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View Diary: Justice Stevens: Citizens United "giant step in the wrong direction”, calls for overturning (84 comments)

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  •  "From Congress" is superfluous here (23+ / 0-)

    The problem is that, starting w/ B v. G, the Court has been on a mission.  Deciding a presidential election by judicial fiat and seeing that decision accepted clearly led to a realization that 5 justices could exert vast power.

    Roberts, who's more collegial and far more telegenic than Rehnquist ever hoped to be, greatly exacerbated this situation.  He's like Warren on steroids, except that the Warren Court's big decisions almost invariably had big majorities.  The Roberts Court has broken new ground (and torn up old ground) in campaign finance, gun control, and voting rights, all by 5-4 margins.

    The scary thing is, that bloc probably has several more years to go.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:06:49 AM PDT

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    •  The "new" player who upset the Court's balance ... (7+ / 0-)

      ... was Justice Samuel Alito. He's what cemented the 5-4 majority C.J. Roberts now enjoys.

      2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:04:13 AM PDT

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      •  And got there without being blocked by (3+ / 0-)

        "Democrats" in the US Senate.  It is always OK for the Republicans to block a Democratic president's appointees to anything, but never never OK for Democratic Senators to block a complete asshole appointee of a Republican president.

        Which really makes you question what's going on. Our president, for example, as a US Senator, could have readily prevented what is going on with the court today, by insisting on less far right appointees by "W". ANY Democratic US Senator could have done so after 2006.  Easily.  

        But Democratic US Senators were more than happy to allow Roberts' and Alito's ascension to the Court.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:42:27 PM PDT

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    •  There was a shift with Roberts and Alito, (9+ / 0-)

      there's no guarantee that bloc won't successfully self-pack as the earlier generation did in B v. G. The 7 election financing decisions under Roberts, hard-wired a plutocratic advantage, why Stevens calls for an amendment. But Stevens, as much as he knows the law, doesn't know politics. An amendment won't happen and FDR's take remains true, that the elected branches need to take control as they did in the New Deal and again under LBJ with civil rights.

      A Congress that restores checks and balances under the political question doctrine is more practicable than the far-fetched amendment process and is more consistent philosophically. No one really believes the Constitution needs an amendment, rather they expect a new Court will redress the mistake as Brown did to Plessy. Like the 14th, the 1st is already on the books, the Court is engaged in legislation, as Taney did. The Court overstepped its boundary to become a superlegislature and attacks Congressional powers. Ex Parte McCardle is the appropriate precedent protecting use of the exceptions clause. Stevens did not loudly dissent on grounds of lack of jurisdiction, if I recall. Calling for 6 amendments is a fix that seeks to bypass empowering Congress to act as a democratic institution. No pass.

      It will take accountable politicians elected on this issue, not wish list amendments, to clean up after Robertsgate. FDR ridiculed the notion of sending an amendment to a Court that already ignores amendments. I would bet on the Democratic Party legislative tradition, rather than another amendment. The question is whether voters can discipline the corrupt parties in sufficient numbers to save the republic. This should be uncontroversial since about 90% of voters oppose the plutocratic money in politics system. It comes down to the entrenched conservatism of defenders of judicial supremacy on this issue- which includes Stevens and most liberals. While they fiddle, Congress burns.

      •  I think amendments are called for because ... (4+ / 0-)

        ... this Court is trumping other branches' powers with its powers. But I agree, amendments are not possible, any of the ones Justice Stevens calls for. He remains the voice of dissent.

        Many of these awful decisions of the Supreme Court are by a single vote.

        So it is up to us, the voters. Every election from here on counts.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:35:41 PM PDT

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      •  Politicians are owned by corporations, Wall Street (0+ / 0-)

        and the very wealthy.  Why would politicians do anything which threatens their ownership?

        Do voters really understand the issues at stake?  What's Kim Kardashian wearing?  Where's the Malaysian airliner?  Damn, I lost at Angry Birds again. . .  

        My bet is "No, not enough voters are paying attention. At all."

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:44:47 PM PDT

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