Justice Breyer Talks of His Citizens United Dissent at the Aspen Festival

I don’t know if there will be a transcript, but Justice Breyer, in response to a question about the First Amendment and originalism as applied to campaign finance, traced the current majority’s views to those of Judge Learned Hand, and Hand’s fear of campaign finance laws becoming a form of incumbency protection.  Justice Breyer stressed that these are difficult issues and that both sides come at the questions in honesty and good faith.  He did not, at least in the portion of the discussion I saw, offer an extended defense of the other side, the one that he takes in these cases.

Someone also asked about Justice Thomas’s wife’s activities, and grounds for recusal.  And there wasn’t a hint of any criticism of Justice Thomas from either Justice Breyer or Justice O’Connor.

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