Skip to main content

When a former Supreme Court Justice speaks out, essentially calling his former colleagues just short of dishonest, it's worth taking note. Justice John Paul Stevens is angry at the Court's Citizens United decision and the more recent decision in McCutcheon and is calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decisions.

Here are his thoughts via The New York Times:

He said the court had made a disastrous wrong turn in its recent string of campaign finance rulings.

“The voter is less important than the man who provides money to the candidate,” he said. “It’s really wrong.”

He talked about what he called a telling flaw in the opening sentence of last month’s big campaign finance ruling. He filled in some new details about the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that led to the Citizens United decision. And he called for a constitutional amendment to address what he said was the grave threat to American democracy caused by the torrent of money in politics.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. started his controlling opinion with a characteristically crisp and stirring opening sentence: “There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders.”

But that was misleading, Justice Stevens said. “The first sentence here,” he said, “is not really about what the case is about.”

And his solution:
“Essentially,” he wrote, “five justices were unhappy with the limited nature of the case before us, so they changed the case to give themselves an opportunity to change the law.”

The occasion for our talk was Justice Stevens’s new book, “Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution.” One of those amendments would address Citizens United, which he wrote was “a giant step in the wrong direction.”

The new amendment would override the First Amendment and allow Congress and the states to impose “reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.”

Essentially, in so many words, Stevens has said that the conservative majority's decision were half-baked, twisted and simply a way to hand over the keys of whatever democracy is left to the very powerful and wealthy.

No surprise to most of us--but noteworthy coming from someone who was breathing the same air.

Originally posted to Tasini on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:15 AM PDT.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

fly, Thumb, Alumbrados, shari, Sylv, Sean Robertson, grollen, glitterscale, Emerson, karlpk, Shockwave, Fabienne, Heimyankel, Sherri in TX, Pescadero Bill, cotterperson, genethefiend, Troutfishing, eeff, Pompatus, Bryce in Seattle, RFK Lives, Matilda, hubcap, Creosote, davelf2, Doctor Who, opinionated, cyberKosFan, magnetics, susakinovember, whenwego, ask, roses, oceanview, Nate Roberts, Terre, Alna Dem, wader, revsue, Redfire, Texknight, psnyder, Farugia, kj in missouri, papercut, lcrp, walkshills, WisVoter, KayCeSF, Paul Hogarth, Josiah Bartlett, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Brecht, rapala, mjd in florida, Lying eyes, Shrew in Shrewsbury, chimene, Simplify, basquebob, dewtx, ChemBob, YucatanMan, fixxit, owlbear1, where4art, Burned, Kayakbiker, Rex Freedom, Tool, Ginny in CO, sodalis, kathny, xaxnar, begone, forbodyandmind, Born in NOLA, Dolphin99, tarheelblue, golem, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, BlueInARedState, Themistoclea, cookseytalbott, Prognosticator, KenBee, blueoasis, DarkestHour, anninla, onionjim, engine17, rage, Sardanicas, CA Nana, suspiciousmind, kurt, bstotts, daeros, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, Habitat Vic, ColoTim, gloriana, Mary Mike, HeartlandLiberal, Kentucky Kid, HCKAD, jayden, bobswern, leonard145b, keyscritter, South Park Democrat, MKinTN, ChocolateChris, GAS, wayoutinthestix, zerone, Sixty Something, Youffraita, dadadata, NewDealer, Sharon Wraight, jamess, tofumagoo, Cassandra Waites, pickandshovel, catly, No Exit, Piren, JamieG from Md, dmhlt 66, statsone, maggiejean, enemy of the people, Bule Betawi, artmartin, MufsMom, J M F, lostinamerica, ewmorr, CanyonWren, notrouble, mkor7, TheOpinionGuy, asym, Denise Oliver Velez, sfarkash, Vetwife, ArthurPoet, Tortmaster, Tommymac, Larsstephens, Railfan, smileycreek, FogCityJohn, estreya, secret38b, womankind, ItsSimpleSimon, Puddytat, Betty Pinson, skillet, Floande, soaglow, slice, theKgirls, Onomastic, praying manatheist, annominous, ozsea1, slowbutsure, Susipsych, FarWestGirl, Nicci August, deeproots, smiley7, Haf2Read, Jasonhouse, thomask, Wolf10, Santa Susanna Kid, muddy boots, createpeace, myrmecia gulosa, MinistryOfTruth, poliwrangler, blue muon, bakeneko, SoCalSal, Sunspots, leftykook, jadt65, DRo, SouthernLiberalinMD, Auriandra, allergywoman, PrometheusUnbound, No one gets out alive, Laurel in CA, AnnetteK, livingthedream, wolf advocate, i saw an old tree today, RockyJ, KiB, sow hat, greenbastard, IndieGuy, nellgwen, joanil, AnnieR, a2nite, CA ridebalanced, Mike RinRI, belinda ridgewood, radical simplicity, MartyM, cheesehead77, aznavy, New Minas, wxorknot, etherealfire, rat racer, AverageJoe42, Glen The Plumber, Robynhood too, Phoebe Loosinhouse, madcitysailor, GoGoGoEverton, mzkryz, MarkW53, Chaddiwicker, nomandates, jusjtim35, jbob, 84thProblem, HedwigKos, aresea, Jon Sitzman, amparo fan, oslyn7, skepticalcitizen, TheDuckManCometh, palmer18, RUNDOWN, occupystephanie, Tony Situ, Alice1957, Skyye, Choco8, hbk, ypochris, liberaldad2, BMScott, alypse1

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site