US Supreme Court Clarence Thomas defend the ruling which made McCain-Feingold Act (also known campaign finance reform) was ruled unconstitutional after President Obama slammed the ruling during the State of the Union speech in which six supreme court justices attended.
Justice Thomas was speaking at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport,FL on the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 defending corporation right to support or oppose candidates with their money.
“I found it fascinating that the people who were editorializing against it were The New York Times Company and The Washington Post Company,” Justice Thomas said. “These are corporations.”
Thomas points out the law exempts news organizations.
The justice says the 1st Amendment protects all people. Justice Thomas gave an example:
“If 10 of you got together and decided to speak, just as a group, you’d say you have First Amendment rights to speak and the First Amendment right of association,” he said. “If you all then formed a partnership to speak, you’d say we still have that First Amendment right to speak and of association.”
“But what if you put yourself in a corporate form?” Justice Thomas asked, suggesting that the answer must be the same.
Asked about his attitude toward the two decisions overruled in Citizens United, he said, “If it’s wrong, the ultimate precedent is the Constitution.”
Asked why he did not attend the State of the Union Address because it’s too political.
“I don’t go because it has become so partisan and it’s very uncomfortable for a judge to sit there,” he said, adding that “there’s a lot that you don’t hear on TV — the catcalls, the whooping and hollering and under-the-breath comments.”
“One of the consequences,” he added in an apparent reference to last week’s address, “is now the court becomes part of the conversation, if you want to call it that, in the speeches. It’s just an example of why I don’t go.”
The New York Times has more.