While much of the attention of advocacy groups, lawmakers, and the media has rightly centered on grave concerns that President Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court pick could vote to eliminate abortion rights, a Daily Beast/Ipsos poll published Tuesday found that “the most galvanizing issue” for Americans of both parties is whether Trump’s nominee will curb the vast and corrupting influence of corporate money in politics.
“They are likely to get just the opposite: perhaps the most pro-money-in-politics court in history.”
—Alex Tausanovitch, Center for American ProgressAccording to the new survey, 70 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Republicans, and 60 percent of independents oppose the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling—which unleashed a flood of big business cash into the political system—and said they want Trump to nominate a justice who would limit corporate spending in politics.
Overall, 64 percent of respondents said they want Trump to choose a justice who will rein in unlimited corporate political spending.
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Justice Anthony Kennedy—who Trump is now tasked with replacing after the judge announced his retirement last week—authored the widely denounced majority opinion in Citizens United v. FEC, in which he asserted that corporate donations “do not give rise to corruption.”
Mocking Kennedy’s opinion in a piece published following his retirement announcement, The Intercept‘s Jon Schwartz argued, “Kennedy might as well have written, ‘We now conclude that the sky is green, and everyone in America will agree that that’s definitely true.'”
Recent survey data has found that a large majority of Americans most certainly don’t agree with Kennedy’s conclusion that unlimited corporate political expenditures do not corrupt politics. As Common Dreams reported, a Pew Research Center poll published in April found that 67 percent of Americans believe that government is now run by a few powerful special interests.
But while members of both parties may want Trump to nominate a justice who is willing to take on the corporate money that has drowned out the voices of ordinary Americans, Alex Tausanovitch of the Center for American Progress argued on Tuesday that the available evidence—such as the list of candidates Trump is reportedly picking from—suggests “they are likely to get just the opposite: perhaps the most pro-money-in-politics court in history.”
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