WASHINGTON–President Obamas first State of the Union address featured a strong rebuff of the Supreme Courts recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which struck down restrictions on certain kinds of political speech by corporations.

In his address, the president said: With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests . . . to spend without limit in our elections. I dont think American elections should be bankrolled by Americas most powerful interests. . . . And Id urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.

According to Ayn Rand Center analyst Don Watkins, Obama is condemning powerful interests, while claiming for himself and his colleagues the awesome power to decide who can speak during an election. In Obamas universe, he should be free to use his unmatched megaphone to push his agenda, but a corporation–which is just a group of individuals–should not have the right to speak out in opposition to it.

But the true outrage is Obamas promise to correct the Courts decision. Lets be clear about what this means. The Supreme Court is the final interpreter of the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. It has ruled that any restriction on the ability of corporations to spend money on political speech is a violation of the First Amendment rights of the corporations members. And now, the president of the United States, who is constitutionally bound to enforce the laws of the land, is vowing to ignore and correct the Courts ruling. This is brazen defiance of the rule of law. I should hope that someone tells the president that saying with all due deference to separation of powers does not by itself constitute due deference to separation of powers.

Now, more than ever, we need to protect our right to speak out against government power. Thankfully, the Supreme Court made a significant step toward securing that right.

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