Money, Politics, and the Constitution: Beyond Citizens United

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New York City, for example, matches small donations six-to-one for those candidates who agree to contribution and spending limits. And by making realistic amounts of public financing available, the reforms have made it possible for a wider range of candidates—including, so far, waitresses, teachers, and a convenience-store clerk—to run for office and win. As the gun-rights and marriage-equality campaigns demonstrate, movements begun in the states can, if they develop sufficient momentum, jump the track and influence federal constitutional law.

The normative arguments for a right to same-sex marriage, for example, are largely the same whether one is arguing in a Massachusetts state court, on behalf of a ballot initiative in Maine, or before the U. Supreme Court. In this way, state-law developments can ease the way for a Supreme Court decision. The Court did not recognize the right of indigent criminal defendants to free legal representation until 35 states had provided such representation.

And the Court did not strike down anti-miscegenation laws until interracial marriage had been legalized in 34 states. The NRA also eased the way for constitutional change by patiently cultivating a shift in the views of the legal academy. In the last decades of the 20th century, the group began providing grants and awards to legal scholars writing about the Second Amendment. These scholars—including, most prominently, Stephen Halbrook and Don Kates—unearthed historical evidence supporting the notion that the Second Amendment was intended to protect not only the prerogative of states to field militias, as conventional wisdom and constitutional case law then held, but also an individual right to bear arms.

By the time the Supreme Court took up the question, this revisionist account had become the predominant view in legal scholarship, and had been lent credence by a number of highly respected liberal scholars, including Akhil Reed Amar, Sanford Levinson, and Laurence Tribe. Scholarship could similarly lay the groundwork for a new approach to campaign finance. Each of these arguments could provide a path toward a constitutional jurisprudence that allows states and Congress more leeway in regulating campaign spending.

In theory, he just needs one more vote. The Court hesitates to overturn any past decision, but it is especially reluctant when a reversal means cutting back on a constitutional right, rather than establishing a new one as pro-life opponents of Roe v. Wade have learned. In at least one regard, campaign-finance reformers do have a head start as compared with gun-rights and gay-rights advocates in the s: Public opinion is already on their side. A September Bloomberg poll found that about 80 percent of Republicans and Democrats alike oppose Citizens United. But even so, reformers must combat what may be their biggest obstacle to meaningful change: public skepticism that anything can be done to fix the problem.

In this sense, the significance of the campaign-finance measures now springing up around the country could extend far beyond the states and cities that adopt them. If campaign-finance-reform advocates can learn from the gun-rights and marriage-equality struggles, and focus on incremental progress at the state and local levels and in legal scholarship, they have a chance of not only altering constitutional law, but also restoring faith in the democratic process.

Even the boldest of gamblers might still hesitate to bet on campaign-finance reform. We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters theatlantic. Oliver Munday. Scalia addressed Justice Stevens ' dissent, specifically with regard to the original understanding of the First Amendment. Scalia wrote that Stevens' dissent was "in splendid isolation from the text of the First Amendment It never shows why 'the freedom of speech' that was the right of Englishmen did not include the freedom to speak in association with other individuals, including association in the corporate form.

Scalia principally argued that the First Amendment was written in "terms of speech, not speakers" and that "Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker. This understanding supported the majority's contention that the Constitution does not allow the Court to separate corporations into media and non-media categories. Justice Thomas wrote a separate opinion concurring in all but the upholding of the disclosure provisions. Thomas's primary argument was that anonymous free speech is protected and that making contributor lists public makes the contributors vulnerable to retaliation, citing instances of retaliation against contributors to both sides of a then-recent California voter initiative.

Thomas also expressed concern that such retaliation could extend to retaliation by elected officials. Thomas did not consider "as-applied challenges" to be sufficient to protect against the threat of retaliation. To emphasize his unhappiness with the majority, Stevens read part of his page dissent from the bench. He argued that the Court's ruling "threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions across the Nation. The path it has taken to reach its outcome will, I fear, do damage to this institution.

Stevens argued that the Court had long recognized that to deny Congress the power to safeguard against "the improper use of money to influence the result [of an election] is to deny to the nation in a vital particular the power of self protection".

Valeo the Court had struck down portions of a broad prohibition of independent expenditures from any sources, Stevens argued that nevertheless Buckley recognized the legitimacy of "prophylactic" measures for limiting campaign spending and found the prevention of "corruption" to be a reasonable goal for legislation.

Consequently, Stevens argued that Buckley left the door open for carefully tailored future regulation. Bellotti , Stevens argued that the majority opinion contradicted the reasoning of other campaign finance cases — in particular, Austin v. Federal Election Commission — and found it telling that the majority, when citing such cases, referenced mainly dissenting opinions.

Stevens argued that the majority failed to recognize the possibility for corruption outside strict quid pro quo exchanges. He referenced facts from a previous BCRA challenge to argue that, even if the exchange of votes for expenditures could not be shown, contributors gain favorable political access from such expenditures. Stevens responded that in the past, even when striking down a ban on corporate independent expenditures, the Court "never suggested that such quid pro quo debts must take the form of outright vote buying or bribes" Bellotti.

Buckley , he said, also acknowledged that large independent expenditures present the same dangers as quid pro quo arrangements, although Buckley struck down limits on such independent expenditures. Stevens supported his argument by citing Caperton v. Massey Coal Co. Stevens argued that it was contradictory for the majority to ignore the same risks in legislative and executive elections, and argued that the majority opinion would exacerbate the problem presented in Caperton because of the number of states with judicial elections and increased spending in judicial races. Second, Stevens argued that the majority did not place enough emphasis on the need to prevent the "appearance of corruption" in elections.

Earlier cases, including Buckley and Bellotti , recognized the importance of public confidence in democracy. Third, Stevens argued that the majority's decision failed to recognize the dangers of the corporate form. Austin held that the prevention of corruption, including the distorting influence of a dominant funding source, was a sufficient reason for regulating corporate independent expenditures. In defending Austin , Stevens argued that the unique qualities of corporations and other artificial legal entities made them dangerous to democratic elections.

These legal entities, he argued, have perpetual life, the ability to amass large sums of money, limited liability, no ability to vote, no morality, no purpose outside profit-making, and no loyalty. Therefore, he argued, the courts should permit legislatures to regulate corporate participation in the political process.

Legal entities, Stevens wrote, are not "We the People" for whom our Constitution was established. The First Amendment, he argued, protects individual self-expression, self-realization and the communication of ideas. Corporate spending is the "furthest from the core of political expression" protected by the Constitution, he argued, citing Federal Election Commission v.

Beaumont , [35] and corporate spending on politics should be viewed as a business transaction designed by the officers or the boards of directors for no purpose other than profit-making. Stevens called corporate spending "more transactional than ideological". Stevens also pointed out that any member of a corporation may spend personal money on promoting a campaign because BCRA only prohibited the use of general treasury money. Stevens critiqued the majority's main argument: the prohibition of spending guards free speech and allows the general public to receive all available information.

Citing Austin , Stevens argued that corporations unfairly influence the electoral process with vast sums of money that few individuals can match. Stevens described the majority's supposed protection of the media as nothing more than posturing. According to him, it was the majority's new rule in this case, that prohibited a law from distinguishing between speakers or funding sources. However, while Stevens has been interpreted as implying the press clause specifically protects the institutional press it isn't clear from his opinion.

Sixth, Stevens claimed that the majority failed to give proper deference to the legislature. Stevens predicted that this ruling would restrict the ability of the states to experiment with different methods for decreasing corruption in elections. According to Stevens, this ruling virtually ended those efforts, "declaring by fiat" that people will not "lose faith in our democracy". Seventh, Stevens argued that the majority opinion ignored the rights of shareholders. A series of cases protects individuals from legally compelled payment of union dues to support political speech.

The majority, however, argued that ownership of corporate stock was voluntary and that unhappy shareholders could simply sell off their shares if they did not agree with the corporation's speech. Stevens also argued that Political Action Committees PACs , which allow individual members of a corporation to invest money in a separate fund, are an adequate substitute for general corporate speech and better protect shareholder rights.

The majority, by contrast, had argued that most corporations are too small and lack the resources and raw number of shareholders and management staff necessary to maintain compliance, accounting and administrative costs of a PAC. In this dispute, the opposing views essentially discussed differing types of entities: Stevens focused his argument on large, publicly held corporations while the justices in the majority, particularly Justice Scalia's concurring opinion, placed an emphasis on small, closely held corporations and non-profits.

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Stevens called the majority's faith in "corporate democracy" an unrealistic method for a shareholder to oppose political funding. A derivative suit is slow, inefficient, risky and potentially expensive. Likewise, shareholder meetings only happen a few times a year, not prior to every decision or transaction. Rather, the officers and boards control the day-to-day spending, including political spending. According to Stevens, the shareholders have few options, giving them "virtually nonexistent" recourse for opposing a corporation's political spending.

Stevens concluded his dissent by writing:. At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. It is a strange time to repudiate that common sense. While American democracy is imperfect, few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.

The decision was highly controversial and remains a subject of widespread public discussion. FEC , said: [41] [42]. For too long, some in this country have been deprived of full participation in the political process. By previously denying this right, the government was picking winners and losers. Our democracy depends upon free speech, not just for some but for all. Republican campaign consultant Ed Rollins opined that the decision adds transparency to the election process and will make it more competitive.

Citizens United , the group filing the lawsuit, said, "Today's U. Supreme Court decision allowing Citizens United to air its documentary films and advertisements is a tremendous victory, not only for Citizens United but for every American who desires to participate in the political process. Campaign finance attorney Cleta Mitchell, who had filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of two advocacy organizations opposing the ban, wrote that "The Supreme Court has correctly eliminated a constitutionally flawed system that allowed media corporations e.

The real victims of the corporate expenditure ban have been nonprofit advocacy organizations across the political spectrum. Heritage Foundation fellow Hans A. Libertarian Cato Institute analysts John Samples and Ilya Shapiro wrote that restrictions on advertising were based on the idea "that corporations had so much money that their spending would create vast inequalities in speech that would undermine democracy". They continued, "To make campaign spending equal or nearly so, the government would have to force some people or groups to spend less than they wished.

And equality of speech is inherently contrary to protecting speech from government restraint, which is ultimately the heart of American conceptions of free speech. The American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief that supported the decision, [49] saying that "section should now be struck down as facially unconstitutional", though membership was split over the implications of the ruling and its board sent the issue to its special committee on campaign finance for further consideration.

Bradley A. Smith , professor of law at Capital University Law School , former chairman of the FEC, founder of the Center for Competitive Politics and a leading proponent of deregulation of campaign finance, wrote that the major opponents of political free speech are "incumbent politicians" who "are keen to maintain a chokehold on such speech". Empowering "small and midsize corporations — and every incorporated mom-and-pop falafel joint, local firefighters' union, and environmental group — to make its voice heard" frightens them.

Campaign finance expert Jan Baran, a member of the Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform , agreed with the decision, writing that "The history of campaign finance reform is the history of incumbent politicians seeking to muzzle speakers, any speakers, particularly those who might publicly criticize them and their legislation. It is a lot easier to legislate against unions, gun owners, 'fat cat' bankers, health insurance companies and any other industry or 'special interest' group when they can't talk back.

Attorney Kenneth Gross, former associate general counsel of the FEC, wrote that corporations relied more on the development of long-term relationships, political action committees and personal contributions, which were not affected by the decision. He held that while trade associations might seek to raise funds and support candidates, corporations which have "signed on to transparency agreements regarding political spending" may not be eager to give.

The New York Times asked seven academics to opine on how corporate money would reshape politics as a result of the court's decision. And, voters recognize that richer candidates are not necessarily the better candidates, and in some cases, the benefit of running more ads is offset by the negative signal that spending a lot of money creates. Holding that corporations like Exxon would fear alienating voters by supporting candidates, the decision really meant that voters would hear "more messages from more sources". Valeo on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union , said that the decision represented "a great day for the First Amendment" writing that the Court had "dismantled the First Amendment 'caste system' in election speech".

The Editorial Board of the San Antonio Express-News criticized McCain—Feingold's exception for media corporations from the ban on corporate electioneering, writing that it "makes no sense" that the paper could make endorsements up until the day of the election but advocacy groups could not. Sixty-four percent of Democrats and Republicans believed campaign donations are a form of free speech. Chicago Tribune editorial board member Steve Chapman wrote "If corporate advocacy may be forbidden as it was under the law in question, it's not just Exxon Mobil and Citigroup that are rendered mute.

Nonprofit corporations set up merely to advance goals shared by citizens, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Rifle Association, also have to put a sock in it. So much for the First Amendment goal of fostering debate about public policy. President Barack Obama stated that the decision "gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington — while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to support their preferred candidates".

Well, I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. Presented with a relatively narrow legal issue, the Supreme Court chose to roll back laws that have limited the role of corporate money in federal elections since Teddy Roosevelt was president. Leonard Boswell introduced legislation to amend the constitution. Republican Senator John McCain , co-crafter of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act and the party's presidential nominee, said "there's going to be, over time, a backlash Although federal law after Citizens United v.

Federal Election Commission still prohibited corporate contributions to all political parties, Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party, stated that "The ruling especially hurts the ability of parties that don't accept corporate contributions, like the Green Party, to compete. Ralph Nader condemned the ruling, [78] saying that "With this decision, corporations can now directly pour vast amounts of corporate money, through independent expenditures, into the electoral swamp already flooded with corporate campaign PAC contribution dollars.

Senator Bernie Sanders , a contender in the Democratic Primary, has filed a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's Decision. The constitutional law scholar Laurence H. Federal Election Commission twelve years later, criticized the decision only obliquely, but warned, "In invalidating some of the existing checks on campaign spending, the majority in Citizens United has signaled that the problem of campaign contributions in judicial elections might get considerably worse and quite soon.

Richard L. Hasen , professor of election law at Loyola Law School , argued that the ruling "is activist, it increases the dangers of corruption in our political system and it ignores the strong tradition of American political equality". He also described Justice Kennedy's "specter of blog censorship" as sounding more like "the rantings of a right-wing talk show host than the rational view of a justice with a sense of political realism".

Kathleen M. Andre, adjunct professor at Lincoln Law School, argued that two different visions of freedom of speech exist and clashed in the case. An egalitarian vision skeptical of the power of large agglomerations of wealth to skew the political process conflicted with a libertarian vision skeptical of government being placed in the role of determining what speech people should or should not hear. The four other scholars of the seven writing in the aforementioned The New York Times article were critical.

Hasen , Distinguished Professor of election law at Loyola Law School argued differently from his Slate article above, concentrating on the "inherent risk of corruption that comes when someone spends independently to try to influence the outcome of judicial elections", since judges are less publicly accountable than elected officials.

Heather K. Gerken, Professor of Law at Yale Law School wrote that "The court has done real damage to the cause of reform, but that damage mostly came earlier, with decisions that made less of a splash. School of Law , opined that the decision "matches or exceeds Bush v. Gore in ideological or partisan overreaching by the court", explaining how "Exxon or any other firm could spend Bloomberg-level sums in any congressional district in the country against, say, any congressman who supports climate change legislation, or health care, etc.

A lobbyist can now tell any elected official: if you vote wrong, my company, labor union or interest group will spend unlimited sums explicitly advertising against your re-election. The campaign encourages people to rubber stamp messages such as "Not To Be Used for Bribing Politicians" on paper currency. In , Cohen told Salon , "As long as the Supreme Court rules money is speech, corporations and the wealthy are using it by giving piles of it to politicians to pass or not pass laws that they want.

Now, the rest of the people, [those] who don't have that money, can actually make their voice heard by using money to stamp a message out. Most blogs avoided the theoretical aspects of the decision and focused on more personal and dramatic elements, including the Barack Obama — Samuel Alito face-off during the President's State of the Union address. This event received extensive comment from political bloggers, with a substantial amount of the coverage concentrated on whether or not foreign corporations would be able to make substantial political contributions in US elections.

In the opinion, the Court had specifically indicated it was not overturning the ban on foreign contributions. The poll showed large majority support from Democrats, Republicans and independents. Separate polls by various conservative organizations, including the plaintiff Citizens United and the Center for Competitive Politics , found support for the decision. The poll also found that only 22 percent had heard of the case. SpeechNow is a nonprofit, unincorporated association organized as a section entity under the U.

Internal Revenue Code.

Money, Politics, and the Constitution: Beyond Citizens United | Brennan Center for Justice

The organization was formed by individuals who seek to pool their resources to make independent expenditures expressly advocating the election or defeat of federal candidates. SpeechNow planned to accept contributions only from individuals, not corporations or other sources prohibited under the Federal Election Campaign Act. On February 14, , SpeechNow and several individual plaintiffs filed a complaint in the U.

District Court for the District of Columbia challenging the constitutionality of the Federal Election Campaign Act provisions governing political committee registration, contribution limits and disclosure. The plaintiffs contended that the Act unconstitutionally restricts their association guaranteed under the First Amendment. By requiring registration as a political committee and limiting the monetary amount that an individual may contribute to a political committee, SpeechNow and the other plaintiffs asserted that the Act unconstitutionally restricted the individuals' freedom of speech by limiting the amount that an individual can contribute to SpeechNow and thus the amount the organization may spend.

SpeechNow also argued that the reporting required of political committees is unconstitutionally burdensome. On March 26, , the U. FEC that the contribution limits of 2 U. The court also ruled that the reporting requirements of 2 U. This type of "independent expenditure committee" is inherently non-corruptive, the Court reasoned, and therefore contributions to such a committee can not be limited based on the government's interest in preventing political corruption.

FEC , in which the Supreme Court held that the government has no anti-corruption interest in limiting independent expenditures, the appeals court ruled that "contributions to groups that make only independent expenditures cannot corrupt or create the appearance of corruption. Contribution limits as applied to SpeechNow "violate the First Amendment by preventing [individuals] from donating to SpeechNow in excess of the limits and by prohibiting SpeechNow from accepting donations in excess of the limits.

Bennett No. A conservative 5—4 majority of justices said the law violated free speech, concluding the state was impermissibly trying to "level the playing field" through a public finance system. Arizona lawmakers had argued there was a compelling state interest in equalizing resources among competing candidates and interest groups. As a consequence of the decision, states and municipalities are blocked from using a method of public financing that is simultaneously likely to attract candidates fearful they will be vastly outspent and sensitive to avoiding needless government expense.

Maurer, a lawyer with Institute for Justice, which represented several challengers of the law. Attorney General of Montana , upheld that state's law limiting corporate contributions. Examining the history of corporate interference in Montana government that led to the Corrupt Practices Law, the majority decided that the state still had a compelling reason to maintain the restrictions. It ruled that these restrictions on speech were narrowly tailored and withstood strict scrutiny and thus did not contradict Citizens United v.

Federal Election Commission. While granting permission to file a certiorari petition, the US Supreme Court agreed to stay the Montana ruling, although Justices Ginsburg and Breyer wrote a short statement urging the Court "to consider whether, in light of the huge sums of money currently deployed to buy candidate's allegiance, Citizens United should continue to hold sway".

Bullock , , U. In addition to limiting the size of donations to individual candidates and parties, the Federal Election Campaign Act also includes aggregate caps on the total amount that an individual may give to all candidates and parties. In , Shaun McCutcheon, a Republican Party activist, [] [] sought to donate more than was allowed by the federal aggregate limit on federal candidates. FEC and struck down the aggregate limits.

Private: After 'Citizens United': From Law Reviews to Litigation

The plurality opinion invalidated only the aggregate contribution limits, not limits on giving to any one candidate or party. The decisive fifth vote for McCutcheon came from Justice Thomas , who concurred in the judgment on the grounds that all contribution limits are unconstitutional. The New York Times reported that 24 states with laws prohibiting or limiting independent expenditures by unions and corporations would have to change their campaign finance laws because of the ruling. After Citizens United and SpeechNow. While many states and the federal government have raised contribution limits in response to Citizens United , proposals aimed at discouraging political spending, or providing for public financing of campaigns, have been less successful.

Others proposed that laws on corporate governance be amended to assure that shareholders vote on political expenditures. In February , Senator Charles E. It would have required additional disclosure by corporations of their campaign expenditures. The law, if passed, would also have prohibited political spending by U. These gaps within the proposal attracted criticism from lawmakers on both political parties. The bigger you are, the stronger you are, the less disclosure you have," said Republican Congressman Dan Lungren of California.

Senate in the th Congress, in both instances reaching only 59 of the 60 votes required to overcome a unified Republican filibuster. Some have argued for a constitutional amendment to overturn the decision. Although the decision does not address "corporate personhood," a long-established judicial and constitutional concept, [] much attention has focused on that issue.

Move to Amend, a coalition formed in response to the ruling, [] seeks to amend the Constitution to abolish corporate personhood , thus stripping corporations of all rights under the Constitution. Most of these are non-binding resolutions, but three states — Vermont, California, and Illinois — called for an Article V Convention to draft and propose a federal constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. On a local level, Washington D. Since Citizens United , however, 13 states have actually raised their contribution limits.

The Citizens United ruling "opened the door" for unlimited election spending by corporations, but most of this spending has "ended up being funneled through the groups that have become known as super PACs. Instead, large expenditures, usually through "Super PACS," have come from "a small group of billionaires", based largely on ideology. This has shifted power "away from the political parties and toward the In part, this explains the large number and variety of candidates fielded by the Republicans in Federal Election Commission has often been credited for the creation of " super PACs ", political action committees which make no financial contributions to candidates or parties, and so can accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations and unions.

Certainly, the holding in Citizens United helped affirm the legal basis for super PACs by deciding that, for purposes of establishing a "compelling government interest" of corruption sufficient to justify government limitations on political speech, "independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption".

It took another decision, by the U. While Citizens United held that corporations and unions could make independent expenditures, a separate provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act, at least as long interpreted by the Federal Election Commission, held that individuals could not contribute to a common fund without it becoming a PAC. In Speechnow. Circuit, sitting en banc , held 9—0 that in light of Citizens United , such restrictions on the sources and size of contributions could not apply to an organization that made only independent expenditures in support of or opposition to a candidate but not contributions to a candidate's campaign.

Citizens United and SpeechNOW left their imprint on the United States presidential election , in which single individuals contributed large sums to "super PACs" supporting particular candidates. Sheldon Adelson , the gambling entrepreneur, gave approximately fifteen million dollars to support Newt Gingrich. In addition to indirectly providing support for the creation of super PACs, Citizens United allowed incorporated c 4 public advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association, the Sierra Club, and the group Citizens United itself and trade associations to make expenditures in political races.

Such groups may not, under the tax code, have a primary purpose of engaging in electoral advocacy. These organizations must disclose their expenditures, but unlike super PACs they do not have to include the names of their donors in their FEC filings. A number of partisan organizations such as Karl Rove's influential conservative Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies and the liberal 21st Century Colorado have since registered as tax-exempt c 4 groups defined as groups promoting "social welfare" and engaged in substantial political spending.

Historically, such non-profits have not been required to disclose their donors or names of members. In an August essay in Der Spiegel , Markus Feldkirchen wrote that the Citizens United decision was "now becoming visible for the first time" in federal elections as the super-rich have "radically" increased donations to support their candidates and positions via super PACs.

Both groups contributed almost half of the "early money" for candidates in the presidential election as of June 30, through channels like super PACs legalized by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. At least in the Republican Party, the Citizens United ruling has weakened the fund raising power of the Republican "establishment" in the form of the "three major" Republican campaign committees Republican National Committee , National Republican Congressional Committee , National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Thus the new funding "freed candidates to defy" the party establishment, although not it seems, to move policy making away from traditional Republican priorities. Studies have shown that the Citizens United ruling gave Republicans an advantage in subsequent elections. That is a large effect — large enough that, were it applied to the past twelve Congresses, partisan control of the House would have switched eight times. In line with a previous study, we also find that the vote share of Republican candidates increased three to four points, on average.

We link these estimates to on-the-ground evidence of significant spending by corporations through channels enabled by Citizens United. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the political organization, see Citizens United organization. For other uses, see Citizens United disambiguation. United States Supreme Court case. LEXIS This case overturned a previous ruling or rulings.

This section may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. Please consider splitting content into sub-articles, condensing it, or adding subheadings. March Further information: Campaign finance evolution in Main article: SpeechNOW v. Main article: McComish v. Main article: Western Tradition Partnership, Inc. Main article: McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission Docket No. Cornell University School of Law. Archived from the original on January 24, Retrieved January 24, The New York Times.

Archived from the original on January 4, National Journal. Retrieved January 21, The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, District Court for the District of Columbia. January 15, Retrieved February 1, Supreme Court. August 18, Fox News. Archived from the original on March 25, March 22, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Associated Press. Retrieved May 10, The New Yorker. Retrieved May 20, Retrieved October 16, The Nation.

Retrieved August 28, FEC in plain English". Retrieved October 4, Citizens United, Appellant v. Federal Election Commission". Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. Retrieved March 12, United States , U. Beaumont , U. Detroit Board of Education , U. Retrieved October 10, Roll Call. Retrieved October 11, January 21, Retrieved January 26, Citizens United Blog.

Archived from the original on January 27, Retrieved January 22, High Court". January 24, The Washington Times. Cato Institute. New York Sun. March 27, Retrieved December 15, City Journal. National Review. Archived from the original on January 30, The New York Times blog.


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Hearst Newspapers. January 26, Archived from the original on February 9, The Hill. Chicago Tribune Opinion. CNN Political Ticker. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. January 20, The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 23, Others suggested that he simply was paraphrasing a sentence in Justice Stevens' dissent: "[t]he Court today rejects a century of history when it treats the distinction between corporate and individual campaign spending as an invidious novelty born of Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce , U. Archived from the original on February 13, Retrieved February 22, January 28, Archived from the original on April 8, Archived from the original on January 31, Daily News.

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Citizens Divided: Corporate Money, Speech, and Politics

Archived from the original on January 25, The Iowa Independent. Kerry backs changing Constitution to deal with Supreme Court decision". Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Retrieved February 6, Bernie Sanders, I—Vt. The Burlington Free Press. Archived from the original on July 12, Supreme Court ruling to remove limits on corporate and union spending in political campaigns" Press release.

United States Senate. Archived from the original on January 26, Bernie Sanders. Retrieved September 29, Supreme Court ruling on election spending" Press release. January 22, Retrieved November 8, An analysis of the ruling and a possible legislative response". Harvard Law Review. Archived from the original on March 7, John Marshall Law Review. Change Archived May 13, , at the Wayback Machine 5 Retrieved January 27, Newsweek, Inc.

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Constitution Check: Will the Citizens United decision be overturned?

Retrieved June 26, Bullock " PDF. The Atlantic. June 25, The Daily Beast. James Madison Center for Free Speech. August 16, February 11, Retrieved February 14, Congressional Democrats outlined legislation Thursday aimed at undoing a recent Supreme Court decision that allows corporations and interest groups to spend freely on political advertising. September 24, Los Angeles Times. July 6, Boulder Weekly July 14, Retrieved November 1, Huffington Post. Rock River Times. Retrieved August 1, Retrieved January 28, Hasen October 25, September 22, Der Spiegel.

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