“If the First Amendment has any force,” wrote Justice Kennedy in the majority opinion, “it prohibits Congress from fining or jailing citizens, or associations of citizens, for simply engaging in political speech.”
"Although they make enormous contributions to our society, corporations are not actually members of it. They cannot vote or run for office. Because they may be managed and controlled by nonresidents, their interests may conflict in fundamental respects with the interests of eligible voters. The financial resources, legal structure, and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races."
UPDATE 06/29/12: Chief Justice John Roberts' majority opinion affirming the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (and its mandate) shows that I was wrong about this Supreme Court, in absolute terms. They do however remain a powerful force on the right; and ought to be recognized for deciding this absurdly contentious case ("Obamacare") quite even-handedly.
Now, can we talk about Citizens United? Wink.
UDPATE 03/05/2015: Interesting, relevant piece.