Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has an easy fix for people who don’t like the all the political ads seen in the wake of the court’s decision to end limits on corporate contributions in political campaigns: Turn off the TV.
Asked about the decision during a presentation in South Carolina Saturday with fellow justice Stephen Breyer, Scalia staunchly defended the ruling that’s become known as “Citizens United.” Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of the decision.
“I don’t care who is doing the speech — the more the merrier,” Scalia said, according to an Associated Press report. “People are not stupid. If they don’t like it, they’ll shut it off.”
Breyer didn’t directly criticize the narrow 5-4 ruling, which he and Scalia were on opposite sides of. But when a court decision isn’t unanimous, “somebody is making a mistake,” Breyer said.
“There are real problems when people want to spend lots of money on a candidate…they’ll drown out the people who don’t have a lot of money,” Breyer said, summarizing the argument against the ruling.
But Scalia said the Supreme Court shouldn’t be blamed for corporate money in campaigns. According to the AP, he said the court simply decides whether the system is legal under the Constitution. He said it’s up to the politicians who created the system to change it — but that voters often reward candidates who spend the most money.
“If the system seems crazy to you, don’t blame it on the court,” Scalia said.
A wave of protesters descended on the Supreme Court Friday to mark the ruling’s anniversary in what was known as “Occupy the Courts.” Similar demonstrations broke out across the country, including in San Francisco, where protesters threw Bibles and bricks at police officers.