As the Senate Judiciary Committee continues hearings on Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, a number of the Court’s critics, most prominently Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), are using the opportunity to castigate the “judicial activism” of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Ironically, their calls for deference to Congress, particularly in the campaign finance arena, would serve a result-oriented agenda more activist than anything thus far entertained by the Roberts Court. Kagan, who argued the government’s case in Citizens United, is a supremely ironic vehicle for this narrative ride through judicial philosophy.
Specter recently complained that the Supreme Court has disrespected the legislative branch by not deferring to its regulatory expertise. He contends that elected representatives should craft and debate laws regulating politics. He curtly criticized the stay issued by the Court in the case challenging Arizona’s taxpayer financing program for candidates (called McComish v. Bennett), and he’s irate about Citizens United allowing companies and grassroots groups to advocate for or against candidates.
Oddly, the legislative “fix” for Citizens United, the DISCLOSE Act that just passed the House of Representatives, contains no legislative findings at all (they were stripped out) and its present form was crafted largely in secret, without significant input from the minority party. Congress isn’t even trying to earn the respect Specter demands.
Read the rest at The Daily Caller.