glenn for president, and again in 1988, when Metzenbaum was opposed for re-election by Cleveland mayor George Voinovich. Voinovich accused Metzenbaum of being soft on child pornography. Voinovich’s charges were criticized by many, including Glenn, who now came to Metzenbaum’s aid, recording a statement for television rebutting Voinovich’s charges. Metzenbaum won the election by 57% to 41%.[43] In 1997, Glenn announced that he would retire from the Senate at the end of his then-current term.[44]

Savings and loan scandal

Glenn was one of the five U.S. senators caught up in the Lincoln Savings and Keating Five Scandal after accepting a $200,000 contribution from Charles Keating. Glenn and Republican senator John McCain were the only senators exonerated. The Senate Commission found that Glenn had exercised “poor judgment”. The association of his name with the scandal gave Republicans hope that he would be vulnerable in the 1992 campaign. Instead, Glenn defeated Lieutenant Governor Mike DeWine to keep his seat.[45]

Presidential politics

In 1976, Glenn was a candidate for the Democratic vice presidential nomination. However, Glenn’s keynote address at the Democratic National Convention failed to impress the delegates and the nomination went to veteran politician Walter Mondale.[46] Glenn also ran for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination.[47]

Glenn and his staff worried about the 1983 release of The Right Stuff, a film about the original seven Mercury astronauts based on the best-selling Tom Wolfe book of the same name. The book had depicted Glenn as a “zealous moralizer”, and he did not attend the film’s Washington premiere on October 16, 1983. Reviewers saw Ed Harris‘ portrayal of Glenn as heroic, however, and his staff immediately began to emphasize the film to the press. Aide Greg Schneiders suggested an unusual strategy, similar to Glenn’s personal campaign and voting style, in which he would avoid appealing to narrow special interest groups and instead seek to win support from ordinary Democratic primary voters, the “constituency of the whole”.[39] Mondale defeated Glenn for the nomination however, and he was left with $3 million in campaign debt for over 20 years before he was granted a reprieve by the Federal Election Commission.[48][49] He was a potential vice presidential running mate in 1984, 1988, and 1992.[50]

Issues

During Glenn’s time in the Senate, he was chief author of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978,[51] served as chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs from 1987 until 1995, sat on the Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees and the Special Committee on Aging.[52]

Once Republicans regained control of the Senate, Glenn served as the ranking minority member on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Maine senator Susan Collins, that looked into illegal foreign donations by China to U.S. political campaigns for the 1996 election.[53] There was considerable acrimony between Glenn and the overseeing committee chair, Fred Thompson of Tennessee.[54]

Return to space

Main article: STS-95

Senator-astronaut John Glenn on the shuttle Discovery, 1998

Glenn returned to space on the Space Shuttle on October 29, 1998, as a Payload Specialist on Discovery‘s STS-95 mission, becoming, at age 77, the oldest person to go into space. According to The New York Times, Glenn “won his seat on the Shuttle flight by lobbying NASA for two years to fly as a human guinea pig for geriatric studies”, which were named as the main reasons for his participation in the mission.[55] Shortly before the flight, researchers learned that Glenn had to be disqualified from one of the flight’s two main priority human experiments (about the effects of melatonin) because he did not meet one of the study’s medical conditions; he still participated in two other experiments about sleep monitoring and protein use.[55][56]

Glenn states in his memoir that he had no idea NASA was willing to send him back into space when NASA announced the decision.[57] His participation in the nine-day mission was criticized by some in the space community as a political favor granted to Glenn by President Clinton, with John Pike, director of the Space Policy Project for the Federation of American Scientists noting “If he was a normal person, he would acknowledge he’s a great American hero and that he should get to fly on the shuttle for free…He’s too modest for that, and so he’s got to have this medical research reason. It’s got nothing to do with medicine.”[22][58]

In a 2012 interview, Glenn said that the purpose of his flight was “to make measurements and do research on me at the age of 77 […] comparing the results on me in space with the younger [astronauts] and maybe get [insights] on the immune system or protein turnover or vestibular functions and other things — heart changes.[56] He regretted that NASA did not follow up on this research about aging by sending more people from this age range into space.[56]

Upon the safe return of the STS-95 crew, Glenn (and his crewmates) received another ticker-tape parade, making him the tenth, and latest, person to have received multiple ticker-tape parades in a lifetime (as opposed to that of a sports team).[59] Just prior to the flight, on October 15, 1998, and for several months after, the main causeway to the Johnson Space Center, NASA Road 1, was temporarily renamed “John Glenn Parkway”.[60]

In 2001, Glenn vehemently opposed the sending of Dennis Tito, the world’s first space tourist, to the International Space Station on the grounds that Tito’s trip served no scientific purpose.[61]

Public affairs institute

Glenn helped found the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy at The Ohio State University in 1998 to encourage public service. On July 22, 2006, the institute merged with OSU’s School of Public Policy and Management to become the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, and Glenn held an adjunct professorship at the Glenn School.[62] In February 2015, it was announced that the School would become the John Glenn College of Public Affairs beginning in April 2015.[63]

Personal life

Glenn and his wife Anna in 1965

On April 6, 1943, Glenn married his high school sweetheart, Anna Margaret Castor (b. 1920). Both Glenn and his wife attended Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, where he was a member of the Stag Club Fraternity.[64] Together, they had two children, John David and Carolyn Ann, and two grandchildren.[3]:31 They remained married until his death. His boyhood home in New Concord has been restored and made into an historic house museum and education center.[65]

A Freemason, Glenn was a member of Concord Lodge # 688 New Concord, Ohio, and DeMolay International, the Masonic youth organization, and was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church.[66]

He set an example of someone whose faith began before he became an astronaut, and whose faith was reinforced after traveling in space.

“To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible,” said Glenn, after his second and final space voyage.[67] He stated that he saw no contradiction between believing in God and the knowledge that evolution is “a fact”, and that he believed evolution should be taught in schools.[68] He explained:

I don’t see that I’m any less religious that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean it’s less wondrous and it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on.[69]

Glenn was one of the original owners of a Holiday Inn franchise near Orlando, Florida, that is today known as the Seralago Hotel & Suites Main Gate East.[70][71] His business partner was Henri Landwirth, a Holocaust survivor, who became Glenn’s “best friend.”[72] Glenn recalls learning about Landwirth’s background:

Henri doesn’t talk about it much. It was years before he spoke about it with me and then only because of an accident. We were down in Florida during the space program. Everyone was wearing short-sleeved Ban-Lon shirts—everyone but Henri. Then one day I saw Henri at the pool and noticed the number on his arm. I told Henri that if it were me I’d wear that number like a medal with a spotlight on it.[72]

Public appearances and ceremonies

Glenn appears with President Kennedy and Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov, 1962

Glenn was an honorary member of the International Academy of Astronautics; a member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Marine Corps Aviation Association, Order of Daedalians, National Space Club Board of Trustees, National Space Society Board of Governors, International Association of Holiday Inns, Ohio Democratic Party, State Democratic Executive Committee, Franklin County (Ohio) Democratic Party, and 10th District (Ohio) Democratic Action Club.[4]

In 2001, Glenn appeared as a guest star on the American television sitcom Frasier, as himself.[73]

On September 5, 2009, John and Annie Glenn dotted the “i” during The Ohio State University’s Script Ohio marching band performance, at the Ohio StateNavy football game halftime show. Other non-band members to have received this honor include Bob Hope, Woody Hayes, Jack Nicklaus and Earle Bruce.[74]

On February 20, 2012, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Friendship 7 flight, Glenn was surprised with the opportunity to speak with the orbiting crew of the International Space Station while Glenn was on-stage with NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden at The Ohio State University, where the public affairs school is named for him.[75]

Senator John Glenn at the ceremony transferring the Space Shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian Institution.

On April 19, 2012, Glenn participated in the ceremonial transfer of the retired Space Shuttle Discovery from NASA to the Smithsonian Institution for permanent display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Speaking at the event, Glenn criticized the “unfortunate” decision to end the Space Shuttle program, expressing his opinion that grounding the shuttles delayed research.[76]

In June 2016 the Columbus, Ohio airport known for many years as Port Columbus was officially renamed the John Glenn Columbus International Airport. Just before his 95th birthday, Glenn and his wife Annie attended the ceremony, and he spoke about how visiting that airport as a child inspired his interest in flying.[77]

Illness and death

In June 2014, Glenn underwent a successful heart valve replacement surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.[78]

At the beginning of December 2016, Glenn was hospitalized at the James Cancer Hospital of OSU Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.[79][80][81] A family source said that Glenn had been in declining health, and that his condition was grave. His wife, Annie, and their children and grandchildren had joined him at the hospital.[82]

Glenn died December 8, 2016, at the OSU Wexner Medical Center.[83][84] No cause of death has yet been disclosed. Glenn will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery after lying in state at the Ohio Statehouse and a memorial service at Mershon Auditorium at The Ohio State University.[83]

Tributes

Glenn looks into a celestial training device before his 1962 launch.

Among those honoring Glenn were President Barack Obama, who said that Glenn, “the first American to orbit the Earth, reminded us that with courage and a spirit of discovery there’s no limit to the heights we can reach together.”[85] Tributes were also given by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,[86] and President-elect Donald Trump.[87]

The phrase “Godspeed,” that hailed Glenn’s historic launch into space, became a social media hashtag. Past and current astronauts added their own tributes, along with NASA Administrator and former shuttle astronaut, Charles Bolden, who added that “John Glenn’s legacy is one of risk and accomplishment, of history created and duty to country carried out under great pressure with the whole world watching.”[88]

Image gallery

Awards and honors

En-NavAstro.jpg
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Gold star
Gold star
Gold star

Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Silver star
Silver star
Silver star

Bronze oakleaf-3d.svg

Bronze star
Bronze star

Bronze star

Bronze star
Bronze star

Naval Aviator Astronaut Insignia
Distinguished Flying Cross
with three stars and eighteen clusters[89]:95
Air Medal
with fifteen stars and eighteen clusters
Presidential Unit Citation Navy Unit Commendation
Presidential Medal of Freedom Congressional Space Medal of Honor NASA Distinguished Service Medal
NASA Space Flight Medal Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal China Service Medal
American Campaign Medal Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
with two stars
World War II Victory Medal
Navy Occupation Service Medal National Defense Service Medal
with one star
Korean Service Medal
with two stars
Presidential Unit Citation
(Korea)
United Nations Korea Medal Korean War Service Medal

Director Mark K. Updegrove with John Glenn at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2012

Quincy Jones presents platinum copies of “Fly Me to the Moon” (from It Might as Well Be Swing) to Senator John Glenn (left) and Apollo 11Commander Neil Armstrong (right)

The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field in Cleveland, Ohio, is named after him. Also, Senator John Glenn Highway runs along a stretch of I-480 in Ohio across from the NASA Glenn Research Center. Colonel Glenn Highway, which runs by Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Wright State University near Dayton, Ohio, John Glenn High School in his hometown of New Concord, Ohio, and Col. John Glenn Elementary in Seven Hills, Ohio, are named for him as well. High Schools in Westland and Bay City, Michigan; Walkerton, Indiana; San Angelo, Texas; Elwood, Long Island, New York; and Norwalk, California were also named after him.

The fireboat John H. Glenn Jr. was named for him. This fireboat is operated by the DCFD and protects the sections of the Potomac River and the Anacostia River that run through Washington, D.C.

The USNS John Glenn (T-MLP-2), a mobile landing platform that was delivered to the U.S. Navy on March 12, 2014, is named for him. It was christened February 1, 2014, in San Diego at General DynamicsNational Steel and Shipbuilding Company.[95]

In 1961, Glenn received an Honorary LL.D from Muskingum University, the college he had attended before joining the military in World War II.[5] He received Honorary Doctorates from Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan, Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, and New Hampshire College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Glenn was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1976.[96] Glenn was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1977.[24]

In 1990, Glenn was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.[97]

In 2000, Glenn received the U.S. Senator John Heinz Award for Greatest Public Service by an Elected or Appointed Official, an award given out annually by Jefferson Awards.[98]

In 2004, Glenn was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars of the Smithsonian Institution.[99]

In 2009, Glenn received an Honorary LL.D from Williams College,[100] and in 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Ohio Northern University.[101]

In 2013, Flying magazine ranked Glenn No. 26 on their “51 Heroes of Aviation” list.[102]

On September 12, 2016, Blue Origin announced a new rocket named after Glenn, the New Glenn.[103]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Requirements were that each had to be a military test pilot between the ages of 25 and 40 with sufficient flight hours, no more than 5’11” in height, and possess a degree in a scientific field. 508 pilots were subjected to rigorous mental and physical tests, and finally the selection was narrowed down to seven astronauts (Glenn, Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper, and Deke Slayton), who were introduced to the public at a NASA press conference in April 1959.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Glenn

Project Mercury

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the NASA manned spaceflight program. For other uses, see Mercury project (disambiguation).
Project Mercury
Circle containing the astronomical symbol for planet Mercury, with the numeral 7 inside it

Retroactive logo designed from 1964 Mercury Seven astronaut memorial
Country of origin United States
Responsible organization NASA
Purpose Manned Earth orbital flight
Status completed
Program history
Cost $277 million (1965)[1]
Program duration 1958–1963
First flight September 9, 1959
First crewed flight May 5, 1961
Last flight May 15–16, 1963
Successes 11
Failures 3

Partial failures 1: Big Joe 1
Launch site(s)
Vehicle information
Vehicle type capsule
Crew vehicle Mercury
Crew capacity 1
Launch vehicle(s)

Project Mercury was the first human spaceflight program of the United States, running from 1958 through 1963. An early highlight of the Space Race, its goal was to put a man into Earth orbit and return him safely, ideally before the Soviet Union. Taken over from the U.S. Air Force by the newly created civilian space agency NASA, it conducted twenty unmanned developmental flights (some using animals), and six successful flights by astronauts. The program, which took its name from the god of travel in Roman mythology, cost $277 million in 1965 US dollars, and involved the work of 2 million people.[1] The astronauts were collectively known as the “Mercury Seven“, and each spacecraft was given a name ending with a “7” by its pilot.

The Space Race began with the 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1. This came as a shock to the American public, and led to the creation of NASA to expedite existing U.S. space exploration efforts, and place most of them under civilian control. After the successful launch of the Explorer 1 satellite in 1958, manned spaceflight became the next goal. The Soviet Union put the first human, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, into a single orbit aboard Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961. Shortly after this, on May 5, the U.S. launched its first astronaut, Alan Shepard, on a suborbital flight. Soviet Gherman Titov followed with a day-long orbital flight in August, 1961. The U.S. reached its orbital goal on February 20, 1962, when John Glenn made three orbits around the Earth. When Mercury ended in May 1963, both nations had sent six people into space, but the Soviets led the U.S. in total time spent in space.

The Mercury space capsule was produced by McDonnell Aircraft, and carried supplies of water, food and oxygen for about one day in a pressurized cabin. Mercury flights were launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, on launch vehicles modified from the Redstone and Atlas D missiles. The capsule was fitted with a launch escape rocket to carry it safely away from the launch vehicle in case of a failure. The flight was designed to be controlled from the ground via the Manned Space Flight Network, a system of tracking and communications stations; back-up controls were outfitted on board. Small retrorockets were used to bring the spacecraft out of its orbit, after which an ablative heat shield protected it from the heat of atmospheric reentry. Finally, a parachute slowed the craft for a water landing. Both astronaut and capsule were recovered by helicopters deployed from a U.S. Navy ship.

After a slow start riddled with humiliating mistakes, the Mercury project gained popularity, its missions followed by millions on radio and TV around the world. Its success laid the groundwork for Project Gemini, which carried two astronauts in each capsule and perfected space docking maneuvers essential for manned lunar landings in the subsequent Apollo program announced a few weeks after the first manned Mercury flight.

Creation[edit]

Project Mercury was officially approved on October 7, 1958 and publicly announced on December 17.[2][3] Originally called Project Astronaut, President Dwight Eisenhower felt that gave too much attention to the pilot.[4] Instead, the name Mercury was chosen from classical mythology, which had already lent names to rockets like the Greek Atlas and Roman Jupiter for the SM-65 and PGM-19 missiles.[3] It absorbed military projects with the same aim, such as the Air Force Man In Space Soonest.[5][n 1]

Background[edit]

Following the end of World War II, a nuclear arms race evolved between the U.S. and the Soviet Union (USSR). Since the USSR did not have a large fleet of bomber planes to deliver such weapons to the U.S., or bases in the western hemisphere from which to deploy them, Joseph Stalin decided to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles, which drove a missile race.[7] The rocket technology in turn enabled both sides to develop Earth-orbiting satellites for communications, and gathering weather data and intelligence.[8] Americans were shocked when the Soviet Union placed the first satellite into orbit in October 1957, leading to a growing fear that the U.S. was falling into a “missile gap“.[9][8] A month later, the Soviets launched Sputnik 2, carrying a dog into orbit. Though the animal was not recovered alive, it was obvious their goal was manned spaceflight.[10] Unable to disclose details of military space projects, President Eisenhower ordered the creation of a civilian space agency in charge of civilian and scientific space exploration. Based on the federal research agency National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), it was named the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.[11] It achieved its first goal, an American satellite in space, in 1958. The next goal was to put a man there.[12]

The limit of space was defined at the time as a minimum altitude of 62 mi (100 km), and the only way to reach it was by using rocket powered boosters.[13][14] This created risks for the pilot, including explosion, high g-forces and vibrations during lift off through a dense atmosphere,[15] and temperatures of more than 10,000 °F (5,500 °C) from air compression during reentry.[16]

In space, pilots would require pressurized chambers or space suits to supply fresh air.[17] While there, they would experience weightlessness, which could potentially cause disorientation.[18] Further potential risks included radiation and micrometeoroid strikes, both of which would normally be absorbed in the atmosphere.[19] All seemed possible to overcome: experience from satellites suggested micrometeoroid risk was negligible,[20] and experiments in the early 1950s with simulated weightlessness, high g-forces on humans, and sending animals to the limit of space, all suggested potential problems could be overcome by known technologies.[21] Finally, reentry was studied using the nuclear warheads of ballistic missiles,[22] which demonstrated a blunt, forward-facing heat shield could solve the problem of heating.[22]

Organization[edit]

T. Keith Glennan had been appointed the first Administrator of NASA, with Hugh L. Dryden (last Director of NACA) as his Deputy, at the creation of the agency on October 1, 1958.[23] Glennan would report to the president through the National Aeronautics and Space Council.[24] The group responsible for Project Mercury was NASA’s Space Task Group, and the goals of the program were to orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth, investigate the pilot’s ability to function in space, and to recover both pilot and spacecraft safely.[25] Existing technology and off-the-shelf equipment would be used wherever practical, the simplest and most reliable approach to system design would be followed, and an existing launch vehicle would be employed, together with a progressive test program.[26] Spacecraft requirements included: a launch escape system to separate the spacecraft and its occupant from the launch vehicle in case of impending failure; attitude control for orientation of the spacecraft in orbit; a retrorocket system to bring the spacecraft out of orbit; drag braking blunt body for atmospheric reentry; and landing on water.[26] To communicate with the spacecraft during an orbital mission, an extensive communications network had to be built.[27] In keeping with his desire to keep from giving the U.S. space program an overly military flavor, President Eisenhower at first hesitated to give the project top national priority (DX rating under the Defense Production Act), which meant that Mercury had to wait in line behind military projects for materials; however, this rating was granted in May 1959.[28]

Contractors and facilities[edit]

Twelve companies bid to build the Mercury spacecraft on a $20 million ($163 million adjusted for inflation) contract.[29] In January 1959, McDonnell Aircraft Corporation was chosen to be prime contractor for the spacecraft.[30] Two weeks earlier, North American Aviation, based in Los Angeles, was awarded a contract for Little Joe, a small rocket to be used for development of the launch escape system.[31][n 2] The World Wide Tracking Network for communication between the ground and spacecraft during a flight was awarded to the Western Electric Company.[32] Redstone rockets for suborbital launches were manufactured in Huntsville, Alabama by the Chrysler Corporation[33] and Atlas rockets by Convair in San Diego, California.[34] For manned launches, the Atlantic Missile Range at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida was made available by the USAF.[35] This was also the site of the Mercury Control Center while the computing center of the communication network was in Goddard Space Center, Maryland.[36] Little Joe rockets were launched from Wallops Island, Virginia.[37] Astronaut training took place at Langley Research Center in Virginia, Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio, and Naval Air Development Center Johnsville in Warminster, PA.[38] Langley wind tunnels[39] together with a rocket sled track at Holloman Air Force Base at Alamogordo, New Mexico were used for aerodynamic studies.[40] Both Navy and Air Force aircraft were made available for the development of the spacecraft’s landing system,[41] and Navy ships and Navy and Marine Corps helicopters were made available for recovery.[n 3] South of Cape Canaveral the town of Cocoa Beach boomed.[43]From here, 75,000 people watched the first American orbital flight being launched in 1962.[43]

Spacecraft[edit]

The Mercury spacecraft’s principal designer was Maxime Faget, who started research for manned spaceflight during the time of the NACA.[44] It was 10.8 feet (3.3 m) long and 6.0 feet (1.8 m) wide; with the launch escape system added, the overall length was 25.9 feet (7.9 m).[45] With 100 cubic feet (2.8 m3) of habitable volume, the capsule was just large enough for a single crew member.[46] Inside were 120 controls: 55 electrical switches, 30 fuses and 35 mechanical levers.[47] The heaviest spacecraft, Mercury-Atlas 9, weighed 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) fully loaded.[48] Its outer skin was made of René 41, a nickel alloy able to withstand high temperatures.[49]

The spacecraft was cone shaped, with a neck at the narrow end.[45] It had a convex base, which carried a heat shield (Item 2 in the diagram below)[50] consisting of an aluminum honeycomb covered with multiple layers of fiberglass.[51] Strapped to it was a retropack (1)[52] consisting of three rockets deployed to brake the spacecraft during reentry.[53] Between these were three minor rockets for separating the spacecraft from the launch vehicle at orbital insertion.[54] The straps that held the package could be severed when it was no longer needed.[55] Next to the heat shield was the pressurized crew compartment (3).[56] Inside an astronaut would be strapped to a form-fitting seat, with instruments in front and his back to the heat shield.[57] Underneath the seat was the environmental control system supplying oxygen and heat,[58] scrubbing the air of CO2, vapor and odors, and (on orbital flights) collecting urine.[59][n 4] The recovery compartment (4)[61] at the narrow end of the spacecraft contained three parachutes: a drogue to stabilize free fall and two main chutes, a primary and reserve.[62] Between the heat shield and inner wall of the crew compartment was a landing skirt, deployed by letting down the heat shield before landing.[63] On top of the recovery compartment was the antenna section (5)[64] containing both antennas for communication and scanners for guiding spacecraft orientation.[65] Attached was a flap used to ensure the spacecraft was faced heat shield first during reentry.[66]A launch escape system (6) was mounted to the narrow end of the spacecraft[67] containing three small solid-fueled rockets which could be fired briefly in a launch failure to separate the capsule safely from its booster. It would deploy the capsule’s parachute for a landing nearby at sea.[68] (See also Mission profile for details.)

The Mercury spacecraft did not have an on-board computer, instead relying on all computation for re-entry to be calculated by computers on the ground, with their results (retrofire times and firing attitude) then transmitted to the spacecraft by radio while in flight.[69][70] All computer systems used in the Mercury space program were housed in NASA facilities on Earth.[69] The computer systems were IBM 701 computers.[71][72](See also Ground control for details.)

Pilot accommodations[edit]

John Glenn wearing his Mercury space suit

The astronaut lay in a sitting position with his back to the heat shield, which was found to be the position that best enabled a human to withstand the high g-forces of launch and re-entry. A form-fitted fiberglass seat was custom-molded from each astronaut’s space-suited body for maximum support. Near his left hand was a manual abort handle to activate the launch escape system if necessary prior to or during liftoff, in case the automatic trigger failed.[73]

To supplement the onboard environmental control system, he wore a pressure suit with its own oxygen supply, which would also cool him.[74] A cabin atmosphere of pure oxygen at a low pressure of 5.5 psi (equivalent to an altitude of 24,800 feet (7,600 m)) was chosen, rather than one with the same composition as air (nitrogen/oxygen) at sea level.[75] This was easier to control,[76] avoided the risk of decompression sickness (known as “the bends”),[77][n 5] and also saved on spacecraft weight. Fires (which never occurred) would have to be extinguished by emptying the cabin of oxygen.[59] In such case, or failure of the cabin pressure for any reason, the astronaut could make an emergency return to Earth, relying on his suit for survival.[78][59]The astronauts normally flew with their visor up, which meant that the suit was not inflated.[59] With the visor down and the suit inflated, the astronaut could only reach the side and bottom panels, where vital buttons and handles were placed.[79]

The astronaut also wore electrodes on his chest to record his heart rhythm, a cuff that could take his blood pressure, and a rectal thermometer to record his temperature (this was replaced by an oral thermometer on the last flight).[80] Data from these was sent to the ground during the flight.[74] The astronaut normally drank water and ate food pellets.[81][n 6]

Once in orbit, the spacecraft could be rotated in three directions: along its longitudinal axis (roll), left to right from the astronaut’s point of view (yaw), and up or down (pitch).[82] Movement was created by rocket-propelled thrusters which used hydrogen peroxide as a fuel.[83][84] For orientation, the pilot could look through the window in front of him or from a screen connected to a periscope which could be turned 360°.[85]

The Mercury astronauts had taken part in the development of their spacecraft, and insisted that manual control, and a window, be elements of its design.[86] As a result, spacecraft movement and other functions could be controlled three ways: remotely from the ground when passing over a ground station, automatically guided by onboard instruments, or manually by the astronaut, who could replace or override the two other methods. Experience validated the astronauts’ insistence on manual controls. Without them, Gordon Cooper’s manual reentry during the last flight would not have been possible.[87]

Development and production[edit]

Spacecraft production in clean room at McDonnell Aircraft, St. Louis

The Mercury spacecraft design was modified three times by NASA between 1958 and 1959.[88] After bidding by potential contractors had been completed, NASA selected the design submitted as “C” in November 1958.[89] After it failed a test flight in July 1959, a final configuration, “D”, emerged.[90] The heat shield shape had been developed earlier in the 1950s through experiments with ballistic missiles, which had shown a blunt profile would create a shock wave that would lead most of the heat around the spacecraft.[91] To further protect against heat, either a heat sink, or an ablative material, could be added to the shield.[92] The heat sink would remove heat by the flow of the air inside the shock wave, whereas the ablative heat shield would remove heat by a controlled evaporation of the ablative material.[93] After unmanned tests, the latter was chosen for manned flights.[94] Apart from the capsule design, a rocket plane similar to the existing X-15 was considered.[95] This approach was still too far from being able to make a spaceflight, and was consequently dropped.[96][n 7] The heat shield and the stability of the spacecraft were tested in wind tunnels,[39] and later in flight.[100] The launch escape system was developed through unmanned flights.[101] During a period of problems with development of the landing parachutes, alternative landing systems such as the Rogallo glider wingwere considered, but ultimately scrapped.[102]

The spacecraft were produced at McDonnell Aircraft, St. Louis, Missouri in clean rooms and tested in vacuum chambers at the McDonnell plant.[103] The spacecraft had close to 600 subcontractors, such as Garrett AiResearch which built the spacecraft’s environmental control system.[30][58] Final quality control and preparations of the spacecraft were made at Hangar S at Cape Canaveral.[104][n 8] NASA ordered 20 production spacecraft, numbered 1 through 20.[30] Five of the 20, Nos. 10, 12, 15, 17, and 19, were not flown.[107]Spacecraft No. 3 and No. 4 were destroyed during unmanned test flights.[107] Spacecraft No. 11 sank[107] and was recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean after 38 years.[108] Some spacecraft were modified after initial production (refurbished after launch abort, modified for longer missions, etc.)[n 9] A number of Mercury boilerplate spacecraft(made from non-flight materials or lacking production spacecraft systems) were also made by NASA and McDonnell.[111] They were designed and used to test spacecraft recovery systems and the escape tower.[112] McDonnell also built the spacecraft simulators used by the astronauts during training.[113]

Launch vehicles[edit]

Launch vehicles: 1. Mercury-Atlas (orbital flights). 2. Mercury-Redstone (suborbital flights). 3. Little Joe (unmanned tests)

Launch Escape System testing[edit]

A small launch vehicle (55 feet (17 m) long) called Little Joe was used for unmanned tests of the launch escape system, using a Mercury capsule with an escape tower mounted on it.[114][115] Its main purpose was to test the system at a point called max-q, at which air pressure against the spacecraft peaked, making separation of the launch vehicle and spacecraft most difficult.[116] It was also the point at which the astronaut was subjected to the heaviest vibrations.[117] The Little Joe rocket used solid-fuel propellant and was originally designed in 1958 by the NACA for suborbital manned flights, but was redesigned for Project Mercury to simulate an Atlas-D launch.[101] It was produced by North American Aviation.[114] It was not able to change direction, instead its flight depended on the angle from which it was launched.[118] Its maximum altitude was 100 mi (160 km) fully loaded.[119] A Scout launch vehicle was used for a single flight intended to evaluate the tracking network; however, it failed and was destroyed from the ground shortly after launch.[120]

Suborbital flight[edit]

The Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle, an 83-foot (25 m) tall (with capsule and escape system) single-stage launch vehicle used for suborbital (ballistic) flights.[121] It had a liquid-fueled engine that burned alcohol and liquid oxygen producing about 75,000 pounds of thrust, which was not enough for orbital missions.[121] It was a descendant of the German V-2,[33] and developed for the U.S. Army during the early 1950s. It was modified for Project Mercury by removing the warhead and adding a collar for supporting the spacecraft together with material for damping vibrations during launch.[122] Its rocket motor was produced by North American Aviation and its direction could be altered during flight by its fins. They worked in two ways: by directing the air around them, or by directing the thrust by their inner parts (or both at the same time).[33] Both the Atlas-D and Redstone launch vehicles contained an automatic abort sensing system which allowed them to abort a launch by firing the launch escape system if something went wrong.[123] The Jupiter rocket, also developed by Von Braun’s team at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, was considered as well for intermediate Mercury suborbital flights at a higher speed and altitude than Redstone, but this plan was dropped when it turned out that man-rating Jupiter for the Mercury program would actually cost more than flying an Atlas due to scale of economics–Jupiter’s only use other than as a missile system was for the short-lived Juno II launch vehicle and keeping a full staff of technical personnel around solely to fly a few Mercury capsules would result in excessively high costs.[124][125]

Orbital flight[edit]

Orbital missions required use of the Atlas LV-3B, a man-rated version of the Atlas D which was originally developed as the United States first operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)[126] by Convair for the Air Force during the mid-1950s.[127] The Atlas was a “one-and-one-half-stage” rocket fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen (LOX).[126] The rocket by itself stood 67 feet (20 m) high; total height of the Atlas-Mercury space vehicle at launch was 95 feet (29 m).[128]

The Atlas first stage was a booster skirt with two engines burning liquid fuel.[129][n 10] This together with the larger sustainer second stage gave it sufficient power to launch a Mercury spacecraft into orbit.[126] Both stages fired from lift-off with the thrust from the second stage sustainer engine passing through an opening in the first stage. After separation from the first stage, the sustainer stage continued alone. The sustainer also steered the rocket by thrusters guided by gyroscopes.[130] Smaller vernier rockets were added on its sides for precise control of maneuvers.[126]

Gallery[edit]

Astronauts[edit]

Left to right: Grissom, Shepard, Carpenter, Schirra, Slayton, Glenn and Cooper, 1962

NASA announced the selected seven astronauts – known as the Mercury Seven – on April 9, 1959,[131] they were:[132]

Shepard became the first American in space by making a suborbital flight in May 1961.[133] He went on to fly in the Apollo program and became the only Mercury astronaut to walk on the Moon.[134] Gus Grissom, who became the second American in space, also participated in the Gemini and Apollo programs, but died in January 1967 during a pre-launch test for Apollo 1.[135] Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in February 1962, then quit NASA and went into politics, serving as a US Senator from 1974 to 1999, and returned to space in 1998 as a Payload Specialist aboard STS-95.[136] Deke Slayton was grounded in 1962, but remained with NASA and was appointed Chief Astronaut at the beginning of Project Gemini. He remained in the position of senior astronaut, in charge of space crew flight assignments among many other responsibilities, until towards the end of Project Apollo, when he resigned and began training to fly on the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975, which he successfully did.[137] Gordon Cooper became the last to fly in Mercury and made its longest flight, and also flew a Gemini mission. [138] Carpenter’s Mercury flight was his only trip into space. Schirra flew the third orbital Mercury mission, and then flew a Gemini mission. Three years later, he commanded the first manned Apollo mission, becoming the only person to fly in all three of those programs.

One of the astronauts’ tasks was publicity; they gave interviews to the press and visited project manufacturing facilities to speak with those who worked on Project Mercury.[139] To make their travels easier, they requested and got jet fighters for personal use.[140] The press was especially fond of John Glenn, who was considered the best speaker of the seven.[141] They sold their personal stories to Life magazine which portrayed them as patriotic, God-fearing family men.[142] Life was also allowed to be at home with the families while the astronauts were in space.[142] During the project, Grissom, Carpenter, Cooper, Schirra and Slayton stayed with their families at or near Langley Air Force Base; Glenn lived at the base and visited his family in Washington DC on weekends. Shepard lived with his family at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.

Other than Grissom, who was killed in the 1967 Apollo 1 fire, the other six survived past retirement [143] and died between 1993 and 2016.

Selection and training[edit]

It was first envisaged that the pilot could be any man or woman willing to take a personal risk.[144] However, the first Americans to venture into space were drawn, on President Eisenhower’s insistence, from a group of 508 active duty military test pilots,[145] who were either USN or USMC naval aviation pilots (NAPs), or USAF pilots of Senior or Command rating. This excluded women, since there were no female military test pilots at the time.[4] It also excluded civilian NASA X-15 pilot Neil Armstrong, though he had been selected by the U.S. Air Force in 1958 for its Man In Space Soonest program, which was replaced by Mercury.[146] Although Armstrong had been a combat-experienced NAP during the Korean War, he left active duty in 1952.[4][n 11] Armstrong became NASA’s first civilian astronaut in 1962 when he was selected for NASA’s second group,[148]and became the first man on the Moon in 1969.[149]

It was further stipulated that candidates should be between 25 and 40 years old, no taller than 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), and hold a college degree in a STEM subject.[4] The college degree requirement excluded the USAF’s X-1 pilot, then-Lt Col (later Brig Gen) Chuck Yeager, the first person to exceed the speed of sound.[150] He later became a critic of the project, ridiculing especially the use of monkeys as test subjects.[150][n 12] USAF Capt (later Col) Joseph Kittinger, a USAF fighter pilot and stratosphere balloonist, met all the requirements but preferred to stay in his contemporary project.[150] Other potential candidates declined because they did not believe that manned spaceflight had a future beyond Project Mercury.[150][n 13] From the original 508, 110 candidates were selected for an interview, and from the interviews, 32 were selected for further physical and mental testing.[153] Their health, vision, and hearing were examined, together with their tolerance to noise, vibrations, g-forces, personal isolation, and heat.[154][155] In a special chamber, they were tested to see if they could perform their tasks under confusing conditions.[154] The candidates had to answer more than 500 questions about themselves and describe what they saw in different images.[154] Navy LT (later CAPT) Jim Lovell, a NAP who was later an astronaut in the Gemini and Apollo programs, did not pass the physical tests.[150] After these tests it was intended to narrow the group down to six astronauts, but in the end it was decided to keep seven.[156]

The astronauts went through a training program covering some of the same exercises that were used in their selection.[38] They simulated the g-force profiles of launch and reentry in a centrifuge at the Naval Air Development Center, and were taught special breathing techniques necessary when subjected to more than 6 g.[140] Weightlessness training took place in aircraft, first on the rear seat of a two-seater fighter and later inside converted and padded cargo aircraft.[157] They practiced gaining control of a spinning spacecraft in a machine at the Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory called the Multi-Axis Spin-Test Inertia Facility (MASTIF), by using an attitude controller handle simulating the one in the spacecraft.[158][159] A further measure for finding the right attitude in orbit was star and Earth recognition training in planetaria and simulators.[160]Communication and flight procedures were practiced in flight simulators, first together with a single person assisting them and later with the Mission Control Center.[161] Recovery was practiced in pools at Langley, and later at sea with frogmen and helicopter crews.[162]

Mission profile[edit]

Suborbital[edit]

Profile. See timetable for explanation. Dashed line: region of weightlessness.

A Redstone rocket was used to boost the capsule for 2 minutes and 30 seconds to an altitude of 32 nautical miles (59 km) and let it continue on a ballistic curve after booster-spacecraft separation.[163][164] The launch escape system was jettisoned at the same time. At the top of the curve, the spacecraft’s retrorockets were fired for testing purposes; they were not necessary for re-entry because orbital speed had not been attained. The spacecraft landed in the Atlantic Ocean.[165] The suborbital mission took about 15 minutes, had an apogee altitude of 102–103 nautical miles (189–191 km), and a downrange distance of 262 nautical miles (485 km).[138][166] From the time of booster-spacecraft separation until reentry where air started to slow down the spacecraft, the pilot would experience weightlessness as shown on the image.[n 14] The recovery procedure would be the same as an orbital mission.

Orbital[edit]

Profile. A-C: launch. D: insert into orbit. E-K: re-entry and landing

Preparations for a mission started a month in advance with the selection of the primary and back-up astronaut; they would practice together for the mission.[167] For three days prior to launch, the astronaut went through a special diet to minimize his need for defecating during the flight.[168] On the morning of the trip he typically ate a steak breakfast.[168] After having sensors applied to his body and being dressed in the pressure suit, he started breathing pure oxygen to prepare him for the atmosphere of the spacecraft.[169] He arrived at the launch pad, took the elevator up the launch tower and entered the spacecraft two hours before launch.[170][n 15] Once the astronaut was secured inside, the hatch was bolted, the launch area evacuated and the mobile tower rolled back.[171] After this, the launch vehicle was filled with liquid oxygen.[171] The entire procedure of preparing for launch and launching the spacecraft followed a time table called the countdown. It started a day in advance with a pre-count, in which all systems of the launch vehicle and spacecraft were checked. After that followed a 15-hour hold, during which pyrotechnics were installed. Then came the main countdown which for orbital flights started 6½ hours before launch (T – 390 min), counted backwards to launch (T = 0) and then forward until orbital insertion (T + 5 min).[170][n 16]

On an orbital mission, the Atlas’ rocket engines were ignited 4 seconds before lift-off. The launch vehicle was held to the ground by clamps and then released when sufficient thrust was built up at lift-off (A).[173] After 30 seconds of flight, the point of maximum dynamic pressure against the vehicle was reached, at which the astronaut felt heavy vibrations.[174]After 2 minutes and 10 seconds, the two outboard booster engines shut down and were released with the aft skirt, leaving the center sustainer engine running (B).[170] At this point, the launch escape system was no longer needed, and was separated from the spacecraft by its jettison rocket (C).[53][n 17] The space vehicle moved gradually to a horizontal attitude until, at an altitude of 87 nautical miles (161 km), the sustainer engine shut down and the spacecraft was inserted into orbit (D).[176] This happened after 5 minutes and 10 seconds in a direction pointing east, whereby the spacecraft would gain speed from the rotation of the Earth.[177][n 18] Here the spacecraft fired the three posigrade rockets for a second to separate it from the launch vehicle.[179][n 19] Just before orbital insertion and sustainer engine cutoff, g-loads peaked at 8 g (6 g for a suborbital flight).[174][181] In orbit, the spacecraft automatically turned 180°, pointed the retropackage forward and its nose 14.5° downward and kept this attitude for the rest of the orbital phase of the mission, as it was necessary for communication with the ground.[182][183][n 20]

Once in orbit, it was not possible for the spacecraft to change its trajectory except by initiating reentry.[185] Each orbit would typically take 88 minutes to complete.[186] The lowest point of the orbit called perigee was at the point where the spacecraft entered orbit and was about 87 nautical miles (161 km), the highest called apogee was on the opposite side of Earth and was about 150 nautical miles (280 km).[166] When leaving orbit (E) the angle downward was increased to 34°, which was the angle of retrofire.[182] Retrorockets fired for 10 seconds each (F) in a sequence where one started 5 seconds after the other.[179][187] During reentry (G), the astronaut would experience about 8 g (11–12 g on a suborbital mission).[188] The temperature around the heat shield rose to 3,000 °F (1,600 °C) and at the same time, there was a two-minute radio blackout due to ionization of the air around the spacecraft.[189][55] After re-entry, a small, drogue parachute (H) was deployed at 21,000 ft (6,400 m) for stabilizing the spacecraft’s descent.[65] The main parachute (I) was deployed at 10,000 ft (3,000 m) starting with a narrow opening that opened fully in a few seconds to lessen the strain on the lines.[190] Just before hitting the water, the landing bag inflated from behind the heat shield to reduce the force of impact (J).[190] Upon landing the parachutes were released.[62] An antenna (K) was raised and sent out signals that could be traced by ships and helicopters.[62] Further, a green marker dye was spread around the spacecraft to make its location more visible from the air.[62][n 21] Frogmen brought in by helicopters inflated a collar around the craft to keep it upright in the water.[192][n 22] The recovery helicopter hooked onto the spacecraft and the astronaut blew the escape hatch to exit the capsule.[61] He was then hoisted aboard the helicopter that finally brought both him and the spacecraft to the ship.[n 23]

Ground control[edit]

A look inside the Mercury Control Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Dominated by the control board showing the position of the spacecraft above ground

Inside Control Center at Cape Canaveral (Mercury-Atlas 8)

The number of personnel supporting a Mercury mission was typically around 18,000, with about 15,000 people associated with recovery.[193][194][n 24] Most of the others followed the spacecraft from the World Wide Tracking Network, a chain of 18 stations placed around the equator, which was based on a network used for satellites and made ready in 1960.[196] It collected data from the spacecraft and provided two-way communication between the astronaut and the ground.[197] Each station had a range of 700 nautical miles (1,300 km) and a pass typically lasted 7 minutes.[198] Mercury astronauts on the ground would take part of the Capsule Communicator or CAPCOM who communicated with the astronaut in orbit.[199][200][n 25] Data from the spacecraft was sent to the ground, processed at the Goddard Space Center and relayed to the Mercury Control Center at Cape Canaveral.[201] In the Control Center, the data was displayed on boards on each side of a world map, which showed the position of the spacecraft, its ground track and the place it could land in an emergency within the next 30 minutes.[183]

The World Wide Tracking Network went on to serve subsequent space programs, until it was replaced by a satellite relay system in the 1980s[202] Mission Control Center was moved from Cape Canaveral to Houston in 1965.[203]

Flights[edit]

Project Mercury landing sites

/
Cape Canaveral
Hawaii
City locator 23.svg
Freedom 7
City locator 23.svg
Liberty Bell 7
City locator 23.svg
Friendship 7
City locator 23.svg
Aurora 7
City locator 23.svg
Sigma 7
City locator 23.svg
Faith 7

On April 12, 1961 the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space on an orbital flight.[204] Alan Shepard became the first American in space on a suborbital flight three weeks later, on May 5, 1961.[133] John Glenn, the third Mercury astronaut to fly, became the first American to reach orbit on February 20, 1962, but only after the Soviets had launched a second cosmonaut, Gherman Titov, into a day-long flight in August 1961.[205] Three more Mercury orbital flights were made, ending on May 16, 1963 with a day-long, 22 orbit flight.[138] However, the Soviet Union ended its Vostok program the next month, with the human spaceflight endurance record set by the 82-orbit, almost 5-day Vostok 5 flight.[206]

Manned[edit]

All of the 6 manned Mercury flights were successful though some intended flight were cancelled during the project (see below).[207] The main medical problems encountered were simple personal hygiene, and post-flight symptoms of low blood pressure.[193] The launch vehicles had been tested through unmanned flights, therefore the numbering of manned missions did not start with 1.[208] Also, since two different launch vehicles were used, there were two separate numbered series: MR for “Mercury-Redstone” (suborbital flights), and MA for “Mercury-Atlas” (orbital flights). These names were not popularly used, since the astronauts followed a pilot tradition, each giving their spacecraft a name. They selected names ending with a “7” to commemorate the seven astronauts.[53][132] Times given are Universal Coordinated Time, local time + 5 hours.

Mission[n 26] Call-sign Pilot Launch time Launch site Duration Orbits Apogee
mi (km)
Perigee
mi (km)
Max. velocity
mph (km/h)
Miss
mi (km)
Mercury-Redstone 3 Freedom 7 Shepard 14:34 on May 5, 1961 Launch Complex-5 15 m 22 s 0 117 (188) 5,134 (8,262) 3.5 (5.6)
Mercury-Redstone 4 Liberty Bell 7 Grissom 12:20 on July 21, 1961 Launch Complex-5 15 m 37 s 0 118 (190) 5,168 (8,317) 5.8 (9.3)
Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 Glenn 14:47 on February 20, 1962 Launch Complex-14 4 h 55 m 23 s 3 162 (261) 100 (161) 17,544 (28,234) 46 (74)
Mercury-Atlas 7 Aurora 7 Carpenter 12:45 on May 24, 1962 Launch Complex-14 4 h 56 m 5 s 3 167 (269) 100 (161) 17,549 (28,242) 248 (400)
Mercury-Atlas 8 Sigma 7 Schirra 12:15 on October 3, 1962 Launch Complex-14 9 h 13 m 15 s 6 176 (283) 100 (161) 17,558 (28,257) 4.6 (7.4)
Mercury-Atlas 9 Faith 7 Cooper 13:04 on May 15, 1963 Launch Complex-14 1 d 10 h 19 m 49 s 22 166 (267) 100 (161) 17,547 (28,239) 5.0 (8.1)

Unmanned[edit]

The 20 unmanned flights used Little Joe, Redstone, and Atlas launch vehicles.[132] They were used to develop the launch vehicles, launch escape system, spacecraft and tracking network.[208] One flight of a Scout rocket attempted to launch an unmanned satellite for testing the ground tracking network, but failed to reach orbit. The Little Joe program used seven airframes for eight flights, of which three were successful. The second Little Joe flight was named Little Joe 6, because it was inserted into the program after the first 5 airframes had been allocated.[225][168]

Mission[n 32] Launch Duration Purpose Result
Little Joe 1 August 21, 1959 20 s Test of launch escape system during flight. Failure
Big Joe 1 September 9, 1959 13 m 00 s Test of heat shield and Atlas/spacecraft interface. Partly success
Little Joe 6 October 4, 1959 5 m 10 s Test of spacecraft aerodynamics and integrity. Partly success
Little Joe 1A November 4, 1959 8 m 11 s Test of launch escape system during flight with boiler plate capsule. Partly success
Little Joe 2 December 4, 1959 11 m 6 s Escape system test with primate at high altitude. Success
Little Joe 1B January 21, 1960 8 m 35 s Maximum-q abort and escape test with primate with boiler plate capsule. Success
Beach Abort May 9, 1960 1 m 31 s Test of the off-the-pad abort system. Success
Mercury-Atlas 1 July 29, 1960 3 m 18 s Test of spacecraft / Atlas combination. Failure
Little Joe 5 November 8, 1960 2 m 22 s First test of escape system with a production spacecraft. Failure
Mercury-Redstone 1 November 21, 1960 2 s Test of production spacecraft at max-q. Failure
Mercury-Redstone 1A December 19, 1960 15 m 45 s Qualification of spacecraft / Redstone combination. Success
Mercury-Redstone 2 January 31, 1961 16 m 39 s Qualification of spacecraft with chimpanzee. Success
Mercury-Atlas 2 February 21, 1961 17 m 56 s Qualified Mercury/Atlas interface. Success
Little Joe 5A March 18, 1961 23 m 48 s Second test of escape system with a production Mercury spacecraft. Partly success
Mercury-Redstone BD March 24, 1961 8 m 23 s Final Redstone test flight. Success
Mercury-Atlas 3 April 25, 1961 7 m 19 s Orbital flight with robot astronaut.[226][227][n 33] Failure
Little Joe 5B April 28, 1961 5 m 25 s Third test of escape system with a production spacecraft. Success
Mercury-Atlas 4 September 13, 1961 1 h 49 m 20 s Test of environmental control system with robot astronaut in orbit. Success
Mercury-Scout 1 November 1, 1961 44 s Test of Mercury tracking network. Failure
Mercury-Atlas 5 November 29, 1961 3 h 20 m 59 s Test of environmental control system in orbit with chimpanzee. Success
  After suborbital manned flights

Canceled[edit]

Nine of the planned flights were cancelled. Suborbital flights were planned for four other astronauts but the number of flights was cut down gradually and finally all remaining were cancelled after Titov’s flight.[256][257][n 37] Mercury-Atlas 9 was intended to be followed by more one-day flights and even a three-day flight but with the coming of the Gemini Project it seemed unnecessary. The Jupiter booster was, as mentioned above, intended to be used for different purposes.

Mission Pilot Planned Launch Cancellation
Mercury-Jupiter 1 July 1, 1959[259]
Mercury-Jupiter 2 Chimpanzee First Quarter, 1960 July 1, 1959[259][n 38]
Mercury-Redstone 5 Glenn (likely) March 1960[257] August 1961[261]
Mercury-Redstone 6 April 1960[257] July 1961[262]
Mercury-Redstone 7 May 1960[257]
Mercury-Redstone 8 June 1960[257]
Mercury-Atlas 10 Shepard October 1963 June 13, 1963[n 39]
Mercury-Atlas 11 Grissom Fourth Quarter, 1963 October 1962[264]
Mercury-Atlas 12 Schirra Fourth Quarter, 1963 October 1962[265]

Impact and legacy[edit]

Ticker tape parade for Gordon Cooper, 1963

The project was delayed by 22 months, counting from the beginning until the first orbital mission.[193] It had a dozen prime contractors, 75 major subcontractors, and about 7200 third-tier subcontractors, who together employed two million people.[193] An estimate of its cost made by NASA in 1969 gave $392.6 million ($1.74 billion adjusted for inflation), broken down as follows: Spacecraft: $135.3 million, launch vehicles: $82.9 million, operations: $49.3 million, tracking operations and equipment: $71.9 million and facilities: $53.2 million.[266][267]

Today the Mercury program is commemorated as the first manned American space program.[268] It did not win the race against the Soviet Union, but gave back national prestige and was scientifically a successful precursor of later programs such as Gemini, Apollo and Skylab.[269][n 40] During the 1950s, some experts doubted that manned spaceflight was possible.[n 41] Still when John F. Kennedy was elected president, many including he had doubts about the project.[272] As president he chose to support the programs a few months before the launch of Freedom 7,[273] which became a great public success.[274][n 42] Afterwards, a majority of the American public supported manned spaceflight, and within a few weeks, Kennedy announced a plan for a manned mission to land on the Moon and return safely to Earth before the end of the 1960s.[278] The six astronauts who flew were awarded medals,[279] driven in parades and two of them were invited to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.[280] As a response to the selection criteria, which ruled out women, a private project was founded in which 13 women pilots successfully underwent the same tests as the men in Project Mercury.[281] It was named Mercury 13 by the media[282][n 43]Despite this effort, NASA did not select female astronauts until 1978 for the Space Shuttle.[283]

In 1964, a monument commemorating Project Mercury was unveiled near Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral, featuring a metal logo combining the symbol of Mercury with the number 7.[284] In 1962, the United States Postal Service honored the Mercury-Atlas 6 flight with a Project Mercury commemorative stamp, the first U.S. postal issue to depict a manned spacecraft.[285][n 44] On film, the program was portrayed in The Right Stuff a 1983 adaptation of Tom Wolfe‘s 1979 book of the same name.[287] On February 25, 2011, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the world’s largest technical professional society, awarded Boeing (the successor company to McDonnell Aircraft) a Milestone Award for important inventions which debuted on the Mercury spacecraft.[288][n 45]

Displays[edit]

The spacecraft that flew, together with some that did not are on display in the United States. Friendship 7 (capsule No. 13) went on a global tour, popularly known as its “fourth orbit”. [289]

Patches[edit]

Commemorative patches were designed by entrepreneurs after the Mercury program to satisfy collectors.[290][n 47]

Videos[edit]

Graphics[edit]

Astronauts assignments[edit]

Tracking network[edit]

Spacecraft cutaway[edit]

Control panels and handle[edit]

Launch complex[edit]

Earth landing system tests[edit]

Space program comparison[edit]

Notes[edit]

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download  Shows 806-810

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 800-805

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 793-799

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 785-792

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 777-784

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 769-776

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 759-768

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 751-758

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 745-750

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 738-744

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 732-737

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 727-731

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 720-726

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 713-719

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 705-712

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 695-704

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 685-694

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 675-684

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 668-674

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 660-667

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 651-659

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-650

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 637-643

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 629-636

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 617-628

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 608-616

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 599-607

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 590-598

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 585- 589

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 575-584

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 565-574

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 556-564

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 538-545

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 532-537

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 526-531

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 519-525

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 510-518

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 500-509

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

The Pronk Pops Show 808, December 6, 2016, Story 1: Which Political Party Is A Greater Threat To The First Amendment of The U.S. Constitution? The Democratic Party Together With Big Lie Media — Videos

Posted on December 6, 2016. Filed under: Banking System, Budgetary Policy, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Fiscal Policy, Freedom of Speech, Hate Speech, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, House of Representatives, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Rule of Law, Senate, Tax Policy, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 808: December 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 807: December 5, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 806: December 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 805: December 1, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 804: November 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 803: November 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 802: November 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 801: November 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 800: November 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 799: November 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 798: November 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 797: November 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 796: November 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 795: November 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 794: November 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 793: November 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 792: November 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 791: November 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 790: November 4, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 789: November 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 788: November 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 787: October 31, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 786: October 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 785: October 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 784: October 26, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 783: October 25, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 782: October 24, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 781: October 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 780: October 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 779: October 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 778: October 18, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 777: October 17, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 776: October 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 775: October 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 774: October 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 773: October 11, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 772: October 10, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 771: October 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 770: October 6, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 769: October 5, 2016 

Pronk Pops Show 768: October 3, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 767: September 30, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 766: September 29, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 765: September 28, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 764: September 27, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 763: September 26, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 762: September 23, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 761: September 22, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 760: September 21, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 759: September 20, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 758: September 19, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 757: September 16, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 756: September 15, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 755: September 14, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 754: September 13, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 753: September 12, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 752: September 9, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 751: September 8, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 750: September 7, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 749: September 2, 2016

Pronk Pops Show 748: September 1, 2016

Story 1: Which Political Party Is A Greater Threat To The First Amendment of The U.S. Constitution? The Democratic Party Together With Big Lie Media — Videos

Image result for free speech congress should make no lawImage result for the facts about citizens united vs fecImage result for hillary the movieImage result for the facts about citizens united vs fec

TIME WARNER CEO: The ‘real threat’ to the First Amendment came from Democrats, not Trump

Time Warner CEO Thinks Democrats Are Worse For First Amendment Than Trump

What You Probably Haven’t Heard About Citizens United

Does Citizens United Protect Your Freedom of Speech? – Learn Liberty

Undoing Citizens United – Yea or Nay?

What Citizens United Didn’t Say

Justice Scalia on Citizens United (C-SPAN)

Richard Epstein on Citizens United

Sen. Rand Paul on Citizens United

Does Free Speech Offend You?

Why We’re Losing Liberty

A Progressive’s Guide to Political Correctness

Trump’s First Amendment Threat: Leftist Fearmongering

Goodbye To The First Amendment

Democrats Call For Banning InfoWars

Ted Cruz: “Democrats Vote to Repeal First Amendment”

Sen. Cruz Speaks in Opposition to Repealing First Amendment Free-Speech Protections

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Calls for Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Free Speech Is Threatened on Campus

The Story of Citizens United v. FEC

Story of Citizens United v. FEC, The Critique ‌‌ – Lee Doren

Campaign Finance Reform and the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision

Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission- With Credits

3 Reasons Not To Sweat The “Citizens United” SCOTUS Ruling

What You Probably Haven’t Heard About Citizens United

Does Citizens United Protect Your Freedom of Speech? – Learn Liberty

Generation Zero Full Documentary | Citizens United – Documentaries

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Oral Arguments

Campaign Finance: Lawyers’ Citizens United v. FEC U.S. Supreme Court Arguments (2009)

Hillary Clinton The Movie Banned by the Courts in 2008

Published on May 9, 2015

‘Hillary, the Movie’ case to be reheard
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/06/2…
WASHINGTON, June 29 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it wants a case involving federal election law and an attack “documentary” on Hillary Clinton reheard next September.

The justices said new argument should address two key Supreme Court precedents upholding federal election law and whether the high court should “overrule either or both.”

At stake in the case is a provision of a 2002 federal campaign law that bans “election communications” funded by corporations or unions close to an election.

The justices heard argument earlier this term, with former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson representing the producers of “Hillary, the Movie.” The film’s backers wanted to make it available as an “on demand” movie on cable television during the 2008 race for the presidency.

But federal courts ruled the movie, financed partly with funds from unnamed corporations, violated the 2002 McCain-Feingold law.

Deputy U.S. Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, defending the law, suggested the Constitution not only allows the restriction of the “documentary” message when offered “on demand,” but also on the Internet, on a DVD or in a book, even at a public library.

(Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, No. 08-205.)

Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes Says Democrats Were Bigger First Amendment Threat Than Trump

Francois G. Durand/Getty Images
Jeff Bewkes

“The threat to the First Amendment came from the Democratic side more,” he says, arguing that journalists viewed a Democratic plank “overly charitably” as campaign finance reform.

When it comes to politicians trampling free speech and free press, Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said Tuesday that he doesn’t fear president-elect Donald Trump as much as he does his rivals on the other side of the aisle.

“The threat to the First Amendment came from the Democratic side,” Bewkes said during a conversation with Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget at a conference in New York in a session that was webcast.

Bewkes made the comment after Blodget noted that Trump had criticized CNN for allegedly unfair coverage, and even threatened some sort of regulation in retaliation against CNN, owned by Time Warner.

Robert Thomson

News Corp. CEO on Fake News Sites: “We’ve Gone From the Year of ‘Mad Men’ to Mad Metrics”

“I don’t think that’s a serious thing,” Bewkes told Blodget at the Ignition: Future of Digital conference. “If anybody is going to change the First Amendment — remember, the Democratic party had a campaign plank to change the First Amendment, and they were doing it in the guise of campaign finance reform.”

The CEO, continuing his theme, even acknowledged that the news media does, indeed, lean left, as conservatives have long complained.

“That was worrying me more, because the press tends to miss that because they tend to lean that way, and therefore they were supporting what they were viewing, I think overly charitably, as something in cleaning up money in politics when in fact what it would do is restrain multiple voices,” Bewkes argued. “So, I thought the threat to the First Amendment came from the Democratic side more. I think there won’t be a serious effort on the Republican side.”

Bewkes wasn’t specific, though Trump’s Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton promised many times to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allowed the conservative group to promote its anti-Hillary movie. The decision gave corporations rights, similar to those of unions and individuals, to fund political speech.

Bewkes also said Trump wasn’t the only Republican candidate to complain of unfair coverage, as Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush and others also weren’t happy with CNN and the press. “That’s more about the nature of change in that party right now,” he said. “I think we’re going to see it on the Democratic side, too.”

Lowell McAdam

Verizon CEO Talks AT&T-Time Warner, Content Strategy

Bewkes also said he isn’t worried that Trump has said he’d like to prevent AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, suggesting that maybe politicians who initially spoke against the merger confused Time Warner with Time Warner Cable, which would have been a tougher sale to regulators, given AT&T already owns pay-TV giant DirecTV.

“We were still before the election and we know some of the strains of populism in that election on both sides,” he said. “I’m not saying whether everybody thought it was the cable company merging with a phone company — they’re different competitive issues — but it isn’t that, and I think when it becomes clear what we’re doing it will become clear to everyone that it will be pro-competitive, pro-consumer and improve competition in advertising.”

After the BusinessInsider event, Bewkes headed to the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference for further discussion about CNN.

“CNN had a killer year,” he said. “We could say this has been an unusual year in world events, but it’s actually not true. Every year is … if you go back three or four years ago, everybody would be saying you’d have to have a political slant,” he said, suggesting that CNN is thriving yet unbiased.

When the conversation turned to digital distribution of Time Warner’s cable networks, Bewkes noted that DirecTV Now launched for $35 a month for 100 channels but $5 extra for HBO, and he suggested he’s open to more such deals for the premium channel. “We welcome distributors making aggressive price offerings,” he said.

He boasted of “a pretty hefty budget, a couple of billion dollars” at HBO, adding: “We’re not spending our programming money on library product, we’re doing original shows … We’ve been increasing it and we’ll keep increasing it.”

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/time-warner-ceo-jeffrey-bewkes-says-democrats-were-bigger-first-amendment-threat-trump-953267

Citizens United v. FEC

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Citizens United” redirects here. For the political organization, see Citizens United (organization). For other uses, see Citizens United (disambiguation).
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg

Argued March 24, 2009
Reargued September 9, 2009
Decided January 21, 2010
Full case name Citizens United, Appellant v. Federal Election Commission
Docket nos. 08-205
Citations 558 U.S. 310 (more)

130 S.Ct. 876
Argument Oral argument
Reargument Reargument
Opinion announcement Opinion announcement
Prior history denied appellants motion for a preliminary injunction 530 F. Supp. 2d 274 (D.D.C. 2008)[1] probable jurisdiction noted 128 S. Ct. 1471 (2008).
Holding
The Freedom of the Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. And the provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act prohibiting unions, corporations and not-for-profit organizations from broadcasting electioneering communications within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary election violates the clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. United States District Court for the District of Columbia reversed.
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Kennedy, joined by Roberts, Scalia, Alito; Thomas (all but Part IV); Stevens, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor (only as to Part IV)
Concurrence Roberts, joined by Alito
Concurrence Scalia, joined by Alito; Thomas (in part)
Concur/dissent Stevens, joined by Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor
Concur/dissent Thomas
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I, Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
This case overturned a previous ruling or rulings
McConnell v. FEC (in part)

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is a U.S. constitutional law and corporate law case dealing with the regulation of campaign spending by organizations. The United States Supreme Court held (5–4) on 21 January 2010 that freedom of speech prohibited the government from restricting independent political expenditures by a nonprofit corporation. The principles articulated by the Supreme Court in the case have also been extended to for-profit corporations, labor unions and other associations.[2][3]

In the case, the conservative non-profit organization Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts shortly before the 2008 Democratic primary election in which Clinton was running for U.S. President. This would violate a federal statute prohibiting certain electioneering communications near an election. The court found the provisions of the law that prohibited corporations and unions from making such electioneering communications to conflict with the U.S. Constitution.

The court, however, upheld requirements for public disclosure by sponsors of advertisements. The case did not affect the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties.

Case summary

In the case, No. 08-205, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), the conservative non-profit organization Citizens United wanted to air a film critical of Hillary Clinton and to advertise the film during television broadcasts, which was a violation of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, commonly known as the McCain–Feingold Act or “BCRA”.[4] Section 203 of BCRA defined an “electioneering communication” as a broadcast, cable, or satellite communication that mentioned a candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary, and prohibited such expenditures by corporations and unions. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that §203 of BCRA applied and prohibited Citizens United from advertising the film Hillary: The Movie in broadcasts or paying to have it shown on television within 30 days of the 2008 Democratic primaries.[1][5] The Supreme Court reversed this decision, striking down those provisions of BCRA that prohibited corporations (including nonprofit corporations) and unions from making independent expenditures and “electioneering communications”.[4] The majority decision overruled Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce (1990) and partially overruled McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (2003).[6] The Court, however, upheld requirements for public disclosure by sponsors of advertisements (BCRA §201 and §311). The case did not involve the federal ban on direct contributions from corporations or unions to candidate campaigns or political parties, which remain illegal in races for federal office.[7]

Background

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (known as BCRA or McCain–Feingold Act) – specifically §203, which modified the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, 2 U.S.C. § 441b – prohibited corporations and unions from using their general treasury to fund “electioneering communications” (broadcast advertisements mentioning a candidate) within 30 days before a primary or 60 days before a general election. During the 2004 presidential campaign, a conservative nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization named Citizens United filed a complaint before the Federal Election Commission (FEC) charging that advertisements for Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11, a docudrama critical of the Bush administration’s response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, constituted political advertising and thus could not be aired within the 30 days before a primary election or 60 days before a general election. The FEC dismissed the complaint after finding no evidence that broadcast advertisements for the film and featuring a candidate within the proscribed time limits had actually been made.[8] The FEC later dismissed a second complaint which argued that the movie itself constituted illegal corporate spending advocating the election or defeat of a candidate, which was illegal under the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1974. In dismissing that complaint, the FEC found that:

The complainant alleged that the release and distribution of FAHRENHEIT 9/11 constituted an independent expenditure because the film expressly advocated the defeat of President Bush and that by being fully or partially responsible for the film’s release, Michael Moore and other entities associated with the film made excessive and/or prohibited contributions to unidentified candidates. The Commission found no reason to believe the respondents violated the Act because the film, associated trailers and website represented bona fide commercial activity, not “contributions” or “expenditures” as defined by the Federal Election Campaign Act.[9]

In the wake of these decisions, Citizens United sought to establish itself as a bona fide commercial film maker, producing several documentary films between 2005 and 2007. By early 2008, it sought to run television commercials to promote its political documentary Hillary: The Movie and to air the movie on DirecTV.[10]

In the District Court

In December 2007 Citizens United filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the constitutionality of several statutory provisions governing “electioneering communications”.[11] It asked the court to declare that the corporate and union funding restrictions were unconstitutional both on its face and as applied to Hillary: The Movie, and to enjoin the Federal Election Commission from enforcing its regulations. Citizens United also argued that the Commission’s disclosure and disclaimer requirements were unconstitutional as applied to the movie pursuant to the Supreme Court decision in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc.. It also sought to enjoin the funding, disclosure, and disclaimer requirements as applied to Citizens United’s intended ads for the movie.

In accordance with special rules in section 403 of the BCRA, a three-judge court was convened to hear the case. On January 15, 2008, the court denied Citizens United’s motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that the suit had little chance of success because the movie had no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote against Senator Clinton, that it was therefore express advocacy, not entitled to exemption from the ban on corporate funding of electioneering communications, and that television advertisements for the movie within 30 days of a primary violated the BCRA restrictions on “electioneering communications”.[12] The court held that the Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC (2003) had found the disclosure requirements constitutional as to all electioneering communications, and Wisconsin RTL did not disturb this holding because the only issue of that case was whether speech that did not constitute the functional equivalent of express advocacy could be banned during the relevant pre-election period.

On July 18, 2008, the District Court granted summary judgement to the Federal Election Commission. In accordance with the special rules in the BCRA, Citizens United appealed to the Supreme Court which docketed the case on August 18, 2008 and granted certiorari on November 14, 2008.[13]

The Supreme Court heard oral argument on March 24, 2009[10][14][15] and then asked for further briefs on June 29; the re-argument was heard on September 9, 2009.[13]

Before the Supreme Court

During the original oral argument, Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart (representing the FEC) argued that under Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the government would have the power to ban books if those books contained even one sentence expressly advocating the election or defeat of a candidate and were published or distributed by a corporation or labor union.[16] In response to this line of questioning, Stewart further argued that under Austin the government could ban the digital distribution of political books over the Amazon Kindle or prevent a union from hiring an author to write a political book.[17]

According to a 2012 article in The New Yorker by Jeffrey Toobin, the Court expected after oral argument to rule on the narrow question that had originally been presented: could Citizens United show the film? At the subsequent conference among the justices after oral argument, the vote was 5–4 in favor of Citizens United being allowed to show the film. The justices voted the same as they had in Federal Election Commission v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., a similar 2007 case, with Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito in the majority.[18]

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the initial opinion of the Court, holding that the BCRA allowed the showing of the film. A draft concurring opinion by Justice Kennedy argued that the court could and should have gone much further. The other justices in the majority began agreeing with Kennedy, and convinced Roberts to reassign the writing and allow Kennedy’s concurrence to become the majority opinion.[18]

On the other side, John Paul Stevens, the most senior justice in the minority, assigned the dissent to David Souter, who announced his retirement from the Court while he was working on it. The final draft went beyond critiquing the majority. Toobin described it as “air[ing] some of the Court’s dirty laundry,” writing that Souter’s dissent accused Roberts of having manipulated Court procedures to reach his desired result – an expansive decision that, Souter claimed, changed decades of election law and ruled on issues neither party to the litigation had presented.[18]

According to Toobin, Roberts was concerned that Souter’s dissent, likely to be his last opinion for the Court, could “damage the Court’s credibility.” He agreed with the minority to withdraw the opinion and schedule the case for reargument. However, when he did, the “Questions Presented” to the parties were more expansive, touching on the issues Kennedy had identified. According to Toobin, the eventual result was therefore a foregone conclusion from that point on.[18] Toobin’s account has been criticized for drawing conclusions unsupported by the evidence in his article.[19]

On June 29, 2009, the last day of the term, the Court issued an order directing the parties to re-argue the case on September 9 after briefing whether it might be necessary to overrule Austin and/or McConnell v. Federal Election Commission to decide the case.[20] Justice Stevens noted in his dissent that in its prior motion for summary judgment Citizens United had abandoned its facial challenge of BCRA §203, with the parties agreeing to the dismissal of the claim.[21]

Justice Sotomayor sat on the bench for the first time during the second round of oral arguments. This was the first case argued by then-Solicitor General and future Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan. Former Bush Solicitor General Ted Olson and First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams argued for Citizens United, and former Clinton Solicitor General Seth Waxman defended the statute on behalf of various supporters.[22] Legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky called it “one of the most important First Amendment cases in years”.[23]

Opinions of the Court

Majority opinion

Justice Kennedy, the author of the Court’s opinion.

Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion[24] found that the BCRA §203 prohibition of all independent expenditures by corporations and unions violated the First Amendment’s protection of free speech. The majority wrote, “If the First Amendment has any force, it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”[25]

Justice Kennedy’s opinion also noted that because the First Amendment does not distinguish between media and other corporations, the BCRA restrictions improperly allowed Congress to suppress political speech in newspapers, books, television, and blogs.[4] The Court overruled Austin, which had held that a state law that prohibited corporations from using treasury money to support or oppose candidates in elections did not violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court also overruled that portion of McConnell that upheld BCRA’s restriction of corporate spending on “electioneering communications”. The Court’s ruling effectively freed corporations and unions to spend money both on “electioneering communications” and to directly advocate for the election or defeat of candidates (although not to contribute directly to candidates or political parties).

The majority ruled that the Freedom of the Press clause of the First Amendment protects associations of individuals in addition to individual speakers, and further that the First Amendment does not allow prohibitions of speech based on the identity of the speaker. Corporations, as associations of individuals therefore, have free speech rights under the First Amendment. Because spending money is essential to disseminating speech, as established in Buckley v. Valeo, limiting a corporation’s ability to spend money is unconstitutional because it limits the ability of its members to associate effectively and to speak on political issues.

The decision overruled Austin because that decision allowed different restrictions on speech-related spending based on corporate identity. Additionally, the decision said that Austin was based on an “equality” rationale – trying to equalize speech between different speakers – that the Court had previously rejected as illegitimate under the First Amendment in Buckley. The Michigan statute at issue in Austin had distinguished between corporate and union spending, prohibiting the former while allowing the latter. The Austin Court, over the dissent by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and O’Connor, had held that such distinctions were within the legislature’s prerogative. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, however, the majority argued that the First Amendment purposefully keeps the government from interfering in the “marketplace of ideas” and “rationing” speech, and it is not up to the legislatures or the courts to create a sense of “fairness” by restricting speech.[24]

The majority also criticized Austin’s reasoning that the “distorting effect” of large corporate expenditures constituted a risk of corruption or the appearance of corruption. Rather, the majority argued that the government had no place in determining whether large expenditures distorted an audience’s perceptions, and that the type of “corruption” that might justify government controls on spending for speech had to relate to some form of “quid pro quo” transaction: “There is no such thing as too much speech.”[24] The public has a right to have access to all information and to determine the reliability and importance of the information. Additionally, the majority did not believe that reliable evidence substantiated the risk of corruption or the appearance of corruption, and so this rationale did not satisfy strict scrutiny.

The Court’s opinion relied heavily on the reasoning and principles of the landmark campaign finance case of Buckley and First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, in which the Court struck down a broad prohibition against independent expenditures by corporations in ballot initiatives and referenda.[24] Specifically, the Court echoed Bellotti’s rejection of categories based on a corporation’s purpose. The majority argued that to grant Freedom of the Press protections to media corporations, but not others, presented a host of problems; and so all corporations should be equally protected from expenditure restrictions.

The Court found that BCRA §§201 and 311, provisions requiring disclosure of the funder, were valid as applied to the movie advertisements and to the movie itself.[24] The majority ruled for the disclosure of the sources of campaign contributions, saying that

…prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters. Shareholders can determine whether their corporation’s political speech advances the corporation’s interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are “in the pocket” of so-called moneyed interests…This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.[26][27]

Concurrences

Chief Justice Roberts, with whom Justice Alito joined, wrote separately “to address the important principles of judicial restraint and stare decisis implicated in this case”.[28]

Roberts wrote to further explain and defend the Court’s statement that “there is a difference between judicial restraint and judicial abdication.” Roberts explained why the Court must sometimes overrule prior decisions. Had prior Courts never gone against stare decisis, for example, “segregation would be legal, minimum wage laws would be unconstitutional, and the Government could wiretap ordinary criminal suspects without first obtaining warrants”. Roberts’ concurrence recited a plethora of case law in which the court had ruled against precedent. Ultimately, Roberts argued that “stare decisis…counsels deference to past mistakes, but provides no justification for making new ones”.[28]

Justice Scalia joined the opinion of the Court, and wrote a concurring opinion joined by Justice Alito in full and by Justice Thomas in part. Scalia addressed Justice Stevens‘ dissent, specifically with regard to the original understanding of the First Amendment. Scalia said Stevens’ dissent was “in splendid isolation from the text of the First Amendment…It never shows why ‘the freedom of speech’ that was the right of Englishmen did not include the freedom to speak in association with other individuals, including association in the corporate form.” He further considered the dissent’s exploration of the Framers’ views about the “role of corporations in society” to be misleading, and even if valid, irrelevant to the text. Scalia principally argued that the First Amendment was written in “terms of speech, not speakers” and that “Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker.”[29]Scalia argued that the Free Press clause was originally intended to protect the distribution of written materials and did not only apply to the media specifically. This understanding supported the majority’s contention that the Constitution does not allow the Court to separate corporations into media and non-media categories.[24]

Justice Thomas wrote a separate opinion concurring in all but the upholding of the disclosure provisions. In order to protect the anonymity of contributors to organizations exercising free speech, Thomas would have struck down the reporting requirements of BCRA §201 and §311 as well, rather than allowing them to be challenged only on a case-specific basis. Thomas’s primary argument was that anonymous free speech is protected and that making contributor lists public makes the contributors vulnerable to retaliation, citing instances of retaliation against contributors to both sides of a then recent California voter initiative. Thomas also expressed concern that such retaliation could extend to retaliation by elected officials. Thomas did not consider “as-applied challenges” to be sufficient to protect against the threat of retaliation.[30]

Dissent

Justice Stevens, the author of the dissenting opinion.

A dissenting opinion by Justice Stevens[31] was joined by Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor. To emphasize his unhappiness with the majority, Stevens read part of his 90-page dissent from the bench.[32] Stevens concurred in the Court’s decision to sustain BCRA’s disclosure provisions, but dissented from the principal holding of the Court. He argued that the Court’s ruling “threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.” He added: “A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold.”[33]

Stevens also argued that the Court addressed a question not raised by the litigants when it found BCRA §203 to be facially unconstitutional, and that the majority “changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law”.[24] He argued that the majority had expanded the scope beyond the questions presented by the appellant and that therefore a sufficient record for judging the case did not exist. Stevens argued that at a minimum the Court should have remanded the case for a fact-finding hearing, and that the majority did not consider other compilations of data, such as the Congressional record for justifying BCRA §203.

Stevens referenced a number of major cases to argue that the Court had long recognized that to deny Congress the power to safeguard against “the improper use of money to influence the result [of an election] is to deny to the nation in a vital particular the power of self protection”.[34] After recognizing that in Buckley v. Valeo the Court had struck down portions of a broad prohibition of independent expenditures from any sources, Stevens argued that nevertheless Buckley recognized the legitimacy of “prophylactic” measures for limiting campaign spending and found the prevention of “corruption” to be a reasonable goal for legislation. Consequently, Stevens argued that Buckley left the door open for carefully tailored future regulation.[24] Although the majority echoed many of the arguments in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, Stevens argued that the majority opinion contradicted the reasoning of other campaign finance cases – in particular, Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission – and found it telling that the majority, when citing such cases, referenced mainly dissenting opinions.

Stevens’ dissent specifically sought to address a number of the majority’s central arguments:

First, Stevens argued that the majority failed to recognize the possibility for corruption outside strict quid pro quo exchanges. He referenced facts from a previous BCRA challenge to argue that, even if the exchange of votes for expenditures could not be shown, contributors gain favorable political access from such expenditures.[24] The majority considered access to be insufficient justification for limiting speech rights.

Stevens, however, argued that in the past, even when striking down a ban on corporate independent expenditures, the Court “never suggested that such quid pro quo debts must take the form of outright vote buying or bribes” (Bellotti). Buckley, he said, also acknowledged that large independent expenditures present the same dangers as quid pro quo arrangements, although Buckley struck down limits on such independent expenditures. Using the record from a previous BCRA §203 challenge, he argued that independent expenditures were sometimes a factor in gaining political access and concluded that large independent expenditures generate more influence than direct campaign contributions.[24] Furthermore, Stevens argued that corporations could threaten Representatives and Senators with negative advertising to gain unprecedented leverage. Stevens supported his argument by citing Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co.,[35] where the Court held that $3 million in independent expenditures in a judicial race raised sufficient questions about a judge’s impartiality to require the judge to recuse himself in a future case involving the spender. Stevens argued that it was contradictory for the majority to ignore the same risks in legislative and executive elections, and argued that the majority opinion would exacerbate the problem presented in Caperton because of the number of states with judicial elections and increased spending in judicial races.

Second, Stevens argued that the majority did not place enough emphasis on the need to prevent the “appearance of corruption” in elections. Earlier cases, including Buckley and Bellotti, recognized the importance of public confidence in democracy. Stevens cited recent data indicating that 80% of the public view corporate independent expenditures as a method used to gain unfair legislative access.[24] Stevens predicted that if the public believes that corporations dominate elections, disaffected voters will stop participating.

Third, Stevens argued that the majority’s decision failed to recognize the dangers of the corporate form. Austin held that the prevention of corruption, including the distorting influence of a dominant funding source, was a sufficient reason for regulating corporate independent expenditures. In defending Austin, Stevens argued that the unique qualities of corporations and other artificial legal entities made them dangerous to democratic elections. These legal entities, he argued, have perpetual life, the ability to amass large sums of money, limited liability, no ability to vote, no morality, no purpose outside profit-making, and no loyalty. Therefore, he argued, the courts should permit legislatures to regulate corporate participation in the political process.

Legal entities, Stevens wrote, are not “We the People” for whom our Constitution was established.[24] Therefore, he argued, they should not be given speech protections under the First Amendment. The First Amendment, he argued, protects individual self-expression, self-realization and the communication of ideas. Corporate spending is the “furthest from the core of political expression” protected by the Constitution, he argued, citing Federal Election Commission v. Beaumont,[36] and corporate spending on politics should be viewed as a business transaction designed by the officers or the boards of directors for no purpose other than profit-making. Stevens called corporate spending “more transactional than ideological”. Stevens also pointed out that any member of a corporation may spend personal money on promoting a campaign because BCRA only prohibited the use of general treasury money.

Fourth, Stevens attacked the majority’s central argument: that the prohibition of spending guards free speech and allows the general public to receive all available information. Relying on Austin, Stevens argued that corporations “unfairly influence” the electoral process with vast sums of money that few individuals can match, which distorts the public debate. Because a typical voter can only absorb so much information during a relevant election period, Stevens described “unfair corporate influence” as the potential to outspend others, to push others out of prime broadcasting spots and to dominate the “marketplace of ideas”.[24] This process, he argued, puts disproportionate focus on this speech and gives the impression of widespread support regardless of actual support. Thus, this process marginalizes the speech of other individuals and groups.

Stevens referred to the majority’s argument that “there is no such thing as too much speech” as “facile” and a “straw man” argument. He called it an incorrect statement of First Amendment law because the Court recognizes numerous exceptions to free speech, such as fighting words, obscenity restrictions, time, place and manner restrictions, etc. Throughout his dissent, Stevens said that the majority’s “slogan” ignored the possibility that too much speech from one source could “drown out” other points of view.

Fifth, Stevens criticized the majority’s fear that the government could use BCRA §203 to censor the media. The focus placed on this hypothetical fear made no sense to him because it did not relate to the facts of this case – if the government actually attempted to apply BCRA §203 to the media (and assuming that Citizens United could not constitute “media”), the Court could deal with the problem at that time. Stevens described the majority’s supposed protection of the media as nothing more than posturing. According to him, it was the majority’s new rule, announced in this case, that prohibited a law from distinguishing between “speakers” or funding sources. This new rule would be the only reason why media corporations could not be exempted from BCRA §203. In this, Stevens and the majority conceptualize the First Amendment’s protection of “the press” quite differently. Stevens argues that the “Press” is an entity, which can be distinguished from other persons and entities which are not “press”. The majority opinion viewed “freedom of the press” as an activity, applicable to all citizens or groups of citizens seeking to publish views.

Sixth, Stevens claimed that the majority failed to give proper deference to the legislature. Stevens predicted that this ruling would restrict the ability of the states to experiment with different methods for decreasing corruption in elections. According to Stevens, this ruling virtually ended those efforts, “declaring by fiat” that people will not “lose faith in our democracy”.[24] Stevens argued that the majority’s view of a self-serving legislature, passing campaign-spending laws to gain an advantage in retaining a seat, coupled with “strict scrutiny” of laws, would make it difficult for any campaign finance regulation to be upheld in future cases.

Seventh, Stevens argued that the majority opinion ignored the rights of shareholders. A series of cases protects individuals from legally compelled payment of union dues to support political speech.[37] Because shareholders invest money in corporations, Stevens argued that the law should likewise help to protect shareholders from funding speech that they oppose. The majority, however, argued that ownership of corporate stock was voluntary, and that unhappy shareholders could simply sell off their shares if they did not agree with the corporation’s speech. Stevens also argued that Political Action Committees (PACs), which allow individual members of a corporation to invest money in a separate fund, are an adequate substitute for general corporate speech and better protect shareholder rights. The majority, by contrast, had argued that most corporations are too small and lack the resources and raw number of shareholders and management staff necessary to cover the compliance, accounting, and administrative costs of maintaining a PAC. In this dispute, the opposing views essentially discussed differing types of entities: Stevens focused his argument on large, publicly held corporations, while the justices in the majority, and particularly Justice Scalia’s concurring opinion, placed an emphasis on small, closely held corporations and non-profits.

Stevens called the majority’s faith in “corporate democracy” an unrealistic method for a shareholder to oppose political funding. A derivative suit is slow, inefficient, risky and potentially expensive. Likewise, shareholder meetings only happen a few times a year, not prior to every decision or transaction. Rather, the officers and boards control the day-to-day spending, including political spending. According to Stevens, the shareholders have few options, giving them “virtually nonexistent” recourse for opposing a corporation’s political spending.[24] Furthermore, most shareholders use investment intermediaries, such as mutual funds or pensions, and by the time a shareholder may find out about a corporation’s political spending and try to object, the damage is done and the shareholder has funded disfavored speech.

Stevens concluded his dissent:

At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.[25]

Subsequent developments

There was a wide range of reactions to the case from politicians, academics, attorneys, advocacy groups and journalists.

Support

Politicians

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a plaintiff in the earlier related decision McConnell v. FEC, said:[38][39]

For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process. With today’s monumental decision, the Supreme Court took an important step in the direction of restoring the First Amendment rights of these groups by ruling that the Constitution protects their right to express themselves about political candidates and issues up until Election Day. By previously denying this right, the government was picking winners and losers. Our democracy depends upon free speech, not just for some but for all.

Republican campaign consultant Ed Rollins opined that the decision adds transparency to the election process and will make it more competitive.[40]

Advocacy groups

Citizens United, the group filing the lawsuit, said, “Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Citizens United to air its documentary films and advertisements is a tremendous victory, not only for Citizens United but for every American who desires to participate in the political process.”[41] During litigation, Citizens United had support from the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Rifle Association.[42]

Campaign finance attorney Cleta Mitchell, who had filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of two advocacy organizations opposing the ban, wrote that “The Supreme Court has correctly eliminated a constitutionally flawed system that allowed media corporations (e.g., The Washington Post Co.) to freely disseminate their opinions about candidates using corporate treasury funds, while denying that constitutional privilege to Susie’s Flower Shop Inc. … The real victims of the corporate expenditure ban have been nonprofit advocacy organizations across the political spectrum.”[43]

Heritage Foundation fellow Hans A. von Spakovsky, a former Republican member of the Federal Election Commission, said “The Supreme Court has restored a part of the First Amendment that had been unfortunately stolen by Congress and a previously wrongly-decided ruling of the court.”[44]

Libertarian Cato Institute analysts John Samples and Ilya Shapiro wrote that restrictions on advertising were based on the idea “that corporations had so much money that their spending would create vast inequalities in speech that would undermine democracy”. However, “to make campaign spending equal or nearly so, the government would have to force some people or groups to spend less than they wished. And equality of speech is inherently contrary to protecting speech from government restraint, which is ultimately the heart of American conceptions of free speech.”[45]

The American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief that supported the decision,[46] saying that “section 203 should now be struck down as facially unconstitutional”, though membership was split over the implications of the ruling and its board sent the issue to its special committee on campaign finance for further consideration.[47] On March 27, 2012, the ACLU reaffirmed its stance in support of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.[48]

Academics and attorneys

Bradley A. Smith, professor of law at Capital University Law School, former chairman of the FEC, founder of the Center for Competitive Politics and a leading proponent of deregulation of campaign finance, wrote that the major opponents of political free speech are “incumbent politicians” who “are keen to maintain a chokehold on such speech”. Empowering “small and midsize corporations – and every incorporated mom-and-pop falafel joint, local firefighters’ union, and environmental group – to make its voice heard” frightens them.[49] In response to statements by President Obama and others that the ruling would allow foreign entities to gain political influence through U.S. subsidiaries, Smith pointed out that the decision did not overturn the ban on political donations by foreign corporations and the prohibition on any involvement by foreign nationals in decisions regarding political spending by U.S. subsidiaries, which are covered by other parts of the law.[50]

Campaign finance expert Jan Baran, a member of the Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform, agreed with the decision, writing that “The history of campaign finance reform is the history of incumbent politicians seeking to muzzle speakers, any speakers, particularly those who might publicly criticize them and their legislation. It is a lot easier to legislate against unions, gun owners, ‘fat cat’ bankers, health insurance companies and any other industry or ‘special interest’ group when they can’t talk back.” Baran further noted that in general conservatives and libertarians praised the ruling’s preservation of the First Amendment and freedom of speech, but that liberalsand campaign finance reformers criticized it as greatly expanding the role of corporate money in politics.[51]

Attorney Kenneth Gross, former associate general counsel of the FEC, wrote that corporations relied more on the development of long-term relationships, political action committees and personal contributions, which were not affected by the decision. He held that while trade associations might seek to raise funds and support candidates, corporations which have “signed on to transparency agreements regarding political spending” may not be eager to give.[43]

The New York Times asked seven academics to opine on how corporate money would reshape politics as a result of the court’s decision.[52] Three of the seven wrote that the effects would be minimal or positive: Christopher Cotton, a University of Miami School of Business assistant professor of economics, wrote that “There may be very little difference between seeing eight ads or seeing nine ads (compared to seeing one ad or two). And, voters recognize that richer candidates are not necessarily the better candidates, and in some cases, the benefit of running more ads is offset by the negative signal that spending a lot of money creates.[52] Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at UCLA, stated that the “most influential actors in most political campaigns” are media corporations which “overtly editorialize for and against candidates, and also influence elections by choosing what to cover and how to cover it”. Holding that corporations like Exxon would fear alienating voters by supporting candidates, the decision really meant that voters would hear “more messages from more sources”.[52] Joel Gora, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who had previously argued the case of Buckley v. Valeo on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union, said that the decision represented “a great day for the First Amendment” writing that the Court had “dismantled the First Amendment ‘caste system’ in election speech”.[52]

Journalists

The Editorial Board of the San Antonio Express-News criticized McCain–Feingold’s exception for media corporations from the ban on corporate electioneering, writing that it “makes no sense” that the paper could make endorsements up until the day of the election but advocacy groups could not. “While the influence of money on the political process is troubling and sometimes corrupting, abridging political speech is the wrong way to counterbalance that influence.”[53]

Anthony Dick in National Review countered a number of arguments against the decision, asking rhetorically, “is there something uniquely harmful and/or unworthy of protection about political messages that come from corporations and unions, as opposed to, say, rich individuals, persuasive writers, or charismatic demagogues?” He noted that “a recent Gallup poll shows that a majority of the public actually agrees with the Court that corporations and unions should be treated just like individuals in terms of their political-expenditure rights”.[54] A Gallup poll taken in October 2009 and released soon after the decision showed 57 percent of those surveyed agreed that contributions to political candidates are a form of free speech and 55 percent agreed that the same rules should apply to individuals, corporations and unions. Sixty-four percent of Democrats and Republicans believed campaign donations are a form of free speech.[55]

Chicago Tribune editorial board member Steve Chapman wrote “If corporate advocacy may be forbidden as it was under the law in question, it’s not just Exxon Mobil and Citigroup that are rendered mute. Nonprofit corporations set up merely to advance goals shared by citizens, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association, also have to put a sock in it. So much for the First Amendment goal of fostering debate about public policy.”[56]

Opposition

Politicians

President Barack Obama stated that the decision “gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington – while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates”.[57] Obama later elaborated in his weekly radio address saying, “this ruling strikes at our democracy itself” and “I can’t think of anything more devastating to the public interest”.[58] On January 27, 2010, Obama further condemned the decision during the 2010 State of the Union Address, stating that, “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law[59] to open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities.” On television, the camera shifted to a shot of the SCOTUS judges in the front row directly in front of the President while he was making this statement, and Justice Samuel Alito was frowning, shaking his head side to side while mouthing the words “Not true”.[60][61][62][63][64][65]

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, a lead sponsor of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, stated “This decision was a terrible mistake. Presented with a relatively narrow legal issue, the Supreme Court chose to roll back laws that have limited the role of corporate money in federal elections since Teddy Roosevelt was president.”[66] Representative Alan Grayson, a Democrat, stated that it was “the worst Supreme Court decision since the Dred Scott case, and that the court had opened the door to political bribery and corruption in elections to come.[67] Democratic congresswoman Donna Edwards, along with constitutional law professor and Maryland Democratic State Senator Jamie Raskin, have advocated petitions to reverse the decision by means of constitutional amendment.[68] Rep. Leonard Boswell introduced legislation to amend the constitution.[69] Senator John Kerry also called for an Amendment to overrule the decision.[70] On December 8, 2011, Senator Bernie Sanders proposed the Saving American Democracy Amendment, which would reverse the court’s ruling.[71][72]

Republican Senator John McCain, co-crafter of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and the party’s 2008 presidential nominee, said “there’s going to be, over time, a backlash … when you see the amounts of union and corporate money that’s going to go into political campaigns”.[73] McCain was “disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court and the lifting of the limits on corporate and union contributions” but not surprised by the decision, saying that “It was clear that Justice Roberts, Alito and Scalia, by their very skeptical and even sarcastic comments, were very much opposed to BCRA.”[66] Republican Senator Olympia Snowe opined that “Today’s decision was a serious disservice to our country.”[74]

Although federal law after Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission still prohibited corporate contributions to all political parties, Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party, stated that “The ruling especially hurts the ability of parties that don’t accept corporate contributions, like the Green Party, to compete.” Another Green Party officer, Rich Whitney, stated “In a transparently political decision, a majority of the US Supreme Court overturned its own recent precedent and paid tribute to the giant corporate interests that already wield tremendous power over our political process and political speech.”

Ralph Nader condemned the ruling,[75] saying that “With this decision, corporations can now directly pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars.” He called for shareholder resolutions asking company directors to pledge not to use company money to favor or oppose electoral candidates.[76] Pat Choate, former Reform Partycandidate for Vice President, stated, “The court has, in effect, legalized foreign governments and foreign corporations to participate in our electoral politics.”[77]

Senator Bernie Sanders, a contender in the 2016 Democratic Primary, has filed a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Decision.[78] Further, both Sanders and Hillary Clinton have said that, if elected, they will only appoint Supreme Court Justices who are committed to the repeal of Citizens United.[79] In September 2015, Sanders said that “the foundations of American Democracy are being undermined” and called for sweeping campaign finance reform.[80]

International

Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, speaking for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe‘s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (which has overseen over 150 elections) said the ruling may adversely affect the organization’s two commitments of “giving voters a genuine choice and giving candidates a fair chance” in that “it threatens to further marginalize candidates without strong financial backing or extensive personal resources, thereby in effect narrowing the political arena”.[81]

Academics and attorneys

Money isn’t speech and corporations aren’t people
— David Kairys[82]

The constitutional law scholar Laurence H. Tribe wrote that the decision “marks a major upheaval in First Amendment law and signals the end of whatever legitimate claim could otherwise have been made by the Roberts Court to an incremental and minimalist approach to constitutional adjudication, to a modest view of the judicial role vis-à-vis the political branches, or to a genuine concern with adherence to precedent” and pointed out, “Talking about a business corporation as merely another way that individuals might choose to organize their association with one another to pursue their common expressive aims is worse than unrealistic; it obscures the very real injustice and distortion entailed in the phenomenon of some people using other people’s money to support candidates they have made no decision to support, or to oppose candidates they have made no decision to oppose.”[83]

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, whose opinions had changed from dissenting in Austin v. Michigan State Chamber of Commerce to co-authoring (with Stevens) the majority opinion in McConnell v. Federal Election Commission twelve years later, criticized the decision only obliquely, but warned, “In invalidating some of the existing checks on campaign spending, the majority in Citizens United has signaled that the problem of campaign contributions in judicial elections might get considerably worse and quite soon.”[84]

Richard L. Hasen, professor of election law at Loyola Law School, argued that the ruling “is activist, it increases the dangers of corruption in our political system and it ignores the strong tradition of American political equality”. He also described Justice Kennedy’s “specter of blog censorship” as sounding more like “the rantings of a right-wing talk show host than the rational view of a justice with a sense of political realism”.[85]

Kathleen M. Sullivan, professor at Stanford Law School and Steven J. Andre, adjunct professor at Lincoln Law School, argued that two different visions of freedom of speech exist and clashed in the case. An egalitarian vision skeptical of the power of large agglomerations of wealth to skew the political process conflicted with a libertarian vision skeptical of government being placed in the role of determining what speech people should or should not hear.[86][87] Wayne Batchis, Professor at the University of Delaware, in contrast, argues that the Citizens United decision represents a misguided interpretation of the non-textual freedom of association.[88]

The four other scholars of the seven writing in the aforementioned New York Times article were critical.[52] Richard L. Hasen, Distinguished Professor of election law at Loyola Law School argued differently from his Slate article above, concentrating on the “inherent risk of corruption that comes when someone spends independently to try to influence the outcome of judicial elections”, since judges are less publicly accountable than elected officials. Heather K. Gerken, Professor of Law at Yale Law School wrote that “The court has done real damage to the cause of reform, but that damage mostly came earlier, with decisions that made less of a splash.” Michael Waldman, director of the Brennan Center for Justice at N.Y.U. School of Law, opined that the decision “matches or exceeds Bush v. Gore in ideological or partisan overreaching by the court”, explaining how “Exxon or any other firm could spend Bloomberg-level sums in any congressional district in the country against, say, any congressman who supports climate change legislation, or health care, etc.” and Fred Wertheimer, founder and president of Democracy 21 considered that “Chief Justice Roberts has abandoned the illusory public commitments he made to ‘judicial modesty’ and ‘respect for precedent’ to cast the deciding vote for a radical decision that profoundly undermines our democracy,” and that “Congress and presidents past have recognized this danger and signed numerous laws over the years to prevent this kind of corruption of our government.”[52]

Journalists

The New York Times stated in an editorial, “The Supreme Court has handed lobbyists a new weapon. A lobbyist can now tell any elected official: if you vote wrong, my company, labor union or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election.”[89] Jonathan Alter called it the “most serious threat to American democracy in a generation”.[90] The Christian Science Monitor wrote that the Court had declared “outright that corporate expenditures cannot corrupt elected officials, that influence over lawmakers is not corruption, and that appearance of influence will not undermine public faith in our democracy”.[91]

Business leader

 Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, founded Stamp Stampede, a sustained protest to demonstrate widespread support for a proposed constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. The campaign encourages people to rubber stamp messages such as “Not To Be Used for Bribing Politicians” on paper currency. In 2014, Cohen told Salon, “As long as the Supreme Court rules money is speech, corporations and the wealthy are using it by giving piles of it to politicians to pass or not pass laws that they want. Now, the rest of the people, [those] who don’t have that money, can actually make their voice heard by using money to stamp a message out.”[92]

Media coverage

Political blogs

Most blogs avoided the theoretical aspects of the decision and focused on more personal and dramatic elements, including the Barack ObamaSamuel Alito face-off during the President’s State of the Union address.[93] There, President Obama argued that the decision “reversed a century of law” (the federal ban on corporate contributions dates back to the 1907 Tillman Act, and the ban on union and corporate expenditures dates from 1947) and that it would allow “foreign corporations to spend without limits in our elections”, during which Justice Alito, in the audience, perceptibly mouthed the words “not true”. This event received extensive comment from political bloggers, with a substantial amount of the coverage concentrated on whether or not foreign corporations would be able to make substantial political contributions in US elections. In the opinion, the Court had specifically indicated it was not overturning the ban on foreign contributions.

Opinion poll

ABC-Washington Post poll results.

An ABC–Washington Post poll conducted February 4–8, 2010, showed that 80% of those surveyed opposed (and 65% strongly opposed) the Citizens United ruling, which the poll described as saying “corporations and unions can spend as much money as they want to help political candidates win elections”. Additionally, 72% supported “an effort by Congress to reinstate limits on corporate and union spending on election campaigns”. The poll showed large majority support from Democrats, Republicans and independents.[94][95][96]

A Gallup Poll conducted in October 2009, after oral argument, but released after the Supreme Court released its opinion, found that 57 percent of those surveyed “agreed that money given to political candidates is a form of free speech” and 55 percent agreed that the “same rules should apply to individuals, corporations and unions”. However, in the same poll respondents by 52% to 41% prioritized limits on campaign contributions over protecting rights to support campaigns and 76% thought the government should be able to place limits on corporation or union donations.[97][98]

Separate polls by various conservative organizations, including the plaintiff Citizens United and the Center for Competitive Politics, found support for the decision.[99] In particular, the Center for Competitive Politics poll[100] found that 51% of respondents believed that Citizens United should have a right to air ads promoting Hillary: The Movie. The poll also found that only 22 percent had heard of the case.

Further court rulings

SpeechNow v. FEC

Main article: SpeechNOW v. FEC

SpeechNow is a nonprofit, unincorporated association organized as a section 527 entity under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The organization was formed by individuals who seek to pool their resources to make independent expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of federal candidates. SpeechNow planned to accept contributions only from individuals, not corporations or other sources prohibited under the Federal Election Campaign Act. On February 14, 2008, SpeechNow and several individual plaintiffs filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Election Campaign Act provisions governing political committee registration, contribution limits and disclosure. The plaintiffs contended that the Act unconstitutionally restricts their association guaranteed under the First Amendment. By requiring registration as a political committee and limiting the monetary amount that an individual may contribute to a political committee, SpeechNow and the other plaintiffs asserted that the Act unconstitutionally restricted the individuals’ freedom of speech by limiting the amount that an individual can contribute to SpeechNow and thus the amount the organization may spend. SpeechNow also argued that the reporting required of political committees is unconstitutionally burdensome.[101]

On March 26, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in SpeechNow.org. v. FEC that the contribution limits of 2 U.S.C. §441a were unconstitutional as applied to individuals’ contributions to SpeechNow. The court also ruled that the reporting requirements of 2 U.S.C. §§432, 433 and 434(a) and the organizational requirements of 2 U.S.C. §431(4) and §431(8) can be constitutionally applied to SpeechNow.[101] A unanimous nine-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals[102] struck down the federal limits on contributions to federal political committees that make only independent expenditures and do not contribute to candidates or political parties. This type of “independent expenditure committee” is inherently non-corruptive, the Court reasoned, and therefore contributions to such a committee can not be limited based on the government’s interest in preventing political corruption.[103] In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC, in which the Supreme Court held that the government has no anti-corruption interest in limiting independent expenditures, the appeals court ruled that “contributions to groups that make only independent expenditures cannot corrupt or create the appearance of corruption.” As a result, the court of appeals held that the government has no anti-corruption interest in limiting contributions to an independent group such as SpeechNow. Contribution limits as applied to SpeechNow “violate the First Amendment by preventing [individuals] from donating to SpeechNow in excess of the limits and by prohibiting SpeechNow from accepting donations in excess of the limits.” The court noted that its holding does not affect direct contributions to candidates, but rather contributions to a group that makes only independent expenditures.[101] The appeals court held that, while disclosure and reporting requirements do impose a burden on First Amendment interests, they “‘impose no ceiling on campaign related activities'” and “‘do not prevent anyone from speaking.'” Furthermore, the court held that the additional reporting requirements that the Commission would impose on SpeechNow if it were organized as a political committee are minimal, “given the relative simplicity with which SpeechNow intends to operate.” Since SpeechNow already had a number of “planned contributions” from individuals, the court ruled that SpeechNow could not compare itself to “ad hoc groups that want to create themselves on the spur of the moment.” Since the public has an interest in knowing who is speaking about a candidate and who is funding that speech, the court held that requiring such disclosure and organization as a political committee are sufficiently important governmental interests to justify the additional reporting and registration burdens on SpeechNow.[101]

Public electoral financing

Main article: McComish v. Bennett

On June 27, 2011, ruling in the consolidated cases of Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett (No. 10-238) and McComish v. Bennett (No. 10-239), the Supreme Court deemed unconstitutional an Arizona law that provided extra taxpayer-funded support for office seekers who have been outspent by privately funded opponents or by independent political groups. A conservative 5–4 majority of justices said the law violated free speech, concluding the state was impermissibly trying to “level the playing field” through a public finance system. Arizona lawmakers had argued there was a compelling state interest in equalizing resources among competing candidates and interest groups.[104] Opponents said the law violated free-speech rights of the privately financed candidates and their contributors, inhibiting fundraising and spending, discouraging participation in campaigns and limiting what voters hear about politics.[105] Chief Justice John Roberts said in the court’s majority opinion that the law substantially burdened political speech and was not sufficiently justified to survive First Amendment scrutiny.[105]

As a consequence of the decision, states and municipalities are blocked from using a method of public financing that is simultaneously likely to attract candidates fearful that they will be vastly outspent and sensitive to avoiding needless government expense. “The government can still use taxpayer funds to subsidize political campaigns, but it can only do that in a manner that provides an alternative to private financing” said William R. Maurer, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, which represented several challengers of the law. “It cannot create disincentives.”[106] The ruling meant the end of similar matching-fund programs in Connecticut, Maine and a few other places according to David Primo, a political science professor at the University of Rochester who was an expert witness for the law’s challengers.[107]

State campaign-spending limits

Despite the Citizens United ruling, In December 2011, the Montana Supreme Court, in Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Attorney General of Montana, upheld that state’s law limiting corporate contributions. Examining the history of corporate interference in Montana government that led to the Corrupt Practices Law, the majority decided that the state still had a compelling reason to maintain the restrictions. It ruled that these restrictions on speech were narrowly tailored and withstood strict scrutiny and thus did not contradict Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

While granting permission to file a Certiorari petition, the US Supreme Court agreed to stay the Montana ruling, although Justices Ginsburg and Breyer wrote a short statement urging the Court “to consider whether, in light of the huge sums of money currently deployed to buy candidate’s allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway”.[108] In June 2012, over the dissent of the same four judges who dissented in Citizens United, the Court simultaneously granted certiorari and summarily reversed the decision in American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock, 567, U.S. __ (2012).[109] The Supreme Court majority rejected the Montana Supreme Court arguments in a two paragraph, twenty line per curiam opinion, stating that these arguments “either were already rejected in Citizens United, or fail to meaningfully distinguish that case.”[110] The ruling makes clear that states cannot bar corporate and union political expenditures in state elections.[111]

McCutcheon v. FECMain article: McCutcheon v. FEC

In addition to limiting the size of donations to individual candidates and parties, the Federal Election Campaign Act also includes aggregate caps on the total amount that an individual may give to all candidates and parties. In 2012, Shaun McCutcheon, a Republican Party activist,[112][113] sought to donate more than was allowed by the federal aggregate limit on federal candidates.[114] McCutcheon et al filed suit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC).[115] In 2014, the US Supreme Court reversed a ruling of the DC District Court‘s dismissal of McCutcheon v. FEC and struck down the aggregate limits. The plurality opinion invalidated only the aggregate contribution limits, not limits on giving to any one candidate or party. The decisive fifth vote for McCutcheon came from Justice Thomas, who concurred in the judgment on the grounds that all contribution limits are unconstitutional.[116]

Legislative responses

Legislative impact

The New York Times reported that 24 states with laws prohibiting or limiting independent expenditures by unions and corporations would have to change their campaign finance laws because of the ruling.[117]

After Citizens United and SpeechNow.org numerous state legislatures raised their limits on contributions to candidates and parties.[118] At the federal level, lawmakers substantially increased contribution limits to political parties as part of the 2014 budget bill.[119] Such changes are widely perceived as efforts to place candidates and parties on something closer to equal footing with organizations making independent expenditures.[119]

While many states and the federal government have raised contribution limits in response to Citizens United, proposals aimed at discouraging political spending, or providing for public financing of campaigns, have been less successful.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) proposed that candidates who sign up small donors receive $900,000 in public money, but the proposal has not been acted on by Congress. Others proposed that laws on corporate governance be amended to assure that shareholders vote on political expenditures.[90]

In February 2010, Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, immediate past Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, outlined legislation aimed at undoing the decision.[120] In April 2010, they introduced such legislation in the Senate and House, respectively.[121] On June 24, 2010, H.R.5175 (The DISCLOSE Act) passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate. It would have required additional disclosure by corporations of their campaign expenditures. The law, if passed, would also have prohibited political spending by U.S. companies with twenty percent or more foreign ownership, and by most government contractors.[122] The DISCLOSE Act included exemptions to its rules given to certain special interests such as the National Rifle Association and the American Association of Retired Persons. These gaps within the proposal attracted criticism from lawmakers on both political parties. “They are auctioning off pieces of the First Amendment in this bill… The bigger you are, the stronger you are, the less disclosure you have,” said Republican Congressman Dan Lungren of California. Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California commented, “I wish there had been no carve-outs”.[123] The bill was criticized as prohibiting much activity that was legal before Citizens United.[124]

The DISCLOSE Act twice failed to pass the U.S. Senate in the 111th Congress, in both instances reaching only 59 of the 60 votes required to overcome a unified Republican filibuster.[125][126] A scaled down version of the DISCLOSE Act was reintroduced in both the House and Senate in 2012 but did not pass.[citation needed]

Some have argued for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision. Although the decision does not address “corporate personhood,” a long-established judicial and constitutional concept,[127] much attention has focused on that issue. Move to Amend, a coalition formed in response to the ruling,[128] seeks to amend the Constitution to abolish corporate personhood, thus stripping corporations of all rights under the Constitution.[129][130] In an online chat with web community Reddit, President Obama endorsed further consideration of a constitutional amendment and stated “Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court Doesn’t revisit it)”.[131] He further elaborated that “Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight on the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”[131]

Legislative reactions by state and local lawmakers

Members of 16 state legislatures have called for a constitutional amendment to reverse the court’s decision: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.[132][133]

Most of these are non-binding resolutions. However, three states – Vermont, California, and Illinois – called for an Article V Convention to draft and propose a federal constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.[134] In Minnesota, the Minnesota Senate passed a similar resolution, “Senate File No. 17,” on May 2, 2013, but the House of Representatives returned the measure to the General Calendar (meaning the measure did not pass) on May 15, 2013.[135] Thirty-four states are needed to call an Article V convention.

On a local level, Washington D.C. and 400 other municipalities passed resolutions requesting a federal constitutional amendment.[136]

Since Citizens United, however, 13 states have actually raised their contribution limits.[118]

Political impact

The Citizens United ruling “opened the door” for unlimited election spending by corporations, but most of this spending has “ended up being funneled through the groups that have become known as super PACs”.[137] While critics predicted that the ruling would “bring about a new era of corporate influence in politics” allowing companies and businesspeople to “buy elections” to promote their financial interests, as of 2016, in fact large corporations still play a “negligible role” in presidential election spending. Instead large expenditures, usually through “Super PACS,” have come from “a small group of billionaires”, based largely on ideology. This has shifted power “away from the political parties and toward the … donors themselves. In part, this explains the large number and variety of candidates fielded by the Republicans in 2016.”[137] The ability of individuals to spend unlimited sums was first affirmed by the Supreme Court, however, not in Citizens United, but in Buckley v. Valeo, decided in 1976.

Super PACs

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has often been credited for the creation of “super PACs“, political action committees which make no financial contributions to candidates or parties, and so can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions. Certainly, the holding in Citizens United helped affirm the legal basis for super PACs by deciding that, for purposes of establishing a “compelling government interest” of corruption sufficient to justify government limitations on political speech, “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption”.[138]

However, it took another decision, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Speechnow.org v. Federal Election Commission, to actually authorize the creation of super PACs. While Citizens United held that corporations and unions could make independent expenditures, a separate provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act, at least as long interpreted by the Federal Election Commission, held that individuals could not contribute to a common fund without it becoming a PAC. PACs, in turn, were not allowed to accept corporate or union contributions of any size or to accept individual contributions in excess of $5,000. In Speechnow.org, the D.C. Circuit, sitting en banc, held 9–0 that in light of Citizens United, such restrictions on the sources and size of contributions could not apply to an organization that made only independent expenditures in support of or opposition to a candidate but not contributions to a candidate’s campaign.

Citizens United and SpeechNOW left their imprint on the 2012 United States presidential election, in which single individuals contributed large sums to “super PACs” supporting particular candidates. Sheldon Adelson, the gambling entrepreneur, gave approximately fifteen million dollars to support Newt Gingrich. Foster Friess, a Wyoming financier, donated almost two million dollars to Rick Santorum’s super PAC. Karl Rove organized super PACs that spent over $300 million in support of Republicans during the 2012 elections.[139]

In addition to indirectly providing support for the creation of super PACs, Citizens United allowed incorporated 501(c)(4) public advocacy groups (such as the National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club, and the group Citizens United itself) and trade associations to make expenditures in political races. Such groups may not, under the tax code, have a primary purpose of engaging in electoral advocacy. These organizations must disclose their expenditures, but unlike super PACs they do not have to include the names of their donors in their FEC filings. A number of partisan organizations such as Karl Rove‘s influential conservative Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies and the liberal 21st Century Colorado have since registered as tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups (defined as groups promoting “social welfare”) and engaged in substantial political spending.[140][141] This has led to claims[142][143][144] of large secret donations, and questions about whether such groups should be required to disclose their donors. Historically, such non-profits have not been required to disclose their donors or names of members. See National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama.

In an August 2015 essay in Der Spiegel, Markus Feldkirchen wrote that the Citizens United decision was “now becoming visible for the first time” in federal elections as the super-rich have “radically” increased donations to support their candidates and positions via super PACs. Feldkirchen also said in the first six months of 2015 the candidates and their super PACs received close to $400 million: “far more than in the entire previous campaign.” He opined that super-rich donating more than ever before to individual campaigns plus the “enormous” chasm in wealth has given the super-rich the power to steer the economic and political direction of the United States and undermine its democracy.[145] In October 2015, the New York Times observed that just 158 super-rich families each contributed $250,000 or more, while an additional 200 families gave more than $100,000 for the 2016 presidential election. Both groups contributed almost half of the “early money” for candidates in the 2016 presidential election as of June 30, 2015 through channels like super PACs legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.[146][147]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download  Shows 806-808

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 800-805

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 793-799

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 785-792

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 777-784

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 769-776

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 759-768

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 751-758

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 745-750

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 738-744

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 732-737

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 727-731

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 720-726

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or DownloadShows 713-719

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 705-712

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 695-704

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 685-694

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 675-684

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 668-674

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 660-667

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 651-659

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-650

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 637-643

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 629-636

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 617-628

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 608-616

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 599-607

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 590-598

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 585- 589

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 575-584

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 565-574

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 556-564

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 546-555

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 538-545

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 532-537

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 526-531

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 519-525

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 510-518

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 500-509

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 490-499

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 480-489

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 464-472

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 455-463

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 447-454

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 439-446

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 431-438

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 422-430

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 414-421

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 408-413

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 400-407

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 94-97

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 93

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 92

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 91

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 88-90

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 84-87

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 79-83

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 74-78

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 71-73

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 68-70

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 65-67

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 62-64

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 55-57

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 52-54

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 49-51

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 45-48

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 41-44

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 38-40

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 34-37

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 30-33

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 27-29

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 16-22

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...