The Corner

Clinton’s Attack on Citizens’ United

From Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s speech last night:

I believe that our economy isn’t working the way it should because our democracy isn’t working the way it should.

That’s why we need to appoint Supreme Court justices who will get money out of politics and expand voting rights, not restrict them. And we’ll pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United!

Let’s get her line of reasoning straight: The economy is in the tank because the democratic process is corrupted; the nature of that corruption lies in the amount of money involved in politics and elections; to fix democracy, and thus the economy, it is therefore necessary to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

Of course, we can call a constitutional amendment that overturns Citizens United by another name: a repeal of the First Amendment. The consequence of Citizens United, that corporations can spend without limit on independent political advocacy, flows from First Amendment guarantees.

It’s mystifying, incidentally, why Hillary Clinton would inveigh against the effect Citizens United is having on our elections in the midst of an election in which the case is having little effect. Her primary opponent’s success without super PACs was a display of how voters do not simply gravitate toward the candidate with the most money.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been emended since its initial posting.

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