Colbert Making Supreme Court Look Stupid
Dahlia Lithwick says court is ill-equipped to deal with comedy
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Feb 3, 2012 1:25 PM CST
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court has had plenty of powerful foils over the years, like Andrew Jackson and FDR, "but in the history of the Supreme Court, nothing has ever prepared the justices for the public opinion wrecking ball that is Stephen Colbert," writes Dahlia Lithwick at Slate. With his super PAC, Colbert has made every part of the Citizens United ruling "look utterly ridiculous. And the court, which has no access to cameras, no press arm, and no discernible comedic powers, has had to stand by and take it on the chin."

Trevor Potter, the former FEC chairman who helped start Colbert's PAC, calls it an "opportunity to open up to the rest of the world what we lawyers already know: that the whole area of campaign finance is a mess." Potter thinks the court is politically naïve, imagining a corruption-free world in which super PACs wouldn't coordinate with candidates and corporate contributions would be disclosed. In his majority opinion, Anthony Kennedy wrote, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington may be fiction and caricature; but fiction and caricature can be a powerful force." Now, thanks to Colbert, "no one knows that better than the court itself," writes Lithwick. Read the full column here.

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Showing 3 of 53 comments
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Feb 4, 2012 4:06 PM CST
As usual everyone's blaming the courts for striking down a malformed law. Why don't we blame the bozos in Congress for not thinking through their legislation? They are the ones to blame for passing laws that infringe on free speech because of their broad sweep. We do need campaign finance reform, but we must do it without reserving political speech only to the political class. That is dangerous.
gomer99
Feb 4, 2012 3:11 PM CST
SCOTUS doesn't care what he does. Adults really don't care about chattering children and barking dogs. And......nobody west of the Hudson River cares about Colbert. He is just another in a long line of trendy-at-the-moment people popular with the shallow.
fractal
Feb 4, 2012 2:13 PM CST
One problem is, the supreme court is so cloistered in their wealth, influence etc... that they will never have to listen and hear the public outcry. I'll bet they all live in gated communities or estates, have guards, don't watch network TV, eat at the most elite restaurants, and send their grandkids to private schools. When is the last time the justices had to watch one super pac commercial after another on TV? Or listen to their neighbors opinion on anything? What lay person is going to try and argue politics and law with them--or even have contact with them?