on Feb 2, 2010 at 10:17 am
Marcia Coyle at theÂ National Law Journal discusses the impact of theÂ Citizens United decision on cases pending in the federal courts, noting that courts in two high-profile cases have already ordered supplemental briefing on the relevance of Citizens United. Coyle also discusses several state-level cases that may be affected byÂ Citizens. As Congress continues to explore legislative responses to the decision,Â ACSBlog also has this post on todayâ€™s Senate hearing on theÂ case.
Others are defending theÂ Citizens United decision.Â TheÂ Denver Postâ€™s editorial boardÂ applauds the decisionâ€™s requirement that corporations â€œdisclose their backing of political speech,â€Â explaining that the earlier patchwork of campaign-finance legislation created a regulatory system that allowed candidates to mask the sources of corporate donations.Â And in an op-ed piece in theÂ Seattle Times, Bill Maurer of the Institute for Justice argues that corporations are simply composed of individuals, who should not be penalized for â€œ[picking] the wrong form for their association.â€Â Like any other association, he writes, corporations should be free to â€œchoose the form that they believe is most effective for disseminating their message.â€
Pundits continue to analyze President Obamaâ€™s criticism of the Citizens United decision during his State of the Union address, as well as Justice Alitoâ€™s â€œresponse.â€Â In an editorial piece in theÂ Washington Post, E.J. Dionne Jr. argues that President Obamaâ€™s criticism of the CourtÂ was an appropriate presidential response supported by â€œample precedent.â€ He points out that previous presidents â€“ including Reagan and Nixon â€“ freely and publicly took issue with the Court, and he concludes by asking, â€œIsnâ€™t it more honorable to criticize the justices to their faces?â€Â At theÂ Christian Science Monitor, Brad Knickerbocker points out that President Obama was speaking not to the Court but to Congress, and he characterizes the rebuke as a call to Congress to parry the decision by creating new campaign-finance legislation that will pass â€œconstitutional muster with the high court.â€Â Â Finally, Michael Smerconish at theÂ Philadelphia Inquirer also examines President Reaganâ€™s public opposition toÂ Roe, noting that he softened his admonishments by avoiding direct references to the Court decision and by repeatedly calling for bipartisan solutions to the conflict.
In other news, anÂ L.A. Times editorial discusses Doe v. Reed, the Washington state disclosure case in which the Court recently granted cert.Â The editorial argues that although the First Amendment protects anonymous political expression, signing a petition is a legislative act that makes signers â€œakin to legislators whose names are public.â€Â The piece concludes that signers should press criminal charges if they are subjected to harassment for their actions, but â€œthe remedy for that problem isâ€¦not the withholding of public documents.”
Finally, Lyrissa Lidsky atÂ PrawfsBlog covers the Courtâ€™s decision inÂ Presley v. Georgia (PDF), a recently decided case that may have gone â€œoverlooked in all the brouhaha overÂ Citizens United.â€Â Lidsky expresses surprise that the Georgia state courts repeatedly showed “blatant disregard” for Supreme Court precedent in excluding the public fromÂ voir dire of prospective jurors and applauds the Supreme Court for rebuking the lower courts and affirming the defendantâ€™s Sixth Amendment rights in its decision to reverse.