It would be difficult to find a Supreme Court case more loved by the corporate-political alliance than Citizens United. This 5-4 decision is loathed by nearly 80% of Americans, so it is not at all inconceivable that it could be reversed with a liberal replacing the undeniably conservative Scalia. But what has been overlooked in the extensive speculation over potential replacements is the fact that Scalia was one of two Justices with extensive corporate backgrounds. Antonin Scalia worked for Jones Day, the largest law firm in America, and John Roberts worked for Hogan Hartson, one of the largest law firms and lobbying firms in America. So Scalia’s death under a Democratic President has got to be a major concern for benefactors of Citizen United.
Whether it ultimately be Obama or Clinton, or dare we say Sanders, the next Supreme Court Justice is likely to be nominated by a Democrat. The Republican wing of the Court has been predictably cozy with big business, while the Democratic faction has been somewhat less so. The aristocratic elite, however, long ago realized that the key to staying in power was controlling both sides of the aisle.
Citizens United is far too important to Corporate influence to be left to the fate of a potential power shift in the makeup of the Court.
Given the extreme animosity between parties, President Obama would be smart to nominate a circuit court candidate who has recently enjoyed a bipartisan appointment.
Irrespective of who nominates them, the next confirmed Supreme Court Justice will most likely be an Ivy League alumni with a stellar Wall Street, K Street, or corporate background. With this in mind, here is a true power ranking of Obama’s shortlist:
1. Merrick Garland-Harvard. Worked for D.C. Law firm Arnold & Porter, one of the largest law firms in the country. Older than the other candidates, which might make him more palatable to Republicans.
2. Robert L. Wilkins-Harvard. Worked for Venable, LLC, a major D.C. corporate law firm. It’s tough to imagine Obama not liking the idea of getting another African American on the Court
3. Loretta Lynch-Harvard. Worked for Hogan Hartson (as did Chief Justice John Roberts) and would be the first African American woman on the Court. Would add a fourth woman to the court, which would be a great counter point to the right’s continued denigration of women, although this might be too much for the largely misogynistic aristocratic elite
4. Patricia Ann Millet-Harvard. Worked for 2 high profile D.C. Law firms. See #3.
Sri Srinivasan and Paul Watford might very well get nominated, but stand precious little chance of actually being confirmed due to their lack of an Ivy League education, a risk Citizen United champions can ill afford to take.