By any measure, the Supreme Court has moved far to the right in the last few years. In the Los Angeles Times today, David Savage writes about how the decision in Citizens United shows how far the court has moved on corporate issues.
In the 1970s, Justices William H. Rehnquist and Byron R. White said business corporations were "creatures of the law," capable of amassing wealth but due none of the rights of voters.
By contrast, the court’s current majority described a corporation as an "association of citizens" that deserves the same free-speech rights as an individual. Because speech and debate are good for democracy, they said, the public should welcome more corporate-funded campaign ads.
He also makes a cogent observation about the origin of this pro-corporate tilt.
All five justices who made up the majority in last month’s case, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, were either appointed by Reagan or worked as young lawyers in the Reagan administration.
A reminder that the Supreme Court is often one of a President’s most enduring legacies.