Roberts, Alito and Citizens United

There’s been a lot of debate over the last week about how the Supreme Court will rule in Citizens United v. FEC, the major campaign finance case that was re-argued Sept. 9.

For what it’s worth, your blogger’s analysis was published in the Daily Journal Monday (subscribers only), focusing on what Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. said at their confirmation hearings about how they would approach overturning court precedents (which the court is set to do in Citizens United).

In summary:

… [A] close reading of the confirmation hearing transcripts shows that Roberts and Alito, who were both nominated by George W. Bush in 2005, left themselves plenty of wiggle room when it comes to re-appraising old cases they disagree with.

Although both said they would respect stare decisis, the legal concept of respecting the authority of prior court decisions, neither said justices should always follow Supreme Court precedent.

For other considerations Roberts might take into account, see this piece by Loyola Law School’s Rick Hasen (who was quoted in the DJ article).

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