Monday, April 09, 2012

Supremes Will Reconsider Citizens United

Seemingly miraculously, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case from Montana that challenges the infamous Citizens United decision. Justices Ginsburg and Breyer are saying that by accepting this case, it gives the Supreme Court a chance to backpedal on their decision, one that has dealt a hand in the 2012 election that no one would have ever suspected.

See, the 5 conservative members of the Supreme Court, in coming to this infamous decision, had a narrow view of how this could help the conservative cause. Help conservatives win elections. Because, obviously, in their minds, corporations want to support conservatives, certainly not liberals.
Now we find that this is not the case, having weathered months of heavy corporate spending in the new super PACs. Turns out, the paradigm wasn’t true. Corporations don’t march in lockstep to support conservatives. They march in lockstep to support winners.
And sometimes winners are Democrats.
But not only that, the Citizens United decision has changed how we do politics in America. Had Citizens United not become the law of the land, I think it is a safe assumption that Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich would both have thrown in the towel by now. Ron Paul is another matter as he marches to a different drum. So Super PACs have radically altered the political playing field in the conservative race, more than the conservative justices may have anticipated, or desired.
The Montana case concentrates on states issues, that the Citizens United decision goes up against Montana state law and tradition. That Citizens United must be applied only in federal elections. But you know, I doubt the Supremes will limit their second decision to the states. It is at the federal level that their decision will have the most effect, particularly in deciding who is going to be appointed to replace the elder amongst them.
The Supremes in the end, will overturn their own decision, their own foray into politics, because it will ultimately decide their own philosophical makeup.
In short, the chickens have come home to roost.


Greg said...

Much more likely is that the Supreme Court is going to slap down the Montana Supreme Court for attempting to overrule the clear precedent established in Citizens United -- namely that the government cannot silence political speech.

Hal said...

Greg, the only reason the Supremes agreed to hear this case is to enable them to backtrack on a decision that has so negatively affected Republican politics. They had no idea what they wrought. It's worse for them than it is for Dems.