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Bill Moyers Journal is a weekly eye-opener, and this past week's episode is no exception.  Well, maybe it is:  It's exceptionally eye-opening.

It turns out that the Supreme Court Justice who wrote the majority opinion of the despicable Citizens United v. FEC decision last month, is the very same Supreme Court Justice who said this on-camera to Bill Moyers:

There must be a recommitment, a rededication to the Constitution in every generation.  And every generation faces a different challenge.  We weren't talking about this 30 years ago because we didn't have money in elections.  Money in elections presents us with a tremendous challenge, a tremendous problem, and we are remiss if we don't at once address it and correct it.

How can that be?

He wants to "address and correct" the corrupting influence of money in politics?  By giving huge corporations unfettered access?  Is he trying to smother a fire by pouring on more gasoline?

The difference is time.  When Justice Anthony Kennedy lamented to Bill Moyers the corrupting power of money in judicial elections, that was back in November of 1999.  Come 2010, he not only has no problem with it, but it was his very own pivotal vote in this despicable 5-4 decision that opened the floodgates of corrupting money in politics.  I don't know what happened during those 11 years, but it's undoubtedly a turn for the worse.

Seeing is believing.  You can watch the entire episode here, and the transcript is available in three parts:  Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Now you know why PBS is so very important.

Originally posted to Art Smart on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:03 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    What's the difference between Democrats and Republicans? Democrats remind us that life is unfair, and Republicans make sure it is. -- David Feldman, 6/18/09

    by Art Smart on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:03:31 AM PST

    •  Justices and the Constitution (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Novem, whaddaya

      I think there are many times when members of the SCOTUS decide a case based on their understanding of the Constitution even though they don't like the outcome. My guess is that if you were able to obtain a candid answer from Justice Kennedy he would tell you that he believes the Constitution severely limits Congress regarding speech, but doesn't like the result of the majority decision on CU. Understanding that each justice has his/her own interpretation of the Constitution, I would hope that all Supreme Court justices would look to the Constitution first, rather than trying to shoe horn the Constitution into the outcome they prefer.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:54:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The question they decided was not the question (0+ / 0-)

        asked in the Citizens United case. They decided that corporations are persons for the purposes of the Bill of Rights' free speech provisions. There was nothing in the case before them related to giving corporations protected political speech. Instead, the Court acted in such a way as to reframe the case before them to allow its five conservative members to give corporations the same rights as people.

        So, if Kennedy was addressing the problem of money in politics, then perhaps he saw corporations as victims of excessive restrictions on their ability to influence the outcome of elections. If so, he has reached the limit of his competence to serve on the SCOTUS.

        •  whaddaya - CU (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I am not a lawyer, or Constitutional scholar, and I judge by your comment that you are not either. My understanding is that CU did not establish any new ground regarding the rights of corporations as "persons". The rights of corporations as persons is a well established legal principle. What CU did was to acknowledge the limits Congress has in denying political speech to corporations, of which CU was one. CU only gives corporations the same rights as people relating to independent political speech. In fact, individuals can contribute directly to candidates for federal office and corporations cannot. The statute that prohibits corporations from direct contributions to candidates is still in effect. Regarding Kennedy's competence, many Constitutional scholars, including some of the best we have here at DKOS agreed with the majority in the CU case.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 01:25:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'd rather he stepped down. (7+ / 0-)

    Progresssive -> Progress; Conservative -> Con

    by nightsweat on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:06:17 AM PST

  •  Senile? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, whaddaya, Art Smart

    Deferment Dick -The Happy Torturer

    by Mr Magu on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:08:12 AM PST

  •  "Older and wiser"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, whaddaya, Art Smart


    I get "suaviter in modo", Mr President. May we now have some "fortiter in re"?

    by tapu dali on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:09:51 AM PST

  •  not a contradiction at all (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannah, fizziks, VClib, Alec82, whaddaya

    These are issues for Congress to address.  The Court can only decide whether what Congress does is constitutional, and does not exist to right every societal wrong.

    •  True, Adam B. (0+ / 0-)

      But, as I pointed out above, the Court went on a fishing expedition to reel in the result it desired. If you want judicial activism, you need look no further than this case.

      •  The dissent was fishing. (0+ / 0-)

        The majority position is very simple: what part of "Congress shall make no law is so complicated?

        •  What is so complicated is (0+ / 0-)

          no law respecting whom? A corporation which is a legal fiction OR respecting people who fall under the jurisdiction of Congress? Yeah, tedious distinction. But, Jonathan Turley and other better people than me think they fished and shouldn't have. The Court has done this forever, but mainly in the 19th century. True, but obscure.

  •  Restricting the AMOUNT of money an (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, luckylizard

    individual or a group of people can spend to promote an issue or a candidate was a bad idea.  The rationale that individuals will be prevented from showing favoritism to their cronies and golfing partners by restricting how much the latter can spend has no basis in fact.

    If we don't want public officials to accept anticipatory bribes, we should limit the incumbents and candidates to accepting donations only from citizens who are also qualified to vote to elect them.  On the other hand, if we want corporate expenditures to be restricted to promoting their primary endeavor, then the laws governing private corporations need to be changed.  Remedies need to be directed towards those whose behaviors are to be affected. Triangulation works on the pool table; in public affairs, not.

    by hannah on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:15:37 AM PST

  •  I know I've posted this before, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, whaddaya

    but I can't resist. Not in a Kennedy diary:


    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 11:49:32 AM PST

  •  I think they should be refused the right to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    advertise their campaign on TV at all.  It makes any candidate look like they are worth no more than dishwashing liquid.

    2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

    by Silverbird on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:14:54 PM PST

    •  But are they? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It makes any candidate look like they are worth no more than dishwashing liquid.

      In recent memory, dishwashing detergent has proved quite a bit more useful to me than 99 out of 100 congressional candidates . . .

      •  They arent worth dryer lint, come to think of it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        2.5 trillion dollars have been "borrowed" since the [SS] system was "reformed" in the 80s and they simply don't want to pay it back. - dKos Blogger -

        by Silverbird on Wed Feb 24, 2010 at 12:57:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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