Impressions from Citizens United argument--Austin in Trouble:

Let me join the chorus of observers who came away from yesterday's Citizens United argument convinced that the Court was indeed poised to overrule Austin. I attended argument because I wanted to get a firsthand impression whether the Justices were interested in resolving the case in a way that left Austin intact. Based on the questioning and reactions yesterday from the Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy and Alito, I think it's obvious that Austin is in trouble. Chief Justice Roberts spent a considerable amount of time pinning down SG Elena Kagan and extracting concessions that she was asking the Court to reaffirm Austin based on regulatory interests different from those the Court actually relied on in that case. And Kennedy seemed to be unperturbed by Kagan's arguments about the consequences of a broad ruling in the case. I'd be interested if any of you came away with a different impression.