Alito: The "Not True" Not Heard 'Round the World
Obama took some time in his State of the Union speech to criticize the Supreme Court's recent decision that corporations can spend as much money...
Obama took some time in his State of the Union speech to criticize the Supreme Court's recent decision that corporations can spend as much money as they want in political campaigns. Justice Alito shook his head and, according to the internet consensus, mouthed "Not true."[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pB5uR3zgsAThe part Alito appears to object to (if you had to pick one) might be Obama's line about foreign corporations being allowed to spend without limit. On that point, Alito may be right. It appears that what Obama said is, in fact, not true.But the fact that Alito even hinted at engaging on this issue in a political, rather than judicial, context really upset Glenn Greenwald:
...the behavior of Justice Alito at last night's State of the Union address -- visibly shaking his head and mouthing the words "not true" when Obama warned of the dangers of the Court's Citizens United ruling -- was a serious and substantive breach of protocol that reflects very poorly on Alito and only further undermines the credibility of the Court....Seriously: what kind of an adult is incapable of restraining himself from visible gestures and verbal outbursts in the middle of someone's speech, no matter how strongly one disagrees -- let alone a robe-wearing Supreme Court Justice sitting in the U.S. Congress in the middle of a President's State of the Union address?Apparently, while there is precedent for presidents criticizing the court in speeches like this, it's expected that the court just be (or at least appear to be) above all the politics.