"Do you hate the Citizens United ruling and how it led to the flood of unlimited Super-PAC spending? You know it!” Check out Mother Jones' interactive flowchart on how the Citizens United case could be taken down…
And after you do that, read Jeffrey Toobin’s longform piece in this issue of The New Yorker: “Money Unlimited: How Chief Justice John Roberts orchestrated the Citizens United decision." There are some fascinating details about the oral argument proceedings, the dynamics of the Roberts court and the legal evolution of corporate personhood following the passage of the 14th amendment.
In a different way, though, Citizens United is a distinctive product of the Roberts Court. The decision followed a lengthy and bitter behind-the-scenes struggle among the Justices that produced both secret unpublished opinions and a rare reargument of a case. The case, too, reflects the aggressive conservative judicial activism of the Roberts Court. It was once liberals who were associated with using the courts to overturn the work of the democratically elected branches of government, but the current Court has matched contempt for Congress with a disdain for many of the Court’s own precedents. When the Court announced its final ruling on Citizens United, on January 21, 2010, the vote was five to four and the majority opinion was written by Anthony Kennedy. Above all, though, the result represented a triumph for Chief Justice Roberts. Even without writing the opinion, Roberts, more than anyone, shaped what the Court did. As American politics assumes its new form in the post-Citizens United era, the credit or the blame goes mostly to him.