What is it about the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that drives so many of its critics to make such ill-advised statements? As you may recall, one day after the Court issued its ruling, which struck down certain restrictions on political speech by unions and corporations, then-television personality Keith Olbermann declared on MSNBC that Citizens United “might actually have more dire implications than Dred Scott v. Sandford,” the notorious 1857 case that helped trigger the American Civil War.
Thankfully Olbermann's breathless prediction did not pan out, but it now appears that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would like to up the apocalyptic ante. According to The Oxonian Globalist, McCain told an audience at the University of Oxford’s Oxford Union that Citizens United was the Supreme Court’s “worst decision ever.” Take that Dred Scott!
To better understand why Citizens United is in fact not the worst decision the Court has ever handed down, or even a bad decision at all, read Jacob Sullum’s "You Are Now Free to Speak About Politics: Why do some people fear a less restricted debate?"