Is Sen Russ Feingold's Republican opponent in the general election this November really going defend the outrageous decision in Citizens United? A Republican won't be able to get elected U.S. Senate nominee in Wisconsin without addressing the issue.
By Ronald Dworkin in The New York Review of Books—Against the opposition of their four colleagues, five right-wing Supreme Court justices have now guaranteed that big corporations can spend unlimited funds on political advertising in any political election. In an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas, the Court overruled established precedents and declared dozens of national and state statutes unconstitutional, including the McCain-Feingold Act, which forbade corporate or union television advertising that endorses or opposes a particular candidate.
This appalling decision, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was quickly denounced by President Obama as “devastating”; he said that it “strikes at our democracy itself.” In his State of the Union speech of January 27, he said, “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests—including foreign corporations—to spend without limit in our elections.” He is right: the decision will further weaken the quality and fairness of our politics. ...
We should notice not just the bad consequences of the decision, however, but the poor quality of the arguments Justice Kennedy offered to defend it. The conservative justices savaged canons of judicial restraint they themselves have long praised. Chief Justice Roberts takes every opportunity to repeat what he said, under oath, in his Senate nomination hearings: that the Supreme Court should avoid declaring any statute unconstitutional unless it cannot decide the case before it in any other way. Now consider how shamelessly he and the other justices who voted with the majority ignored that constraint in their haste to declare the McCain-Feingold Act unconstitutional in time for the coming midterm elections.