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The Judiciary Committee's weird obsession with Citizens United

Why the obsession with the Citizens United campaign finance case? Almost every senator from both sides of the aisle has invoked the case: Democrats to bemoan the "conservative activism" of the Roberts court and its alleged bias toward corporate bigwigs; Republicans to defend the court's conservatives and to poke the president for using the State of the Union to criticize the decision.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who defended the law against constitutional challenge, has been asked repeatedly about her position in the case. The question has been asked and answered -- ad nauseum. Democrats need to stop their pontificating, which seems based on the assumption that if they yell loud enough Kagan will get the message that she should, if confirmed, vote to uphold campaign law in the future. Republicans need to remember that Kagan was only doing her job as solicitor general in defending a law that they -- the Congress -- passed. Enough already.

By Eva Rodriguez  | June 29, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
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Comments

Citizens United is an issue because President Obama all but openly declared that Elena Kagan would never have voted in the majority in that case and he is insisting upon making this decision a national issue in the upcoming campaign. The "enough already" command should apply to the President as well. The Court rendered its opinion, if Congress or the President deem it necessary to act, they can--but villianizing the Court is not the way...it is too bad Kagan does not make the point as to the need to Respect the decisions of the third branch and not cast political motives to their decisions.

Posted by: jnel | June 29, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

citizen's united should be renamed a more accurate phrase "corporation's united"

Posted by: newagent99 | June 29, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I repeat, corporations are deemed persons because it is convenient in contract law. They do not vote, they should not have a voice at all. If thew CEO wants to make a political statement he may, as an individual. If he wants to make a political statement on behalf of the corporation he may only after he polls the owners (stockholders) of the corporation.

Posted by: diomede | June 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Why only corporations? What about an LLC? Unions do not vote, should they not have a voice? Where do you draw the line?

How many people can "peaceably assemble" before they are restricted in voicing a political opinion?

Kagan previously voiced an opinion that political books could be restricted but pamphlets would be ok. How many pages separates a pamphlet from a booklet from a book?

These are exactly the kind of angels-on-a pinhead questions the USSC has to contend with.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | June 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Citizens United has become a popular case to reference because it is a classic example of a strict constructionist view of the Constitution vs. judicial activism, and it's an illustration of a controversial case that is fairly simple to explain and debate.

If you read the opinions in the case, the majority's position was a strict interpretation of the First Amendment, whereas the minority opinion took into consideration the repercussions of the decision as a practical matter.

The former took a literal interpretation of the Constitution indicating that all speech is protected, no matter if such speech originated from an individual or a corporation; and the latter looked at the potential "outcome" of the ruling, taking the "empathetic" view that corporations could have more power than individuals, hence the judicial activist position.

Classic case, and one that will be cited and debated for decades.

Posted by: RambleOn | June 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This is my first encounter with Rodriguez.

Enough already.

Posted by: misterjrthed | July 1, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Yeah Eva, why all the obsessing? Just you little people stop whining and listen to your elders who always know better than you.

God, what corporate lackeys are so called " liberal media " have become.

Posted by: JBN59 | July 1, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to a similar column castigating the Republicans with the phrase "Enough already" for their tireless obsession with "judicial activism" and the judicial merits of Roe v Wade and Brown v Board.

Posted by: Zagrobelny | July 1, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Yet another sterling example of the wasteland that is the current Washington Post.

Posted by: rochrist | July 2, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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