Feingold: Justice Kennedy probably ‘embarrassed’ by ‘sloppy’ Citizens United decision

By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, May 7, 2012 18:43 EDT
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Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), appearing on "The Daily Show." Screengrab via Comedy Central.
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Former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) on Monday speculated that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy was embarrassed by the “almost lawless decision” in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.

“This is a guy who is usually a careful justice,” he told Sam Seder of the Majority Report. “He just started making these sweeping assertions about what corruption was, what companies do, like he was talking at a bar with somebody over a beer rather than anything that was a legal decision. It was really reckless. I am guess he might even be a little bit embarrassed at this point about what a sloppy opinion it was, and how it just asserted things that aren’t proven.”

The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down key provisions of the federal McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law and gave rise to Super PACS, which can raise an unlimited amount of money to influence federal elections as long as they do not directly coordinate with a candidate’s campaign.

The ruling held that limiting corporate campaign spending violated the First Amendment, because political contributions were a form of political speech and corporations were legally persons.

Feingold described the current campaign finance system as “legalized extortion.”

“It’s not like corporate CEOs sit around their office and go, ‘you know, I’d like to throw some money around in the political process,’” he said. “It works the other way. The politicians call up and ask for the money.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube on May 7, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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