Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) upped the ante in the Democratic primary today by promises to only nominate Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United during an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation.
Bob Schieffer asked Sen. Sanders if he thought that he could beat Hillary Clinton.
Sanders said yes, and added that he will have a litmus test of all Supreme Court nominees:
In terms of the politics of America, as a result of this disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, clearly the billionaires, Koch brothers and others are owning the political process.
They will determine who the candidates are.
And let me say this thing if elected president I will have a litmus test in terms of my nominee to be a Supreme Court justice. And that nominee will say, we are going to overturn this disastrous decision on Citizens United because that decision is undermining American democracy. I do not believe that billionaires should be allowed to buy politicians.
Sanders’s comments are an example of his ability to push the conversation to the left. Hillary Clinton already came out in support of a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Bernie Sanders just upped the ante. Clinton will now be expected by voters also to promise to only nominate potential Supreme Court justices who will overturn Citizens United.
The idea that Citizens United could be gone if a Democrat wins the 2016 presidential election is not far fetched. It would only take one conservative justice stepping down to put Citizens United in jeopardy. Justices Kennedy and Scalia were part of the majority on Citizens United, and they will each be over 80 years by the time that the next president is sworn into office.
If the 2016 Democratic nominee won two terms in office, there is very strong likelihood that the Supreme Court majority would flip from conservative to liberal. The Sanders litmus test is an important promise.
It is one thing for Hillary Clinton to voice support for getting rid of Citizens United. Bernie Sanders is challenging her to put action behind those words.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association