As Ari Berman of The Nation points out, there is a particularly cruel irony about the Roberts Court’s attack on campaign finance reform in cases like McCutcheon and Citizens United. On the one hand, the Court is making it nearly impossible for Congress or state legislatures to reduce the influence of money in politics, holding restrictions unconstitutional even in cases where they don’t suppress speech at all. On the other hand, the Court has been extremely hostile to the voting rights. On the one hand, they’ve upheld vote suppression at the state level even when these restrictions are directed at concededly non-existent problems. On the other hand, they’ve eviscerated the Voting Rights Act with an opinion that finds no discernible basis in the text of the Constitution or the Court’s precedents. To the Roberts Court, money should talk as loudly as possible while ordinary voters can take a walk.
Since I’ve often been a critic, I should note that Breyer’s dissent here is his best work since Parents Involved. (Today’s quiz: guess the alignment of today’s decision. If you’re a particular kind of brogressive, you might find this difficult!) Rick Hasen has more.
…More from Lithwick.