Citizens United and the political fallout of the SCOTUS pick

The Hill's Jay Heflin notes this interesting new Q-poll:

A nationwide poll from Quinnipiac found that 79 percent of respondents disapprove of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission case.

The Court essentially ruled that corporations and unions are entitled to free speech and, therefore, could contribute funds directly to a political candidate. Opposition to this decision was strong across the political spectrum, according to the poll.

The poll also found that 78 percent of voters think the Court allows political views to enter into their decisions. 

The fact that so many people disapprove of the Citizens United ruling may help limit the political fallout of President Obama's pending Supreme Court appointment.

UCLA's Eugene Volokh made this point on PBS's NewsHour Wednesday night: 

"The issue here is the politics, that here you have a -- a Republican Party which thinks it has a good shot at making very substantial gains in November, possibly even flipping one or both chambers. You have got an administration that certainly doesn't want that to happen.

Now, given the Republicans' past statements that they're not going to endorse filibusters, or that -- or that they oppose filibusters of Supreme Court nominees -- these are statements during the Bush administration -- I don't think the Republicans are going to filibuster.

I think it is pretty clear that the president is going to get the majority that he needs to get to get the person -- the person confirmed. The real question is at what cost in November. To what extent will the Republicans being able to portray this, this candidate, as emblematic of the liberal Democrats being out of touch with the public on culture war type issues, such as same-sex marriage, such as National Day of Prayer, such as 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Democrats potentially could avoid a bruising debate over cultural issues by talking up the Citizens United case instead.

An Obama administration official said this week that the president will make his pick by May 26, although it could come "well before then."


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