Morning Bell: A Troubling Trend in the Courts

Written by Ericka Andersen

Should judges act based upon reasoned legal arguments, or based upon their personal feelings and media coverage? A controversial recent “statement” made by Justices Ginsburg and Breyer in a case that was the legal equivalent of a slam dunk raises serious questions about what really guides some judges.

In the case, American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock, the Court was asked to address a Montana Supreme Court opinion upholding a Montana ban on independent expenditures by corporations. This should be an easy case—after all, the Court ruled in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that bans on independent political expenditures by corporations and unions violate the First Amendment.

But Justices Ginsburg and Breyer, who dissented from Citizens United, want another crack at Citizens United. They issued a separate “statement” advocating that the Court take the “opportunity to consider whether, in light of the huge sums currently deployed to buy candidates’ allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway.”

As Heritage legal...