Friends, The new Alliance Alert Daily Digest is finally here! You can subscribe to the daily e-mail here: Subscribe to our mailing list * indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name *
NBC News: The U.S. Supreme Court says seven protesters were taken into custody for disrupting the first few minutes of the opening session of court proceedings Wednesday. An eighth person who apparently attempted to record a video while the protest was happening was also detained.
Blog of the Legal Times: Justice Samuel Alito defended the 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on Thursday night, jabbing at critics of the U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion but also admitting the success of their public relations campaign.
Findlaw: In February, the Supreme Court stayed the Montana decision, (now called American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock), pending a petition for writ of certiorari. Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justice Breyer, issued a statement supporting the stay in light of stare decisis, but expressing an interest in re-examining Citizens United.
The Blog of Legal Times: The “occupy” movement took its campaign against corporate domination to the federal judiciary on Friday, storming the U.S. Supreme Court building and demonstrating at other federal courthouses nationwide to protest the high court’s 2010 “Citizens United” decision.
David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey writing in the Wall Street Journal [full text via Google News]: “Last week, liberal activists at Common Cause called on the United States Justice Department to investigate Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas for a supposed ethical lapse . . . Common Cause got its facts wrong. The Justices did not disclose reimbursements by the Kochs because they were actually the guests of the nonpartisan Federalist Society (a regular sponsor of public debates and speeches on legal and policy issues), which they did report.”
New York Times: “The Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case ranks with the woeful economy, the Tea Party and other forces that brought about tumultuous change in the recent elections. The case may prove more significant in the evolution of the court’s role in American law . . . Redefining itself as a constitutional court, this court seems limited only by limits it opts to recognize.”
Justin Levitt, Confronting the Impact of Citizens United (September 13, 2010). Yale Law & Policy Review, Vol. 29, 2010; Loyola-LA Legal Studies Paper No. 2010-39. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1676108
“This Essay confronts the impact of Citizens United in two respects. Part I first reviews Citizens United’s place in the campaign finance constellation. It argues that although the decision was a bold stroke in many ways, its impact on the scope of permissible campaign finance regulation is far less substantial than commonly assumed.
Even if Citizens United’s incremental impact is mild, it nevertheless seems to have the feel of a final straw. The decision has provoked first furor, and then fear, with opponents invoking a broad vision of a dystopian political process overwhelmed by corporations. Yet rarely is the fear of corporate political spending articulated at a level of specificity conducive to assessing, or confronting, the perceived damage. Part II takes up the challenge, parsing the pragmatic concerns at the root of opposition to corporate political spending. It then offers responsive policy proposals – including an approach to protect against monopolization of media channels, an appealingly straightforward disclaimer label to mitigate voter misperception, and a novel application of a recusal obligation to combat the appearance of corruption – all well within the regulatory space undisturbed by Citizens United.”
American Constitution Society blog: The decision [in Citizens United v. F.E.C.] not only overturned decades-old Supreme Court precedents, but it also disturbed a 100 year-old tradition of federal legislation placing limits on corporate campaign spending. Some reproductive rights attorneys immediately worried that the Court’s perfunctory/pretextual consideration of stare decisis may be a dangerous foreshadowing for the Court’s eventual next look at the abortion issue. (Interestingly, the lawyer who conceptualized the case for Citizens United is also longtime counsel for the National Right to Life.) A more immediate lesson, however, from Citizens United comes from the discussion of corporate personhood. While the U.S. Supreme Court squarely held that fetuses are not legal persons under the US Constitution in Roe v. Wade, there is an ongoing effort in the several states to redefine ‘person’ to include the ‘unborn.’”
How Appealing has posted this piece that appeared in the Daily Journal by Lawrence Hurly. It begins: ”As election season approaches, confusion reigns over how the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent landmark campaign finance ruling that eased restrictions on independent corporate-funded expenditures will influence events. Multiple questions are being debated by campaign finance experts, including whether corporations and unions will seek to exploit their new freedoms, how the Federal Election Commission will respond, and how much information the public will have about the paymasters behind TV attack ads.”
Floyd Abrams, Ira Glass and Joel Gora write at the Wall Street Journal: “If that headline has a certain man bites dog quality, it’s because for almost 40 years the ACLU was the one major liberal organization that opposed campaign finance restrictions as violating the First Amendment . . . Nonetheless, we’ve come to this: The premier First Amendment organization in America now favors limitations on the First Amendment in the area in which all agree it must have its most powerful application—political speech during election campaigns.”
“Mr. Abrams represented Sen. Mitch McConnell in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Mr. Glasser was executive director of the ACLU from 1978-2001. Mr. Gora, a professor at Brooklyn Law School, is counsel to ACLU on campaign finance cases.”
Wall Street Journal full access via Google: “The touchstone of the Democratic strategy is the court’s January ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down restrictions on corporate spending on election campaigns. Democrats cite polls showing broad public disapproval of the ruling as evidence of growing anxiety about the court’s direction . . . ”
Hat tip: How Appealing
Joan Biskupic writes at USA Today: “Larry Stickney speaks passionately as he tries to explain why the names of people who signed a 2009 Washington state ballot measure against gay rights should be kept secret . . .”
The Hill: “. . . Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) took to the Senate floor Tuesday to warn Obama that if he uses the campaign-finance ruling as a litmus test in selecting a nominee for the high court, he would face serious Republican opposition . . . ”
USA Today: “Larry Stickney speaks passionately as he tries to explain why the names of people who signed a 2009 Washington state ballot measure against gay rights should be kept secret. ‘I had been in the political game for 16 years, but we had no idea the viciousness that we would come under,’ . . . ‘Every angry homosexual in the world, I am telling you, was sending hate mail’ . . . The ACLU, a strong supporter of free speech, is siding with Hastings, echoing the school’s interest in prohibiting discrimination . . . Many of the groups siding with the conservative speakers represent conservative religious interests, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Hastings case and Alliance Defense Fund, in the Washington state case . . . ”
Tony Mauro writes at Law.com (The National Law Journal): “Critics of the Supreme Court’s January ruling in Citizens United v. FEC are pointing happily to a poll released Wednesday that indicates widespread public opposition to the decision and its green light for more corporate and union expenditures in election campaigns . . . But not everyone reads the Washington Post poll results in the same way . . . ”
C-Span (includes video): “On January 21st, in a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission that corporate funding could not be limited in political campaigns. The Hudson Institute, the Alliance for Justice, the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, and OMB Watch hosted this discussion on how that ruling will affect nonprofit organizations.”
The Hill: “Democrats are hoping to fast-track a set of sweeping new campaign finance regulations to prevent the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision from affecting the November midterm elections.”
Janet M. LaRue writes at Townhall: “America needs a Supreme Court packed with the likes of Samuel Alito. What we witnessed during the State of the Union confirms that Obama will try to pack it with polar opposites from the legal wing of Bizarro World.”
James Copland writes at the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription only): “The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to permit independent campaign expenditures by corporations has led to a good deal of hysteria about money and influence in politics. But for those, like me, who view factions as inherent in democracy, the decision was welcome. Labyrinthine campaign-finance laws serve mainly to entrench incumbents and empower those special interests either exempted from regulation (i.e., the institutional media) or best able to navigate the maze of rules. Among the latter group, no lobby has been more empowered than the legal profession—specifically the trial lawyers . . . ”
Carson Holloway writes at Public Discourse: “A political scientist explains why the concept of ‘strict scrutiny’ is alien to the Constitution and why it poses a threat to a constitutionally defensible judicial review.”
The American Constitution Society Blog reports: “The Supreme Court’s recent campaign finance ruling in Citizens United v. FEC has drawn the ire of some on Capitol Hill. That case — and how Congress might blunt its force before the mid-term elections — is the topic of tomorrow’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, entitled ‘Corporate America vs. The Voter: Examining the Supreme Court’s Decision to Allow Unlimited Corporate Spending in Elections.’”
Politico: “‘Yesterday’s Roberts court decision, which exhibited a stunning disregard for settled law of decades’ standing, is terrifying to those of us who care deeply about the constitutional protections the court put in place for women’s access to abortion,’ said Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights. ‘We are deeply concerned. . . . Yesterday’s decision shows the court will reach out to take an opportunity to wholesale reverse a precedent the hard right has never liked.’”
Laurence Tribe laments the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission at the SCOTUS Blog.
SCOTUS Blog: “If the Court is planning to issue the ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (08-205) on Thursday, rather than waiting, say, until Monday, one possible reason is that one of the Justices who will be discussing an opinion from the bench plans to be absent on Monday.”
Washington Post: “News conferences were scheduled and telephone briefings were penciled in, but Washington advocacy groups were disappointed yet again Wednesday: The Supreme Court did not issue its long-awaited decision on campaign finance laws.”
Linda Greenhouse has this commentary on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which is currently pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Law.com (National Law Journal): “When the Supreme Court on June 29 ordered re-argument in the campaign finance case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the speculation was nearly unanimous on why it took that unusual action . . . On Monday morning, the Court gaveled its final session of 2009 to a close without a decision in Citizens United. Speculation has already intensified over what is causing the delay, and what it could mean.”