Official Name of Case Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission
Year Case Was Heard and Decided by Supreme Court The dates this case was heard are Tuesday, March 24, 2009 and Wednesday, September 9, 2009. The case was decided on Thursday, January 21, 2010.
Public Policy That Led Up to the Case Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act Section 203: prevents corporations or labor unions from funding political advertisements from their general treasuries Sections 201 and 311: require the disclosure of donors to political advertisements and a disclaimer when the ad is not authorized by the candidate it intends to support Hillary: The Movie
Case Originally Denied Section 203 flat out was not unconstitutional. Hillary: The Movie was the functional equivalent of express advocacy, as it attempted to inform voters that Senator Clinton was unfit for office, and thus Section 203 was not unconstitutionally applied. Sections 201 and 203 were not unconstitutional as applied to Hillary: The Movie or its advertisements. The McConnell decision recognized that disclosure of donors “might be unconstitutional if it imposed an unconstitutional burden on the freedom to associate in support of a particular cause”, but those circumstances did not exist in Citizens United’s claim.
Arguments of the Plaintiff Section 203 violates the First Amendment flat out and when applied to Hillary: The Movie Sections 201 and 203 are also unconstitutional as applied to the circumstances
Arguments of the Defendant The FEC argued that they had a right to ban the movie because of the BCRA, and that it is not unconstitutionally applied to The Movie.
Third Parties That Filed Amicus Curiae Briefs in Favor of the Plaintiff American Civil Rights Union Foundation for Free Expression CATO Institute Committee for Truth in Politics Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Institute for Justice NRA Wyoming Liberty Group, et al. Alliance Defense Fund Chamber of Commerce of the USA Center for Competitive Politics ACLU AFL-CIO American Justice Partnership California Broadcasters Association California First Amendment Coalition Campaign Finance Scholars Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence Fidelis Center Former FEC Commissioners Free Speech Defense & Education Fund Judicial Watch Michigan Chamber of Commerce Pacific Legal Foundation Reporters Committee Senator Mitch McConnell
Third Parties That Filed Amicus Curiae Briefs in Favor of the Defendant Center for Political Accountability Senator John McCain American Independent Business Alliance Campaign Legal Center Center for Independent Media Committee for Economic Development DNC Justice at Stake League of Women Voters Norman Ornstein Rep. Chris Van Hollen The Sunlight Foundation
Supreme Court Ruling 5 for, 4 against (Citizens United) Political speech is necessary in a democracy. Under the First Amendment, corporate funding of independent political broadcasts in candidate elections cannot be limited. The BCRA’s disclosure is justified by a “governmental interest” in providing the “electoral with information” about election- related spending resources.
Dissenting Opinion Corporations are not members of society. During election time, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is important. Corporate interests may be different and/or conflicting with the interests of the voters. Citizens United could have broadcasted Hillary: The Movie at any time other than 30 days before the last primary election; their speech has not been “banned”.
Long Term Effects Companies may spend unlimited funds from their own treasuries to support or oppose a candidate as long as they do not coordinate their efforts with the candidates. Third-party groups are also allowed to use unlimited general funds for the same purpose.
Sources http://yubanet.com/usa/Justice-Stevens-Dissenting-Opinion-in-Citizens-United-v-Federal- Election-Commission.phphttp://yubanet.com/usa/Justice-Stevens-Dissenting-Opinion-in-Citizens-United-v-Federal- Election-Commission.php http://www.fec.gov/law/litigation/citizens_united_fec_motion_sj.pdf CITIZENS UNITED v. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago- Kent College of Law. 23 October 2013.. http://cuvfec.com/ http://www.cga.ct.gov/2010/rpt/2010-R-0124.htm