Justice Stevens

The New York Times has a profile piece of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. It’s worth a read, as Stevens will likely go down as one of the great jurists of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

The article closes with a line from Stevens’ dissent in Citizens United. The last line, in fact. I went back and looked at the full Stevens’ dissent closing and thought the Times’ reporter actually shortchanged Stevens’ brilliance by taking only the closing line. Here’s a thicker cut:

At bottom, the Court’s opinion is thus a rejection of the com­mon sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self­ government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.

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