In this week’s address, President Obama urged for reforms to combat the influence of lobbyists and corporate spending in political campaigns.

The President faced political backlash from his critics and members of the United States Supreme Court when he criticized the controversial Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission ruling during his 2010 State of the Union Address. Cameras caught Justice Alito’s displeasure (the “not true” lip-read) with the President’s comments, and Chief Justice Roberts went so far as to even denounce the “pep rally” atmosphere of the State of the Union and question whether the Court should attend the State of the Union Address in the first place.

via NPR:

by Nina Totenberg
March 10, 2010

Now, Chief Justice Roberts has struck back. Answering a question from a student at the University of Alabama Law School, Roberts said officials are entitled to criticize the court’s decisions, but in a rare public display of temper, he questioned the “setting” Obama chose, and the “decorum” of the House and Senate.

Roberts described the State of the Union address as a kind of public hazing of the court.

Said the chief justice: “The image of having the members of one branch of government [the Congress] standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering, while the court, according to the requirements of protocol, has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling.”

“To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally,” he added, “I’m not sure why we’re there.”

You can read the rest of that article here.

However, the President persists in his opposition and is pushing for legislative reform to combat the Court decision. The President outlined his proposals in this week’s Address, saying,

“Shadowy campaign committees would have to reveal who’s funding their activities to the American people. And when corporations and other special interests take to the airwaves, whoever is running and funding the ad would have to appear in the advertisement and claim responsibility for it – like a company’s CEO or an organization’s biggest contributor. This will mean citizens can evaluate the claims in these ads with information about an organization’s real motives.”

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