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John Paul Stevens Citizens United Speech

John Paul Stevens Citizens United Speech

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Published by: edward_garris on May 31, 2012
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For Further Information Contact:Embargoed for Delivery Public Information Office (202) 479-3211
May
30,
2012,8
p.m. (EST) 
JUSTICE
JOHN
PAUL
STEVENS
(Ret.)
University
of
Arkansas
Clinton
School
of
Public
Service
Statehouse
Convention
Center 
Little
Rock,
Arkansas 
May
30,
2012 
On
January
27,
2010,
in
his
State
of the
Union
address,
President
Obama
declared:
"with
all
due
deference
to separation
of
powers,
last
week
the
Supreme
Court
reversed
a
century of
law
that
I
believe
will
open
thefloodgates
for
special
interests-including
foreign
corporations-
to
spend
without
limit
in
our
elections.
I
don't
think
American
elections
should
be
bankrolled
by
America's
most
powerful
interests,
or
worse,
by
foreign
entities."!
In
that
succinct
comment,
the
former
professor
of
constitutional
law
at
the
University
of
Chicago
Law
School
made
three
important
and
accurate
observations
about
the
Supreme
Court
majority's
opinion
in
Citizens
1
Press Release, Remarks
by
the President
in
State of the Union Address (Jan.
27,
2010),http://www.w hi e house. gov/the-press-office/remarks-presid ent-sta
e-
union -address.
1
 
United
v.
Federal
Election
Commission
2:
first,
it
did
reverse
a
century of
law;
second,
it
did
authorize
unlimited
election-related
expenditures
by
America's
most
powerful
interests;
and,
third,
the
logic of
the
opinion
extends
to
money
spent
by
foreign
entities.
That
is
so
because
the
Court
placed
such
heavy emphasis
on
~the
premise
that
the
First
Amendment
generally
prohibits
the
suppression
of
political
speech
based
on
the
speaker's
identity.,,3
Indeed,
the
oplnlon
expressly
stated,
~We
find
no
basis
for
the
proposition
that, in
the context of
political
speech,
the
Government
may
impose
restrictions
on
certain
disfavored
speakers.,,4
Somewhat
inconsistently,
however,
the
Court
also
statedthat
it
would
not
reach
thequestion
whether
the
Government
has
a
compelling
interest
~in
preventingforeign
individuals
or
associations
from
influencing
our
Nation's
political
process."s
2
130 S. Ct.
876
(2010). 
3
[d.,
at
905. 
4
[d.,
at
899. 
5
[d.,
at
911. 
2
 
I
oday,
instead
of repeating
arguments
that
advanced
in
my
dissent
from
the
Citizens
United
decision,
I
shall
mention
four
post-decision
events
that
provide
a
basis
to
expect
that
the
Court
already
has
had
second
thoughts
about
the breadth
of
the
reasoning
in
Justice
Kennedy's
opinion
for
a
five-man
majority.
The
first
relates
to
Justice
Alito,
the
second
to
Chief
Justice
Roberts,
the
third
to
the
Court's
unanimous
summary
decision
a
few
months
ago
in
a
case
upholding
the
constitutional
validity
of
a
prohibition
on
campaign
expenditures
by
a
non-citizen
Harvard
Law
School
graduate,6
and
the
fourth to
my
own
further
reflection
about
the
rights
of
non-voters
toinfluence
the
outcome
of
elections.
I
Justice
Alito-who
was
in
the
audience
for
the
2010
State
of the
Union
address
and
had
joined
the
majority
opinion
in
Citizens
United-reportedly
mouthed
the
words
"not
true" In
response
to the
President's
comment
that
6
See
Jurisdictional
Statement
(Sept. 1,2011),
Bluman
v.
Federal Election Commission,
No. 11-275(U.S.
Jan.
9,
2012)
(hereinafter
Jurisdictional Statement).
3

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