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Tonight during the State of the Union, President Obama did something I can’t remember another president doing, and I’ve seen a few of these: He directly addressed the Supreme Court, sitting a few feet in front of him:

And it’s time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office. Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations – to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that’s why I'm urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong.

NYT link

Right now on the front page there’s a video of Justice Alito responding to the finger-pointing. He shakes his head and you can read his lips: “That’s just not true” - his own big important robed version of "You lie!" Here, I'll save you a jump back to the FP:

Rachel is explaining right now that Justice Alito’s staff says he’s “unavailable” for comment. Hmm. So, what part of Obama’s call-out did Alito think is “not true”? Did he think they did not reverse “a century of law” that prohibited corporations and other special interests from spending unlimited and unrestricted amounts of money to advance their causes? Probably if a similar decision had been handed down recently, we would’ve heard about it, so Obama's comment does seem to be true, right? Or maybe you can 'splain to me, Sam, why it isn't.

Did he think “the floodgates for special interests – including foreign corporations” have not been opened by the Court’s decision? If he thinks that, sheesh, he’s too dumb to be on the Court. Given that we’ve already seen congressional offices contact large firms, and given that the Republicans (who expect most of the money flowing from these opened floodgates) have largely embraced the decision, that seems to be true too. Justice Alito, can you 'splain to me why the floodgates won't open? (Unless, of course, Congress enacts something.)

Was Alito disagreeing with Obama that elections should not “be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests”? If he thinks that’s not true, wow, just wow. Can you, Mr Justice (or anyone else) 'splain to me why elections should be bankrolled by special interests?

I realize there is disagreement here at DKos about the Court’s decision, but Obama did not address the First Amendment legal philosophy that the ACLU and others have argued. He talked specifically about the decision’s consequences, not its causes, and at least one of those consequences Alito thought was “not true.” I’m struggling here, Justice Alito, help me out.

Originally posted to Maggie's Farm on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 09:05 PM PST.


What did Alito think is "not true"?

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