Citizens United V. Federal Election Commission Case Analysis

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The primary argument and deciding factor in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2008) was that Citizens United’s First Amendment rights were violated. The Supreme Court is held accountable towards upholding the constitution and upon scrutiny of all relevant rulings, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2008). The procedure of the Supreme Court’s ruling was a series of addressing previous held court precedents, including the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2008). Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United in …show more content…
Federal Election Commission, 2008). The Court also overruled McConnell v. Federal Election Commission that maintained the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act section 203, thus releasing restrictions on independent corporate expenditures (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2008). The Court specifically ruled that government may not suppress political speech on the basis of speaker’s corporate identity (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2008). Rather than regulating corporate speech, the Court interpreted the disclosure ruling as unconstitutional to protect Citizen United’s freedom of speech (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2008). Finally, the Supreme Court maintained the ruling of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 claiming that the disclosure requirements denoted in section 203 were violated by the advertisements for the Citizens United documentary (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, …show more content…
The company understood the legal practices and procedures leading to a ruling of a First Amendment violation (Epstein, 2011). By releasing their film through a private industry, Citizens United established their freedom to withhold donor information from government bodies so long as they were following established laws (Epstein, 2011). The only exceptions to the First Amendment are criminal provisions, none of which were performed by Citizens United (Epstein, 2011). Epstein makes the argument that for governing bodies, it becomes more difficult to justify additional unprecedented restrictions in the presence of a multitude of additional restrictions (Epstein, 2011). With so many restrictive laws in place against corporations, it would be unconstitutional to infringe upon the company’s right to express their support of an independent body such as a super PAC (Epstein, 2011). Justice Stevens claims corporations are not a voting entity, and thus are not eligible to be protected by the First Amendment (Epstein, 2011). The argument against this would be the expression of a corporation is equal to a group of like-minded individuals. While groups do not have the power to vote, they have the power to express themselves freely (Epstein, 2011). Another argument could be made that use of money is not a form of expression and thus should not be protected by the First

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