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TTYN: Money equals speech. What does it mean? Background To A Landmark Decision That Changes Everything  Citizens United – nonprofit organization  David.

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Presentation on theme: "TTYN: Money equals speech. What does it mean? Background To A Landmark Decision That Changes Everything  Citizens United – nonprofit organization  David."— Presentation transcript:

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2 TTYN: Money equals speech. What does it mean? Background To A Landmark Decision That Changes Everything  Citizens United – nonprofit organization  David Bossie – Longtime critic of Hillary Clinton  2007, Citizen United produced a DVD attacking Clinton “Hillary: The Movie”  Portrayed Clinton as vicious and untrustworthy  A federal court said the planned broadcast of the film violated the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law  The court suggested the movie was an electioneering communication aimed at voters within 30 days of a presidential primary.  Bossie appealed, citing the First Amendment.

3 Citizens United vs. FEC  Case goes before the Supreme Court  conservative justices voiced alarm that the government could restrict such a movie, or perhaps a book, simply because it was paid for with corporate money, and decided to broadly consider the issue of corporate-funded election ads.  Chief Justice John Roberts said he was convinced a broad, free-speech ruling was required.  The law "would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concern."

4 Citizens United vs. FEC  In Citizens United vs. FEC, the United States Supreme Court held that corporations (and - probably - unions) have a constitutional right to make independent expenditures advocating the election or defeat of political candidates.  The 5-to-4 decision was a vindication, the majority said, of the First Amendment’s most basic free speech principle — that the government has no business regulating political speech. The dissenters said that allowing corporate money to flood the political marketplace would corrupt democracy.

5 The Impact of Citizens United vs. FEC  The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, gave corporations, unions and individuals First Amendment rights to donate unlimited amounts of money to buy political ads for candidates without disclosure.  Significance - recognition that corporate free speech rights include not only the right to speak about issues but to engage in "express advocacy" for or against a particular candidate.  Corporations (and unions) can now expressly ask you to vote for a particular candidate

6  Corporations are not people, but they are associations of people whose common endeavor is affected by government policy and election results.  Like natural persons, some are wealthy and others are not.  Some are formed to seek profit by providing goods and services, while others are nonprofit.  Like natural persons, these associations have an interest in being heard on matters that affect them. The Argument in Favor of Citizens United vs. FEC

7 The Argument Against Citizens United vs. FEC  President Obama called it “a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans.”  Much criticism of the decision turns on two assertions. "Money," the critics say, "is not speech," and "corporations are not people."

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11 The Republican (Conservative) Position  Obama “A Fundraising Juggernaut”  The Republican answer - A Supreme Court decision poised to provide an answer: unlimited corporate spending supporting the Republican candidate, or attacking Obama TTYN: How might this decision influence the 2012 Presidential Election?

12 “Move To Amend” The Proposed Amendment Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Section 1 [Corporations are not people and can be regulated] The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only. Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law. The Democrats (Liberal) Respond

13 Move To Amend  The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable. Section 2  [Money is not speech and can be regulated] Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

14 Move To Amend  Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed. The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment. Section 3  Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

15 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 08, 2011 L.A. City Council votes unanimously—Corporations are not people & money is not speech  The Los Angeles City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday that corporations are not people and not entitled to the same constitutional protections.  If supported by the mayor, the city would be on record in support of federal legislation that would ensure corporations are not entitled to the same rights as people, especially when it comes to spending money to influence elections.  It also proposed language for aconstitutional amendment declaring that money is not a form of speech and affirming the right of the federal government to regulate corporations.  Non-binding, but The Democrats (Liberal) Respond

16 Your Response  Using the facts of the Citizen United Case, the First Amendment, and your own opinion. Summarize whether you agree or not with the Supreme Courts decision. Support your argument.  1-2 pages typed response (Double space, 12 Font)


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