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Man who took first video of Supreme Court pleads guilty to disruption

On February 26, Kai Newkirk stood up and interrupted oral arguments in the case of McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission to protest unlimited spending in campaign finance.
By Aileen Graef   |   April 16, 2014 at 5:02 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, April 16 (UPI) -- The man who took the first video inside the U.S. Supreme Court during his interruption of oral arguments, has pleaded guilty to disruption.

In February Kai Newkirk, co-founder of 99Rise, became the first person to interrupt the Supreme Court in 7 years and the first person reportedly ever to capture video inside the courtroom. Newkirk says although he pleaded guilty to disruption, he will not reveal how they were able to take the video.

"I'm still not going to do it. I hate not to satisfy people but we're not going to comment on that," he said in an interview with HuffPost Live.

The case Newkirk disrupted was McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission in which the Court ruled 5-4 that certain campaign contribution caps were unconstitutional, gutting a majority of campaign finance laws. Many consider this an opportunity to increase big money control over politics as unlimited cash is funneled into political campaigns. Newkirk is one of these people and is not happy with the Court's decision, saying it's a "betrayal" of the American people.

The judge sentenced Newkirk to "time served" for his night spent in jail, and banned him from attending the Supreme Court for one year.

"The purpose of the action was not even to make the Supreme Court change their mind on what they were going to do on McCutcheon, it was to shine a spotlight on the shameful role they have played in deepening corruption in our country," said Newkirk.

Newkirk says the solution is a constitutional amendment limiting corporate money in politics, which he believes does not violate the First Amendment or limit people's role in the democratic process.

[HuffPost Live]

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