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During this year’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama and Justice Samuel Alito Jr. had a memorably public disagreement over the case of Citizens United v. FEC. “With all due deference to separation of powers,” the president said, “the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests…to spend without limit in our elections.” “Not true,” mouthed Alito from his front-row seat, shaking his head vigorously to ward off the thunderous applause following Obama’s remarks. Ignoring Alito’s unorthodox reaction (traditionally, the justices sit stone-faced throughout the address), Obama urged Congress to save America’s democracy from commercialization.

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