January 28, 2010 C-SPAN
(Nicole:) Emboldened by Obama's criticism of the Citizens United v. FEC ruling during the SOTU address, the Senate head of the Judiciary Committee, Patrick Leahy (D-VT) lashed out at the Supreme Court, calling the 5 member conservative wing of the court "activists" and "extreme". He particularly calls Samuel "Not True Bobblehead" Alito out for doing exactly what he said a Supreme Court justice should not do during his confirmation hearing.
In his confirmation hearing, Justice Alito -- and I might say, under oath -- testified that the role of the Supreme Court is a limited role. It has to do what it is supposed to do vigilantly, but it has to be equally vigilant about not stepping over its bounds and invading the authority of Congress. That was then -- when he was seeking confirmation. This is now.
Ouch. That left a mark. Leahy continues:
This is the most partisan decision since Bush v. Gore. That decision by the activist, conservative bloc in the Supreme Court intervened in a presidential election. This decision is broader and more damaging in that they have now decided to intervene in all elections. Last week's decision is only the latest example--but probably the most extreme--of the willingness of a narrow majority of the Supreme Court to render decisions from the bench to suit their own ideological agenda. I believe the activist conservatives now on the Supreme Court have got this decision dramatically wrong, as a matter of Constitutional interpretation and also common sense.