As is now being widely reported, Congressman Ed Markey made this statement on Tuesday about the Citizens United ruling: “The Constitution must be amended. The Dred Scott decision had to be repealed; we have to repeal Citizens United.”
Congressman Markey is right. And, he is not the first to make this critical point. See this piece by Congresswoman Donna Edwards in the Boston Review:http://www.bostonreview.net/BR35.5/edwards.php.
Congresswoman Edwards wrote: “Citizens United will go down in history as one of the Supreme Court’s worst decisions — the Dred Scott of our time.”
Former Congressman Jim Leach made a similar statement in a piece published by the Boston Globe last year:
“Brazenly, in Citizens United, the court employed parallel logic to the syllogism embedded in the most repugnant ruling it ever made, the 1857 Dred Scott decision. To justify slavery, the court in Dred Scott defined a class of human beings as private property. To magnify corporate power a century and a half later, it defined a class of private property (corporations) as people.”
And, here is what the Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus said just a few weeks ago in an interview discussing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and posted on the Center for American Progress site:
“He would speak truth to power, and often make power uncomfortable. He was arrested numerous times. And it is important for the movement to remember that side of him, as we face all new challenges in the wake of Citizens United, which is the worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott.”
So, while the Boston Globe in today’s front page story finds critics of Markey’s statement, it ought to ask Edwards, Leach, Yearwood, and many others why they agree with the Congressman.