Published on Jul 26, 2012
During a C-SPAN Q&A interview, Justice Antonin Scalia discusses Citizens United. Watch the complete interview on Sunday, July 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET on C-SPAN.
C-SPAN: As a person, do you worry at all that there's too much money in politics?
SCALIA: No. You know, I really don't. I forget what the figures are but I think we spend less on our presidential campaigns each year, when there's a presidential election than the country spends on cosmetics.
C-SPAN: What about the unusual amount of influence? You know, people are worried that the corporations now can buy --
SCALIA: I think this is a real conduit. If you believe that we ought to go back to monarchy. That the people are such sheep that they just swallow whatever they see on television or read in the newspapers? No. The premise of democracy is that people are intelligent and can discern the true from the false. At least, when as the campaign laws require, you know who is speaking. You can't speak anonymously. You have to say, you have to identify the people that are giving the message.
C-SPAN: But we don't know who speaking right now.
SCALIA: You know the organization that's speaking.
C-SPAN: Not necessarily. You know they don't have to, we don't need to go into the details, but in some of this the way some of this money is being raised we will never know.
SCALIA: You may not know who contributes to the organization, you know the organization that's speaking.
C-SPAN: So that's all you need to know? You don't need to know that they're hiding behind their --
SCALIA: Well, the press can find out, you know, who's hiding behind what. That's not hard, you can tell... Anyway, the premise is freedom of speech. The more speech the better. I cannot understand why...well...and as far as Citizens United, don't forget Citizens United was not novel. It reversed an opinion eight years earlier that had changed the law from what the law had been in Buckley vs. Veleo that was assumed to be the law.