A last night’s GOP presidential debate, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly asked each of the seven candidates to name their favorite Supreme Court Justice. Six of the seven candidates named some combination of Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito — all of whom voted in Citizens United v. FEC that corporations should be able to spend unlimited money to buy and sell American elections. The candidates’ picks were:
- Rep. Michele Bachmann: Scalia is “at the top of the list.” Roberts, Thomas and Alito are “marvelous.”
- Fmr. Speaker Newt Gingrich: Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito are “a pretty darn good list.”
- Fmr. Gov. Jon Huntsman: Roberts and Alito “fit the bit very, very nicely.”
- Gov. Rick Perry: “Alito, Roberts or Thomas, pick one.”
- Fmr. Gov. Mitt Romney: “Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Scalia.”
- Fmr. Sen. Rick Santorum: “Thomas.”
- Rep. Ron Paul: “All of them are good and all of them are bad.”
Although Paul refused to name a favorite justice, there should be no doubt that he shares his fellow candidates’ support for corporate-owned democracy. In a 2010 interview with radio host Thom Hartmann, Paul said that he agreed with the Citizens United decision’s result because he thought that not allowing corporations to spend unlimited money influencing elections is somehow discriminatory in favor of newspaper companies.
Moreover, Citizens United is one small part of the favoritism Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito have shown to wealthy corporations at the expense of ordinary Americans. As ThinkProgress previously explained, all four of these justices also endorse the following gifts for corporations:
- Judges For Sale: All four voted in Caperton v. Massey to allow a wealthy coal CEO to pay $3 million to elect a sympathetic justice to a state supreme court in order to stack that court with jurists who would overturn a $50 million verdict against his company.
- Corporate-Owned Courts: All four voted to give corporations a nearly unlimited power to force workers and consumers into a privatized, corporate-run arbitration system that overwhelming favors corporations. Under their vision, real courts run by neutral judges are off limits to anyone a clever corporation does business with.
- Dividing And Conquering Ordinary Americans: All four voted in AT&T; Mobility v. Concepcion to allow corporations to strip their workers and consumers of their ability to bring class action lawsuits. Because of this decision, corporations now have a nearly unlimited power to cheat the people who do business with them — so long as they only do it a few dollars at a time.
- Corporate Immunity To The Law: All four voted to give generic drug makers immunity to key state laws after one of their drugs caused a condition called an horrific neurological condition that causes sometimes crippling, uncontrollable bodily movements in many of the people who took it.
In other words, if the GOP’s preferred justices get their way, there may no longer be any need for corporations to buy elections — because they’ll be largely immune from the law anyway.