The Supreme Court The Supreme Court building getting some work done. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Dana Milbank argues that it’s a bit disingenuous of Chief Justice John Roberts to try and tug at our post-Christmas heartstrings, casting the federal judiciary as George Bailey and/or Tiny Tim, cash-strapped, crippled and likely to die if its dad’s boss won’t pay for an operation to save it. Milbank traces the skinny little judiciary budget to the cutting-federal-spending legislation craze engendered, according to Milbank, by the Roberts Court’s decision in Citizens United. How embarrassing.

drazen1 argues that Citizens United didn’t always mean big money got its candidates elected:

I’d be more apt to believe Milbank’s thesis if the whole money-politics business worked as advertised.

The political landscape is strewn with the bodies of those from Steve Forbes to Donald Trump who thought that their personal fortunes were sufficient to buy their way into public office. Direct beneficiaries of the Citizens United decision such as Karl Rove saw tens of millions of dollars evaporate in 2012 as Republicans not only failed to retake the White House but also lost seats in both houses of Congress. Whatever benefit the wealthy and connected derived from Citizens United, it’s been a pretty poor return-on-investment.

Commenters also argue that whatever boost Citizens United gave to conservatives, the Roberts Court decision on Obamacare makes him an outcast to conservatives forever, so it stands to reason he’s hoping to up federal spending:

Jeremyr

Lest we forget, Justice Roberts was the deciding vote on the constitutionality of Obamacare. Justice Roberts has already chosen big government over personal liberty and freedom.

bbetz

John Roberts will be remembered historically as a Chief Justice who disappointed conservs more than Earl Warren did. Roberts’ ruling on Obamacare was the worst reasoned decision I have ever read.

PassTheSalt has a suggestion for new fundraising avenues that could keep the judiciary funded but government spending itself low:

This session of the “Tostitos Supreme Court” brought to you by Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical.

Obviously that would lead to complications. But PostScript sees no reason why already-made decisions couldn’t have their naming rights sold, instantly putting a brand name in front of eighth graders across the United States, who will subsequently be bombarded with education with every commercial they watch. What can Brown do for you vs. Board of Education! Roe vs. Glade. Marbury vs. Radisson.