Roberts v. Obama, Citizens United, and Stevens’s replacement

This Times analysis discusses tension between Chief Justice Roberts and President Obama, how Citizens United may impact who replaces Justice Stevens, and President Obama’s perceived desire to pick a nominee who can “get to five.”

The urgency is greater this year since the Citizens United decision in January, in which the Roberts court threw out precedents to rule that corporations have First Amendment rights to spend money in election campaigns. Advisers said the ruling crystallized for Mr. Obama just how sweeping the chief justice was willing to be. Indeed, some around the president suspect that Chief Justice Roberts, after moving incrementally in his first few years on the bench, has taken a more assertive approach since Mr. Obama took office.

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