Today marks the fifth anniversary of Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision striking down a federal ban on independent expenditures – campaign ads and the like – by corporations and labor unions. Because the myths about Citizens United remain just as prevalent five years later, they are worth addressing again.
The Supreme Court's decision today to take up the issue of a constitutional right to gay marriage is both good and bad news for those who believe that the Constitution ought to mean what it says. It is good news because the current state of affairs, where the right exists in some circuits and not others, pleases neither side and appears unsustainable. But it's also bad news because the Courts' decision this June will probably invent a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, which would make it arguably the worst instance of judicial activism by the Supreme Court since Roe v. Wade.
The last week has seen important highs and lows in the rule of law. A high point was a grand jury's decision yesterday not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. A low point was President Obama's executive order on immigration.
When President Obama makes good tonight on his Constitution-shredding threat to act unilaterally on immigration reform, he will cast it as bypassing a recalcitrant Congress. But Obama's problem is not really with Congress; it is with the American people who elected this Congress. Yes, Obama is doing an end-run around Congress' Article I legislative power, which contains no exception for presidential frustration, but his greater constitutional sin is bypassing American voters by denying them their right to representation in the making of our laws.
CFJ President Curt Levey on the Supreme Court’s decision today to not review any of the seven gay marriage cases before it:
The Supreme Court’s surprising decision to pass up what was effectively its last chance to stop the legal momentum behind the creation of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage is bad news for supporters of constitutionalism.