Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SCOTUS rules on judicial campaign finance but not likely to relent on money=speech

Here is the op-ed from the Daily Star. Yes, Roberts should get credit for the ruling, but he is likely to join the the rest of the conservative judges against any move to reverse Citizens United.

[Chief Justice] Roberts said he was worried only about public perception in the unique context of judicial elections; [Justice] Ginsburg said she was worried about perception and reality in all elections.

Unlike Roberts, Ginsburg understands that when judicial or other candidates accept money from donors or benefit from outside spending, it skews their behavior — and that’s dangerous.

The chief justice’s failure to endorse Ginsburg’s argument is no shock given his role in the 2010 Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision, which helped usher in the "super-PAC" era.

In his concurrence in Citizens United, Roberts rejected the argument that the federal government could limit outside spending in elections to prevent corporations from swaying political outcomes, saying that the 1st Amendment forbids this kind of interference.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy, Roberts’ allies on campaign-finance issues, seemed taken aback by the chief justice’s opinion in Williams-Yulee. Kennedy accused Roberts of endorsing censorship, and Scalia called Florida’s rule a "wildly disproportionate restriction upon speech."

Of course he did. This tool of the right wing, this Scaliawag, will always defend big money interests.

Reformers can justly celebrate what Williams-Yulee means for judicial elections. But let’s not pretend Roberts has seen the light.

The next time a nonjudicial fundraising case reaches the Supreme Court, he is likely to be the one yelling about "censorship." Despite this win on judicial elections, the campaign finance situation overall remains dire.

No comments:

Post a Comment