Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Taking On Citizens United

By ELLEN L. WEINTRAUB, NYT, MARCH 30, 2016

SOMETHING is very wrong with the way we fund our elections. This has become especially clear since Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that struck down campaign spending limits on corporations, ruling they were intrusions on free speech.

The majority opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was clear: The First Amendment rights of corporations may not be abridged simply because they are corporations. But while corporations may be deemed to have some of the legal rights of people, the court has never held that corporations have any of the political rights of citizens.

This key distinction, read in harmony with existing law, provides ways to blunt the impact of the decision that gave corporations the right to spend unlimited sums of money on federal elections.

The effect of that decision has been pronounced: The Washington Post reported this month that through the end of January, 680 corporations had given nearly $68 million to “super PACs” in this election cycle — 12 percent of the $549 million raised by such groups. This figure does not include the untold amounts of “dark money” contributions to other groups that are not disclosed by the donor or the recipient.

(More here.)

1 Comments:

Blogger Tom Koch said...

And to think, it was an attempt by leftists to shut down free speech (a video about queen Hillary) that brought about Citizens United. I'm not sure if the ruling is irony or justice.

7:26 AM  

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