Group Questions Justice Scalia's Impartiality on Campaign Finance Cases

Friday, January 21, 2011

Justice Antonin Scalia Justice Antonin Scalia

A year ago, the Supreme Court decided on one of the most controversial campaign finance cases in recent history: Citizens United. The Court ruled 5-4 in favor of lifting a ban on corporate spending on political campaigns. Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas were two of the judges who concurred with the opinion of the court. Now, a liberal group, Common Cause, has filed a petition arguing that Scalia and Thomas should be taken off campaign finance cases. 

The group says the two Justices have ties with conservative financier, Charles Koch, a major funder of conservative causes. Law professor Jeffrey Rosen explains the accusations against Scalia and Thomas and whether they should recuse themselves from future campaign finance cases.


Jeffrey Rosen

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [2]


Let us consider this stunt, masquearding as a news story.

Common Cause files a lawsuit, holds a number of press conferences and briefings on the subject, and the left-leaning media runs with it.

Including The Takeaway, via its relentless critic of the Scalia wing of the Court, Jeffrey Rosen.

The case filing, as frivolous and as meritless as it is, serves as a predicate for a "news" story, and the news story serves as a predicate for some vague and unfounded attacks on the conservative justices.

I will bet Jeffrey Rosen, John Hockenberry and Celeste Headlee each one thousand dollars, that this case filed by Common Cause will not result in any recusal, and will not result in any vacating or alteration of the decision in Citizens United.

It will of course result in a thousand stories on the subject. And if one Googles "common cause," "Scalia" and "Thomas," the search result is an immediate who's who of .url's from the leftwing blogosphere, all dutifully echoing the non-story created by Common Cause's frivolous lawsuit. A lemming-like surge, in which The Takeaway has now joined.

If The Takeaway had an ounce of political integrity, it would do a follow up story on how this stunt came about, and cerefully ask the question what the real liklihood is for any form of success for the Common Cause lawsuit. The correct answer is "zilch."

And if The Takeaway had any sense of political balance, the next time that it did a story on Citizens United, it would also examine the arguments in favor of the majority opinion in the case, along with the generally ill-informed usual complaints that . (For instance, nothing in the Citizens Untied case allows corporations to make donations to any candidates; that myth persists to this day, because news outlets like The Takeaway have done such an awful job of reporting the facts and the opposing arguments.)

Jan. 21 2011 11:01 AM
Al from KY

Regardless of whether anyone should recuse themselves from the court, the Supreme's decision on campaign funding was plain out-and-out WRONG.
Allowing big business to legally control our government goes against the basic principles of government of, by,and for the people. (Not to mention it includes international/foreign business)
If this were put to a common vote by the people, it'd be gone in a heartbeat. Nobody I've talked to thinks this was a good ruling.

Jan. 21 2011 08:48 AM

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