A friend and colleague points out that, “almost lost in the shuffle of liberal criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision [in Citizens United v. FEC]” is the position taken by the ACLU in the case. The ACLU, “darling of the left and the Obama Administration,” wrote an amicus brief in the case. It argued that
The broad prohibition on “electioneering communications” set forth in Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, violates the First Amendment, and the limiting construction adopted by the Court in WRTL is insufficient to saveit.” Accordingly, the Court should strike down Section 203 as facially unconstitutional and overrule that portion of McConnell that holds otherwise.
The ACLU took no position on whether Austin should be overruled. Even so, it is a bit jarring to hear President Obama, former Constitutional law professor and purported defender of our basic freedoms, attack a First Amendement decision that is fully consistent with the position of the ACLU.
NOTE: I have revised the original post because it failed to note that the ACLU took no position on whether Austin should be overruled.