The Buying of the Presidency

Wilkinson: Justice Kennedy turned campaign into a casino – Francis Wilkinson

“Our precedent is to be respected unless the most convincing of reasons demonstrates that adherence to it puts us on a course that is sure error,” he wrote.

Fair enough. Five years later, in the thick of free-wheeling campaigns for presidential nominations, let’s subject Kennedy’s ruling in Citizens United to the same test. Does it deserve respect? Or has it put the court on a course of “sure error”?

The ruling struck down a prohibition on unlimited corporate independent campaign spending. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your philosophy. Those who support maximum regulation of campaign finance believe Citizens United is a disaster. First Amendment absolutists revere it. That’s not a dispute that evidence can resolve.

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