Chief Justice Roberts Admits Conservatives Believe Politicians Should Serve The Rich

It is often the case that a person’s heartfelt beliefs are eventually revealed inadvertently despite their best efforts at masking their true intentions and motivations for their actions with questionable excuses. Politicians are notorious for pretending their support for policies and agendas are in the best interests of their constituency even though their special interests are always the primary, and often only, beneficiaries. Republicans have spent the past thirty perfecting the ploy of convincing their monumentally stupid base that taking everything from the poor and middle class and giving it to the wealthy will benefit the entire population. It is very seldom, if ever, that any Republican purposely admits in public that their raison d’être is solely to serve the interests of corporations and the very richest Americans, and it is doubtful they expected the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to expose their badly-kept secret, but he did; albeit inadvertently.

In a case before the High Court, Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, to decide on whether the state of Florida has the right to “prohibit judges and judicial candidates from personally soliciting funds for their campaigns,” the Court ruled in favor of the state on Wednesday by a vote of 5-4. The close vote swung on Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberal justices in upholding a semblance of campaign finance limitation and the influence of money in politics. It is stunning that there is a line that Roberts seems unwilling to cross when it comes to money in politics, but it was a victory, albeit a “symbolically important” one, for Americans who believe there is already too much money controlling how Americans are governed. However, Roberts’ opinion for the majority revealed the conservatives’ true belief and motivation in the highly unpopular Citizens United decision conservatives ruled was a matter of freedom of speech for legal entities known as corporations, and not giving power over the government to the rich.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority in Williams-Yulee, and if he had joined conservatives and struck down the limit on judges and judicial candidates’ fundraising ability, America’s judicial system would be forever polluted and judges would have free reign to solicit campaign money directly from corporate and criminal defense lawyers who practice before them. What is telling about Roberts’ writing the opinion is that he contends that judges have a special duty to remain neutral and unbiased for the good of all the people; something he claims is completely inappropriate and inherently wrong-headed for presidents, legislators, and governors. Roberts’ inadvertent admission is that politicians have an intrinsic duty to serve the interests of their biggest donors and not their constituents; it is the true premise and only motivation for the High Court’s conservative majority ruling in Citizens United. It is also likely something Roberts did not intend to expose, although even that is debatable in the Koch-oligarch era of American politics.

Although it appeared that all of the Court’s conservatives believe campaign finance laws and regulations have outlived their relevance in American politics, Roberts agreed with liberals that “States may regulate judicial elections differently than they regulate political elections, because the role of judges differs from the role of politicians. Politicians are expected to be responsive to the preferences of their supporters. Indeed, such responsiveness is key to the very concept of self-governance through elected officials. The same is not true of judges. In deciding cases, a judge is not to provide any special consideration to his campaign donors. Our precedents applying the First Amendment to political elections have little bearing on the issues here.”

It is interesting, and telling, that Roberts was seemingly careful to cite the Court’s application of the First Amendment in Citizens United as if no-one would notice his assertion that “politicians are expected to be responsive to their supporters,” not constituents, “as a key to the concept of self-governance.” When politicians are responsive to their wealthy donors, the only concept of self-governance relates to the rich and corporations dictating governance purely for their self-interests and the rest of the population be damned. That is what the conservative court, and its Koch brother masters, intended in granting “First Amendment” rights to corporations and the one-percent of the population Republicans are “expected to be responsive to;” something Republicans have fulfilled with due diligence since the Citizens United ruling.

It is no surprise that Republicans have dutifully been “obedient” to the narrowest segment of the population as a result of Citizens United, and although Roberts revealed that was the conservative Court’s sole intent, Justice Kennedy in writing for the majority at least put it in less obvious terms and had the brains to mention the voters. He wrote that, of course “favoritism and influence are unavoidable in a representative democracy,” and went on to suggest there was sometimes a positive good. He continued that “It is well understood that a substantial and legitimate reason, if not the only reason, to cast a vote for, or to make a contribution to, one candidate over another is that the candidate will respond by producing those political outcomes the supporter favors. Democracy is premised on responsiveness.”

Chief Justice Roberts was writing very specifically about money informing responsiveness in delineating limitations between campaign finance rules for judges and politicians. He did not even mention voters and particularly differentiated between a judge, “who is not to provide any special consideration to his campaign donors” and politicians who are “expected to be responsive to the preferences of their supporters;” not voters, not the public, and certainly not constituents. It is exactly what Republicans have done without reservation since the conservative Court did what it was expected and “provided very special consideration to its supporters,” the Koch brothers and Mitch McConnell who was the driving force behind the Citizens United lawsuit against the Federal Elections Commission in the first  place.

Obviously, most Americans expect judges to be impartial and not “follow the preferences of their  supporters” or give “undue consideration to their campaign donors.” As the ScotusBlog noted, the Court’s ruling is unlikely to convince many Americans that the judicial system is suddenly going to be completely impartial, but the ruling was a hedge against corporations and the rich buying judgements the way the Kochs are buying politicians and legislation. It is actually the case that most Americans do not agree with Roberts or his fellow Koch-conservatives and believe that politicians, like judges, should not be allowed to solely “follow the preferences of” or give “special consideration” to their wealthy donors. However, Citizens United is the law of the land and it is highly unlikely Republicans or their Koch funders will ever allow a constitutional amendment striking it down to gain traction, much less be ratified, and they have the billions to make sure conservatives follow their preferences of strengthening, not ending, Citizens United; precisely as the conservative Court intended.

42 Replies to “Chief Justice Roberts Admits Conservatives Believe Politicians Should Serve The Rich”

  1. Who doesn’t know that? The repubs have been propagandizing and brainwashing the non-rich voters going back 30+ years. They use hate, fear and lies to suck them in. Why else would a non-rich person vote repub? It’s so disgusting.

  2. That’s quit a reach from his “inadvertent admission”, or in other words Politicus’ interpretation. Roberts voted with the liberals in this case.
    The National Enquirer would be proud of the fake headlines on this site. But they got you to bite! ha ha ha

  3. Roberts NEVER said that moron. It was a reach from Politicus ! It is in black and white. You may want to have someone read it to you.

  4. The Koch’s have the best supreme judge that money can buy.

    Too bad for the democracy Roberts claim to protect.

  5. Unlike a politician, who is expected to be
    appropriately responsive to the preferences of supporters, a judge in
    deciding cases may not follow the preferences of his supporters or
    provide any special consideration to his campaign donors.

    Slightly paraphrased but that is how I read it.

  6. We liberals have to grow a pair and arm ourselves, because those on the right are manipulating the voting process.

    Voting doesn’t work anymore.

    While I do not care for the Second Amendment, and I believe that it should be repealed, we have to live in reality. If the rich, the white, and the Evangelicals want blood, since they are shedding ours, we have no other choice but to shed theirs.

  7. Roberts is basically saying that judges should be politically neutral (whether they are or not is a different debate), which is why they are different than politicians. Do you actually think politicians are or should be politically neutral? That makes no sense. Your logic is basically that politicians are politically biased (well of course, that’s the point) and since big donors give the most money (by definition) they have the most influence over politicians. This may be true, but does this logic then not apply equally to both Democrats and Republicans? Claiming this is true only of Republicans is a glaring case of special pleading.

  8. Can you actually cite a real non anecdotal example of evangelicals etc. shedding blood? Also, don’t you think you should calm down a bit?

  9. He may have voted with the “liberals” in this case, but in doing so admitted that he thought it was ok for “politicians” to “be responsive to their “supporters”. He did not say be responsive to those who vote for them. If you can read, there is only one way to interpret what he said. Why else would he decide differently where judges are concerned? I have to agree with Hammer Of The Gods’ statement above.

  10. So your example is what appears to be a murder by the KKK, which is the terrorist wing of the Democratic party, several decades ago. This not only is not an example, it is actually a counter example. Well, done.

  11. Politicians are not and should not be politically neutral, however, they should also not be bound by the wishes of their richest donors instead of their constituents. They are supposed to be representing the people as in all the people, not just the one percent who can now buy them. That is the error in the Citizens United ruling. Money should be removed from politics to allow a true democracy to flourish, not be flooded by it by the richest among us.

  12. They call themselves evangelical Christians, I didn’t see any hoods that would be profiling and yes dumbass some democrats are evangelicals

  13. You seem to miss the point internet tough guy. The suggestion is that conservatives are “shedding blood” on some large scale. I asked for an actual example and you posted a picture of Democrats murdering people. I think it’s pretty obvious who the dumbass is here.

  14. How do you know they were democrats? You think lynching only occurred in the south? You need some history in your life instead of Reich wing talking points

  15. So you don’t know if this murder took place in the North or South by a Republican or Democrat? So what the hell is your point then? Are you effing serious?

  16. I think what jimmyk is missing here is that words have actual, literal meanings; indeed, that is the function of language.

    His objection to the Politicusa headline is that it references the inescapable, undeniable meaning of Robert’s words, instead of simply quoting those words.

    Possibly jimmyk would have preferred as a headline for this article a simple word-for-word recitation of the entire opinion.

  17. You mean, are unions supposed to represent the interests of their members? Why, yes. Yes they are.

  18. This is not a case of “special pleading.” The puppet masters of the Republican Party are explicitly devoted to getting rank-and-file Republicans to vote against their own interests.

    Now, I certainly have my complaints about Democratic politicians — primarily that too many of them lie about working for regular Americans, while acting like Republicans by cutting back-room deals with the plutocrats. But only the Republican Party has truly distinguished itself by distracting its base with preposterous social issues, fear-mongering, and outright lies about economic policies. Guns, gays, God, and Benghazi!!! have absolutely nothing to do with the wholesale upward redistribution of America’s wealth–the real agenda of the GOP establishment.

  19. Can you actually cite a real non anecdotal example of evangelicals etc. shedding blood?

    Where in your pathetic post of willful ignorance did you ask to cite a real non-ancedotal Democratic or Republican example of shedding blood? You didn’t. You demanded proof that Evangelicals (I call them EVILgelicals) shed blood, and djchefron obliged. Everyone and their uncle knows that the KKK and all other White Supremacist groups are Christian Cons. Everyone. Even someone as uninformed as you. It’s not as if they try to hide that from anyone, is it?

    When djchefron gave you the smackdown you so deserved (and obviously need), instead of accepting the truth, you ignore it, and then you try to change the subject. What a weak defense.

    Willful ignorance is strong in your genes, making you and your ilk pathetic and sad, but just so you know…you ain’t foolin’ anybody.

  20. This would apply to all. Restrict campaigns to public money, free, time limited advertising and all the “politicians” who are in it for themselves would crawl back under their rocks. The only people who would run would be those who are doing it for the people and for the country.

  21. Here’s why the Top1%, CEO’s and Corps SHOULD pay higher taxes:

    Defending the country benefits everyone; but it benefits the rich
    more, because they have MORE PROPERTY to defend.
    -Same principle as insurance: if you have a bigger, more valuable
    house, you pay more to insure it.

    Federal roads & bridge, airports, Port Authority, Coast Guard,
    National Guard: benefit interstate commerce and people who can travel,
    not the p00r
    – The MORE business you own the MORE YOU benefit from Nation’s
    – Look how much BP has been using our Coast Guard & National Guard.

    3) ENERGY:
    Energy is used disproportionately by the rich and industry;
    therefore, they should pay more in taxes for Energy Consumptio¬¬n

    Their companies that benefit from a well-educated public.
    (If you don’t think that’s a benefit, go start up an engineering
    firm, or even a factory in a 3rd world country with an uneducated CEO)

  22. Roberts is one of the five whores on the supreme court who have one purpose, they are kock-suckers. They are slimy mofos and must be recognized for their failures to We the People

  23. We have been gradually brainwashed to accept the libertarian agenda. Now they say out loud what they intend to do and expect to fend off any who dare to challenge them. The devolution of America.

  24. Correction:

    The Corporatist Hack Also Known As Chief Justice John Roberts is NOT the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is, sadly, the Chief Justice of The United States [see US Constitution]. Now, if that doesn’t terrify the living #### out of you, what will?

  25. This is a silly parsing of words. I am a liberal and agree there should be strict limitations on all campaign donations. However, when Chief Justice Roberts said “supporters,” rather than using constituents, I honestly don’t see any problem with that. I am an Obama supporter. I donated money to his campaign. He has done many things that have improved my life. I think it is fair to say that constituents ARE always supporters. However supporters are NOT always constituents. So he is saying politicians should be beholden to BOTH their constituents and their donors. I see nothing wrong with that assertion really.

  26. I don’t think you parsed the whole passage correctly. The language clearly sets apart “judges”, who must not be influenced by donor money, from “politicians”, whom Roberts expects to be so. The entire case is exactly about the influence of money.

  27. Eric Rudolf, q.v.; the murderer of Judge Vance, q.v.; the mass murderer of a Unitarian congregation, q.v.; it’s too early for me to get their names, but I can, any time.

  28. You are right! Let’s quit being liberals and become the one thing conservatives fear: Militants! The difference is that they can’t spout about protecting liberty this time!

  29. Okay. Regarding the argument above about whether or not Justice Roberts said something, please read this portion of the article and notice the punctuation:

    He did not even mention voters and particularly differentiated between a judge, “who is not to provide any special consideration to his campaign donors” and politicians who are “expected to be responsive to the preferences of their supporters;” not voters, not the public, and certainly not constituents.

    If the quotation marks intend to quote part of Roberts’ decision, the remaining words must be article’s author’s. A whole nation can be swayed by words literally intended to confuse. When you get down to it, if Roberts said anywhere, “expected to be responsive to the preferences of their supporters,” you may translate that to simply mean the supporters naturally expect them to be responsive to their preferences. The rest is the author’s assumption which, in its form, is passed along to the reader and can be taken as…

  30. The very idea that the author of this article described the constituents of the Republicans as “morons” must be rejected as a statement equally divisive as anything the Republicans may have said or done in dividing this nation. I admit that I personally believe the Republicans are building a path in the United States that will end with our becoming under the rule of the Fourth Reich. But if I was to write a news article, thoughts like that would have to be placed on the Editorial page because they cannot be proved as fact (yet). There is enough name calling in comment sections of online news sources, let alone authors provoking further division between groups of people in this country. Journalism is meant to be unbiased without the author’s or investigator’s opinion. Going against those rules of journalism sinks to the lows of what our general media has become. I have higher hopes for the online news sources and hope editors will be watchful of watchful of these liberties in future.

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