Ex-Justice Stevens: High Court Erred in Campaign Finance Ruling

Thursday, 31 May 2012 06:20 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said his former colleagues may be having “second thoughts” about the reach of the 2010 ruling that let corporations spend unlimited sums on political campaigns.

Stevens, speaking at an event sponsored by the University of Arkansas in Little Rock last night, said he questioned whether the five-justice majority stood fully behind its statement that the Constitution’s First Amendment “generally prohibits the suppression of political speech based on the speaker’s identity.”

Stevens dissented in the case, known as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and retired later that year. He made his comments as his former colleagues prepare to decide whether they will use a Montana case to revisit some aspects of Citizens United in the nine-month term that starts in October.

Stevens, 92, said he reached his conclusion about the majority’s doubts after reflecting on later rulings by the high court, including a one-line order this year that upheld a federal ban on campaign spending by foreigners.

Those developments “provide a basis to expect that the court already has had second thoughts about the breadth of the reasoning” in the majority opinion, Stevens said, according to prepared remarks released by the court.

Stevens also pointed to Justice Samuel Alito’s reaction at the 2010 State of the Union Address, when he mouthed “not true” as President Barack Obama criticized the just-issued Citizens United decision. Stevens said Alito, a member of the Citizens United majority, was probably reacting to Obama’s assertion that the ruling would let foreign corporations influence U.S. campaigns.

‘Alito’s Reaction’

“Justice Alito’s reaction does persuade me that in due course it will be necessary for the court to issue an opinion explicitly crafting an exception that will create a crack in the foundation of the Citizens United majority opinion,” Stevens said.

The majority, the former justice said, will have to “explain its abandonment of, or at least qualify its reliance upon, the proposition that the identity of the speaker is an impermissible basis for regulating campaign speech.”

 

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Supreme Court Case to Shape Ferguson Investigation

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 15:37 PM

It started with a bottle of orange juice 30 years ago.The national legal standards that govern when police officers are  . . .

Perry Presses for Greater US Involvement in Iraq

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 15:51 PM

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday pressed for a more aggressive U.S. military response in Iraq to combat Islamic state m . . .

Newsmax Exclusive: Mike Rogers Talks About His New Role in Talk Radio

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 15:15 PM

The Republican insider is set to take on the likes of Sean Hannity,
Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage in his new ra . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved