In a January 22 op-ed in the Washington Post, Michael Waldman '87, executive director of the Brennan Center for Justice, writes that a power struggle is building between the Supreme Court and Congress and the president. On January 21, the Court ruled in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, overturning a century-old limit on corporate campaign spending. Waldman calls the decision "a challenge to President Obama's agenda." Obama issued a statement calling the ruling "a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics" and pledging to work with Congress "to develop a forceful response to this decision."

Waldman's op-ed concludes with a consideration of the wider implications of the case: "What will this mean for Obama's broader agenda? Health care, climate change, financial reregulation, the auto bailout—all heighten government's role in the economy. The Citizens United ruling suggests the court may smile on even the most audacious conservative legal theories, such as those alleging that regulations are an improper taking by the government. And it shows an unsettling eagerness to overturn precedent in line with ideological predilection."

Posted on January 22, 2010