Roberts conceded that anyone is free to criticize Supreme Court rulings, but in this instance the surroundings called for muted or no criticism. "The image of having the members of one branch of government standing up, literally surrounding the Supreme Court, cheering and hollering while the court - according [to] the requirements of protocol - has to sit there expressionless, I think is very troubling."
Several media sources following the State of the Union, noted that Justice Samuel Alito did not sit expressionless, mouthing the words "not true," to Obama's criticism of Citizens United. The decision invalidated decades of regulation of corporate campaign financing, making it easier for corporations to spend freely on electioneering.
The AP reported that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, when asked about Roberts' comments, said, "What is troubling is that this decision opened the floodgates for corporations and special interests to pour money into elections - drowning out the voices of average Americans."
Recently, ACS hosted a national event focusing on the implications of the decision. Video of the event is here. Following the event, Professor William P. Marshall, a constitutional law expert, talked with ACSblog about what the decision reveals about the Supreme Court, and elections law expert Joseph Sandler focused on what the decision may mean for future elections.