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Stevens: Court may regret Citizens United ruling

Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said his former colleagues may be ruing the day the Citizens United v. FEC decision was handed down.

In a speech last night at the University of Arkansas, Stevens said the Supreme Court will soon have to decide whether the decision, which held that the right of corporations, unions and other groups to make unlimited super PAC contributions in election campaigns is protected by the First Amendment, also applies to foreign groups including terrorist organizations.

Stevens said based on the words “not true” famously uttered by Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. in response to President Barack Obama’s criticism of the Citizens United decision at the 2010 State of the Union address, “there will not be five votes” to extend Citizens United to foreign entities.

“The court must then explain its abandonment of, or at least qualify reliance upon, the proposition that the identity of the speaker is an impermissible basis for regulating campaign speech,” Stevens said, according to CNN’s Bill Mears. “It will be necessary to explain why the First Amendment provides greater protection for some nonvoters than that of other nonvoters.

One comment

  1. Citizens United does seem, at first glance, like a bad decision.

    However, the reality in the U.S. today is that politicians, particularly liberal ones, buy votes. They promise everything to everybody, and leave it to future generations to clean up the mess.

    Without Citizens United, there would be less money to fight the turning of this country into Greece or Cuba. Our education system is so poor that people will actually believe politicians who promise to give away the store. Citizens United simply provides a countervailing power to this shameless vote-buying.

    Yes, I know that it is easy to argue that money corrupts elections. it does. What also corrupts elections are irresponsible promises to give everything away, with no concern for the national debt.

    Atty. Mike Agranoff, Ellington, CT

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