Thursday, January 28, 2010

He lied!

Or so says Professor Bradley A. Smith of the Capital University Law School:
Tonight the president engaged in demogoguery of the worst kind, when he claimed that last week's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

The president's statement is false.

The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibit[ed] from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication... ."

This is either blithering ignorance of the law, or demogoguery of the worst kind. [Emph. added]
Hat tip: The Anchoress

MORE: Pres. Obama's stated: "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests - including foreign corporations - to spend without limit in our elections." In addition to the claim about foreign corporations, he also appears to have been wrong the "century of law" claim. Two falsehoods in one sentence? Will that set a State of the Union speech record?

MORE: Even the AP found need to fact check Obama's speech. Also, the Anchoress' final thoughts on the SOTU address are here.

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