Justice John Paul Stevens, a 34-year liberal veteran, leaves the Supreme Court this week, likely to be replaced by current Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Last September, Kagan presented the Obama Administration’s argument in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission before the Supreme Court.
The case involves the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, a 2002 statute passed by Congress to limit election-related communications, especially so-called “attack ads.”
At issue in the case is a film, “Hillary: The Movie,” that was produced by the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, which portrayed then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an unfavorable light. The feature-length movie was released in theaters and has become available on DVD. Citizens United also had plans to advertise the movie during the presidential campaign season, and to make it available via on-demand cable services before the election. Although the film does not expressly advocate for or against Clinton’s candidacy, the Washington, D.C. District Court held that it was clearly intended to urge viewers to vote against Clinton, and that the promotional ads for the movie would therefore have to follow the same disclosure and disclaimer requirements as political ads. [Harvard Law School]
Kagan argued “that the lower court’s decision to restrict Citizens United was proper, and that Congress has the authority to restrain corporate spending on communications that are plainly oriented towards supporting or advocating against a particular political candidate.”
When questioned by the justices about the potential expansion of such restrictions on communications, Kagan stated that Federal Election Commission statutes prohibiting publication of certain books would be acceptable because “in 60 years, the FEC has never applied [these] statutes to a book.” In other words, it’s OK to ban books because bureaucrats haven’t enforced similar laws in the past and aren’t likely to in the future.
Chief Justice John Roberts delightfully responded, “We don’t put our First Amendment rights in the hands of FEC bureaucrats.”
Then, Justice Anthony Kennedy: “So you’re a lawyer advising somebody about to come out with a book and you say don’t worry, the FEC has never tried to send somebody to prison for this. This statute covers this, but don’t worry, the FEC has never done it. Is that gonna comfort your client? I don’t think so.”
And that grinds these issues to bare metal. What is it, in Constitutional challenges, legislation or presidential directives that the Obama Administration is trying to do? What laws and legal precedents are being burrowed into our legislative and judicial innards?
It is easily argued that the Obama Administration, including its designated saboteurs in the Senate and House of Representatives are systematically and systemically eroding basic tenants of our republic. His appointments to the Supreme Court will be lifetime “judicial czars” for a socialist reformation. From forcing citizens to buy government health insurance to neglecting border incursions, restricting free speech, dismantling the free market system and exponentially expanding government intrusion at the expense of personal liberties, Barack Obama is making King George look like John Adams.
Our democracy is a strong institution, but it is decidedly fragile when attacked from within. There is a slow but steady and headstrong coup d’etat underway in the United States. We, the electorate, have given these subversives access to our greatest national treasure and they are destroying that treasure with impunity.
The last battle space for retaining our fundamental freedoms is the Supreme Court. Denying extremist constitutional revisionists access to the grand bench is vital to that preservation.
“We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls,” said Winston Churchill.