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.