Post guest blogger Barry Friedman (vice dean and Jacob D. Fuchsberg professor of law at New York University School of Law) mentioned Citizens United on Tuesday.
The Roberts court has been adept at flying under the radar. It has overruled important precedents in cases that garnered little public attention. For example, the decision in Montejo v. Louisiana, holding that police can question criminal defendants without telling their lawyers.
No one would tolerate this sort of conduct in a civil case. They overrule prior decisions by stealth, not saying so but ignoring the earlier holdings. And when the public or liberals are split on an issue, like campaign finance, the conservative justices can do exactly what they please.
Expect that to happen later this term, when the justices overrule prior decisions and allow corporate speech in favor of candidates.