Gagging the Court

Last year, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that changed the way that companies and special interest groups were allowed to give money to political campaigns.  In essence, the case, Citizens United, took the gloves off and opened up a floodgate of cash into the electoral arena.  And not just for conservatives, but also for labor unions and other special interest groups.

It’s been about a year since the ruling was handed down.  And there are some on the left that are growing increasingly frustrated with it.  Specifically, I’ve noticed that they’re raising a hubbub over the fact that Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia act, well, conservative.  They are conservative.  They’re Republicans, appointed by Republican Presidents.  No real surprises there.

And there are lefties out there who take issue with this.  Specifically, Common Cause, a nonprofit advocacy group, is asking the Supreme Court to vacate the ruling in question due to the fact that they participated in political retreats with some of those who stood most to benefit from the Citizens United ruling.  And Scalia is drawing fire for addressing a ‘tea party’ caucus today of House Republicans (also attended by three House Democrats).

I know that I’m a flaming liberal, and I ought to line up with the rest of my comrades on my end of the political spectrum, but this contrived narrative is utter nonsense.  If you read a paper, it’s not news.  And they’re entitled to act like conservatives, which means doing conservative things like talking to their crazy rich friends about political and legal ideas.  I don’t want to issue a gag order on judges in this country to keep up the illusion that judges are apolitical.  They’re not.  We have a semi-partisan judicial system, and that’s the way that the Founders intended it.  To pretend otherwise is just naive.

So, to my friends on the left, you know how we change this?  We wait for Scalia to die.  And when he does, let’s hope there’s a Democrat occupying the Oval Office, because that’s the only way that we’re really going to be able to get the ruling on this that we want.  Not by kvetching about how unfair it is that Republicans are seen, being, well, conservative.  That’ll get us nowhere.  It’ll get us nowhere because it’s an idiotic strategy.

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