Justice Kennedy Defends Citizens United

The NLJ on Justice Kennedy’s appearance at Harvard:

Kennedy, also in response to a student’s question, said he stands by his 2010 decision in the still controversial Citizens Unitedcampaign finance case.

“In my own view, what happens with money in politics is not good,” he said. “Remember: the government of the United States stood in front our court and said it was lawful and necessary under the [McCain-Feingold] Act to ban a book written about Hillary Clinton in the prohibited period of six, three months before the election. That can’t be right.

“I wasn’t surprised The New York Times was incensed their little monopoly to affect our thinking was taken away. I was surprised how virulent their attitude was. Last time I looked, The New York Times was a corporation. This meant the Sierra Club, the chamber of commerce in a small town couldn’t take out an ad.”

Disclosure of who is financing elections is an answer, he said. “You live in this cyber age. A report can be done in 24 hours,” he said. But, he added, “that’s not working the way it should.”

 

Two things of note:

First, Justice Kennedy is among the Justices to rarely give these kind of public interviews, according to my Celebrity Justice study.  Maybe that is now changing.

Second, Regarding Justice Kennedy’s point about the New York Times as a (press) corporation): I deal with this question in great detail in my upcoming Plutocrats United book. It is a serious objection to campaign finance limits that needs a serious answer.

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