Janet M. LaRue

It's a good bet that the conversation in the Supreme Court break room the morning after the president's State of the Union speech was about Obama's drive-by distortion of its ruling in Citizens United v. FEC. Predictably, the spin at The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune was "Alito Disparages Obama's Supreme Court Criticism."

Where else but in the Bizarro World of Obama's branch offices at the Post, Trib, and MS-NBC could we find such a polar opposite version of "reality"? Like their champion, these media corporations are extremely vexed that the Court leveled the playing field for all corporations and nonprofits to speak in political campaigns.

With six of the nine Court members seated front and center as invited guests, Obama directed his "sharp attack," as Adam Liptak at The New York Times called it, at those present -- Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and Justice Samuel Alito, who joined with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in the majority opinion.

Employing the same "scare tactics" and distortions he condemns his critics for allegedly using, Obama wrongly accused the majority of reversing "a century of law" that could allow our elections to be "bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

Not even close. The law banning spending by foreign corporations in our elections wasn't even at issue. The Court reversed a ten-year-old ruling that had allowed political speech to be banned based on the speaker's corporate identity.

The "Free Speech Five" endured Obama's displeasure for actually taking the First Amendment at its word: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech." They upheld freedom of speech, the kind of speech the Framers of the Constitution intended to protect -- political speech, and not pornography.


Janet M. LaRue

Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union; former Chief Counsel at Concerned for Women; Legal Studies Director at Family Research Council; and Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families. Be the first to read Janet LaRue's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.


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