Stevens: High Court Likely Rethinking Citizens United

Former Supreme Court justice says 'second thoughts' are likely
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2012 10:46 AM CDT
Stevens: High Court Likely Rethinking Citizens United
President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Freedom to former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

John Paul Stevens, who dissented on the controversial Citizens United ruling before retiring from the US Supreme Court in 2010, says the rest of the justices appear to be having "second thoughts about the breadth of the reasoning." Stevens made his comments at a University of Arkansas event last night, noting that later rulings by the high court indicate they may not be so sure about the broad reach of the ruling, which allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns.

One of the rulings mentioned by Stevens upheld a federal ban on campaign spending by foreigners, Bloomberg reports. Stevens also noted that, in 2010, Justice Samuel Alito mouthed "not true" when President Obama said in his State of the Union address that Citizens United would allow foreign corporations to influence US campaigns. "Justice Alito’s reaction does persuade me that in due course it will be necessary for the court to issue an opinion explicitly crafting an exception that will create a crack in the foundation of the Citizens United majority opinion," Stevens said. (Read more Citizens United stories.)

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