Justice Alito’s reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union mention of Citizens United

Politifact takes issue with President Obama’s State of the Union discussion of Citizens United.

Indeed, the legal experts we spoke to after Obama’s radio address said that the president was overstating the immediate impact of the opinion. They said Obama was correct that the ruling could open the door to foreign companies spending on American campaigns, given the general direction of the majority’s opinion. But because the majority justices didn’t actually strike down the existing barriers on foreign companies — in fact, they explicitly wrote that it fell beyond the boundaries of their decision — our experts agreed that Obama erred by suggesting that the issue is settled law. Until test cases proceed and further rulings are handed down, Obama’s claim about foreign campaign spending is a reasonable interpretation, and nothing more.

The Post has some more analysis here.

Then-Senator Obama voted against Alito’s confirmation to the Supreme Court and I believe Alito has made remarks over the bitterness surrounding his confirmation.


Justice Alito’s reaction to President Obama’s State of the Union mention of Citizens United — 3 Comments

  1. While the President’s statement about “foreign corporations” may overstate the issue, consider that many US corporations are majority owned by foreign shareholders. Such corporations, operating with primary loyalty to the interests of their shareholders, may now financially dominate political campaigns to promote an agenda that is economically adverse to the interests of “we the people.”

  2. The point is the so-called “strict constructionist” should not be concerned with the ramifications of the law or Obama’s call to Congress to deal with the alleged ramifications. He should set silently in deference. His reaction exposes the fact that he was more concerned with the impact of the law than whether it was constitutional.

  3. I find it highly demeaning to see the members standing and clapping while the justices of the court are seated respectfully. The President may disagree with the decision in a more appropriate setting, not one where he holds court. JRE