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Re: Citizens United Decided

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  • Jon Roland
    Quote of J. Roberts in the decision announced Jan. 20, 2010, in /Citizens United/ (joined by Alito). To
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2010
      Quote of J. Roberts in the decision announced Jan. 20, 2010, in Citizens United (joined by Alito).
      "To the extent that the Government’s case for reaffirming Austin depends on radically reconceptualizing its reasoning, that argument is at odds with itself. Stare decisis is a doctrine of preservation, not transformation. It counsels deference to past mistakes, but provides no justification for making new ones. There is therefore no basis for the Court to give precedential sway to reasoning that it has never accepted, simply because that reasoning happens to support a conclusion reached on different grounds that have since been abandoned or discredited.

      Doing so would undermine the rule-of-law values that justify stare decisis in the first place. It would effectively license the Court to invent and adopt new principles of constitutional law solely for the purpose of rationalizing its past errors, without a proper analysis of whether those principles have merit on their own. This approach would allow the Court’s past missteps to spawn future mistakes, undercutting the very rule-of-law values that stare decisis is designed to protect."
      I have highlighted the references to "past mistakes", which is an acknowledgment that the Court has made mistakes in its decisions, and maintains it is more important to continue those past mistakes than to correct them. That is logically incompatible with the oath judges take to uphold the Constitution, and grounds for impeachment and removal.

      Links on Legal Theory Blog:

      This decision essentially means campaigns can now accept donations from corporations.

      See my Draft Amendments that include an amendment to forbid such use of stare decisis.
      -- Jon
      Constitution Society 2900 W Anderson Ln C-200-322, Austin, TX 78757
      512/299-5001    www.constitution.org    jon.roland@...
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