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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus


League president to Chief Justice Roberts: Buck up, listen to public

Thursday, Mar. 18, 2010

In a hard-hitting letter published Monday in The Washington Post, Mary G. Wilson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States, suggested that the highest court in the nation would be smart to take recent criticism to heart.

The text of the letter follows:

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. expressed doubt about having members of the Supreme Court attend the State of the Union address. He was upset that President Obama directly criticized the court's 5 to 4 decision injecting corporate funding into candidate elections.

Since the Supreme Court is the opaque and most isolated branch of government, perhaps the justices should recognize that a little honest feedback can be a good thing.

It is particularly important in this instance, since the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission clearly revealed that the majority on the court has an astonishingly naive view of how corruption works in our nation's capital. Everyone else in the room understood that allowing huge sums of unregulated cash into our elections will undermine the role of individual voters and further expose our elected officials to the siren calls of corporate lobbyists.

Buck up, Mr. Chief Justice. Occasionally there are some things you really need to hear.

The letter was a hit on the League's Facebook page and across the blogosphere: Both Gavel Grab (Justice At Stake‚Äôs blog) and Political Activity Law re-ran the letter, while Election Law Blog listed Wilson's closing sentence as its "Quote of the Day." 

Read more: The Washington Post