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Justice disparages Obama's US court criticism

Justice disparages Obama's US court criticism

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito did not like hearing President Barack Obama publicly criticize the U.S. high court's ruling removing corporate campaign spending limits _ and he didn't try to hide it.
Alito made a dismissive face, shook his head repeatedly and appeared to mouth the words "not true" or possibly "simply not true" when Obama asailed the decision Wednesday night in his State of the Union address.
The president had taken the unusual step of publicly scolding the high court, with some of its members in robes seated before him in the House. "With all due deference to the separation of powers," he said, the court last week "reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests _ including foreign corporations _ to spend without limit in our elections."
A reliable conservative appointed to the court by Republican President George W. Bush, Alito was in the majority in the 5-4 ruling.
Appearing in an interview Thursday morning on ABC television's "Good Morning America," Vice President Joe Biden was asked whether it was appropriate for Obama to second-guess the court's decision.
"The president didn't question the integrity of the court. He questioned the judgment of it," the vice president said. "I think it (the ruling) was dead wrong and we have to correct it."
Senate Democratic leaders sitting immediately behind Alito and other members of the high court rose and clapped loudly in their direction, with Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, leaning slightly forward with the most enthusiastic applause.
The court did upend a 100-year trend that had imposed greater limitations on corporate political activity. Specifically, the court, in a 5-4 decision, said corporations and unions could spend freely from their treasuries to run political ads for or against specific candidates.
In his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said the court's majority "would appear to afford the same protection to multinational corporations controlled by foreigners as to individual Americans."
Obama said corporations can "spend without limit in our elections." However, corporations and unions are still prohibited from contributing directly to politicians.


Updated : 2021-02-26 16:02 GMT+08:00