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State of the Union, cont'd

UCLA lawprof Adam Winkler, at HuffPo, says "Alito Was Rude (But Right)". His colleague Stephen Bainbridge invokes Abner Mikva. Bradley Smith at NRO gets into some of the details of foreign money and U.S. politics. And Roger Clegg at NRO catches the President being tendentious on the topic of job-bias enforcement.

More: Randy Barnett (Georgetown) in today's WSJ:

In short, the head of the executive branch ambushed six members of the judiciary, and called upon the legislative branch to deride them publicly. ...

Then there is the substance of the remark itself. It was factually wrong. The Court's ruling in Citizens United concerned the right of labor unions and domestic corporations, including nonprofits, to express their views about candidates in media such as books, films and TV within 60 days of an election. In short, it concerned freedom of speech; in particular, an independent film critical of Hillary Clinton funded by a nonprofit corporation.

While the Court reversed a 1990 decision allowing such a ban, it left standing current restrictions on foreign nationals and "entities." Also untouched was a 100-year-old ban on domestic corporate contributions to political campaigns to which the president was presumably referring erroneously.

That is a whole lot to get wrong in 72 sanctimonious words. Clearly, this statement had not been vetted by the president's legal counsel. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, for example, would never have signed off on such a claim. Never.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.