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Group: Supreme Court Justices ‘Participated in Political Strategy Sessions’ Before Citizens United

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/group-demands-doj-probe-citizens-united/

That’s the headline.  Am I completely surprised by these allegations?  Sadly, no.  And there is unquestionably serious concern over the power being wielded in politics by the Koch Brothers.  The Citizens United decision was a tragedy for our political system; permitted for corporations to attain ‘personhood’ status under our Constitution; and represented a skewed perspective on the ability of elected leaders to limit the otherwise overwhelming influence of large corporations/vested interest over the results of election contests.  This past November’s results — if anything — is attributable primarily to the ability of the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove and other rather shadow figures to spend unlimited amounts of money, and then never account for it.

If the allegations against Scalia and Thomas are true — and I genuinely hope that this issue is seriously investigated within the Obama Administration — then these Justices need to face formal investigation, and potentially impeachment.  There was perhaps little question that Scalia and Thomas’ rulings contained a definitive political influence — more so than any Justices over the past 75 years. The role of any jurist should be to keep a firm distance from politically-motivated influences and decisions.  Such a principle is fundamental to our system of justice.  If these Justices violated this principle, then they should resign or face investigation and, ultimately, removal.

3 Comments on This Post
  1. Derek Brett

    Here’s a related follow-up with special thanks to the American Constitution Society: http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/node/18080

    Survey Shows Strong Support for Amendment Overturning Citizens United

    Four out of five Americans support passage of a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United v. FEC decision, according to a survey conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of Free Speech for People.

    The survey, released on the eve of the controversial campaign finance decision’s one-year anniversary, found that Americans have low confidence in the current system for regulating corporations, and that opposition to the Citizens United decision “crosses all party lines.”

    Free Speech for People is engaging in a campaign to raise awareness about the impact of Citizens United and urge passage of a constitutional amendment to reverse its effects. In October, the group distributed a letter signed by 50 law professors, urging members of Congress to advance a constitutional amendment. The letter states:

    Before Citizens United, a long line of Supreme Court cases, backed by two centuries of Constitutional jurisprudence and the basic truth that corporations are not people but creations of state law, had correctly ruled that Congress and the States may regulate corporate political expenditures not because of the type of speech or political goals sought by corporations but because of the very nature of the corporate entity itself.

    Corporate political expenditure regulations do not infringe any speech rights of the American people whatsoever. Rather, such regulations reflect the power of the American people to regulate corporations and the rules that govern such entities as the people and our representatives see fit. Justice John Paul Stevens’ dissent rightly calls the majority opinion a “radical departure from what has been settled First Amendment law.”

    Jeff Clements, co-founder and general counsel for Free Speech for People, explained the need for such an amendment in an interview with ACSblog.

    To mark the one-year anniversary of Citizens United, ACS is re-releasing an ACS Issue Brief written by Clements, Beyond Citizens United v. FEC: Re-Examining Corporate Rights, and another ACS Issue Brief by Monica Youn of the Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens United: The Aftermath.

    Reply
  2. Derek Brett

    I just learned this morning that Justice Thomas also refrained — for a period of approximately 5-6 years — reporting his wife’s sizeable income (I believe, in the $600,000.00 annual range), with the right-wing, ideologically-driven Heritage Foundation. It is unfathomable how a Supreme Court Justice can, in good conscience, misrepresent his spouse’s income on public disclosure forms as “none.”

    Reply
  3. Derek Brett

    Thanks for the kind words, Tanesha!

    Reply

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