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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/23/12

"Yes Justice Kennedy, We The People See The Corruption"

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Associate Justice, Anthony Kennedy




Today, I attended a protest rally outside the Supreme Court. It wasn't a huge rally by any stretch of the imagination (less than 300 people), but there was considerable media taking video and recording the remarks of the organizers, "Common Cause" and the "Coffee Party".

The protest was centered on the Court's "Citizens United" ruling in 2010 and the need for it to be overturned.

One of the protest signs was clearly aimed at Justice Anthony Kennedy which read," Yes Justice Kennedy, we the people see the corruption". That was in direct reference to Kennedy's assertion, as the writer who wrote the majority opinion in "Citizens", "the Court now concludes that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption"and the appearance of influence or access will not cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy".

The last speaker at the rally concluded (and I'm paraphrasing here), "Kennedy must now see the fallacy of what he wrote and must realize in light of the huge independent expenditures we have seen already in the Republican presidential primary campaign and later in the election campaign, does give rise to corruption or the appearance of it and does cause the electorate to lose faith in this democracy".

Now this writer is quite aware that many people on the left consider this Court, particularly the five right wing ideologues, including Kennedy, are beyond redemption and their ruling in "Citizens" fits perfectly with their corporatist favoritism and will continue to support big money's access into the electoral process.

But this protest group appeared to have faith that Kennedy, at least, would reflect and reconsider the words he penned in the majority's opinion and conclude he was in error.

Admittedly, that's a whole lot of faith. But unless Kennedy has resided in a cave these past two years and had no access to newspapers or the media of any kind, HE would surely conclude these huge expenditures in the Congressional campaigns two years ago and this years Republican presidential primary campaigns DO give rise to corruption or the appearance of influence or access WILL cause people to lose faith in this democracy.

Justice's Ginsburg and Breyer have alluded as much (in light of the Montana Supreme Court's upholding a 1912 law banning corporate funds in State elections, which Justice Kennedy has stayed) and called for the full Court to reconsider their ruling on "Citizens".

Reconsideration of "Citizens" seems clearly in Kennedy's "court" (excuse the pun). Now whether he has the moral fortitude to honestly reflect on the words he penned in "Citizens", remains to be seen. We should know his answer to that very question in not too distant future.


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