A 2010 ruling by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Citizens United V. Federal Election Committee shocked many people involved with the current political system in America. Many feel that the true impact of this decision has not yet been fully realized. Many individuals and groups, including the political action committee “End Citizens United, have banded together in opposition to the ruling.
Many of these groups, End Citizens United Included, feel that the Citizens United court case will be one, that like the Dred Scott decision in 1857, or the Brown V. Board of Education ruling in 1954, will impact life in American society for decades to come. Unfortunately, these groups feel the impact will be for the worse.
The case centers on the conservative group, Citizens United, desire to show a film that was an hour and a half long attacking then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2008.
The Federal Election Committee determined that the film amounted to an extremely long campaign advertisement. Citizens United were staunch in their refusal to provide any information regarding the cost of making the film or the individuals or groups that contributed to this cost. This was despite the fact that federal law at the time required them to provide this information regarding political advertisement.
Citizens United filed a suit in federal court to have the ruling by the FEC overturned but the attempt was unsuccessful. Two years later, long after the Democratic Primary and the presidential election was concluded, the United States Supreme Court overturned the earlier ruling by the federal court and brought to an end nearly 100 years worth of case law involving the financing of political campaigns.
The 5-4 Supreme Court ruling majority established the opinion that freedom of speech protections allowed to citizens of the United States under the Constitution was to be extended to corporations in the country. End Citizens United points out that this decision was made despite the fact that the modern American corporation did not exist when the U.S. Constitution was penned and shocked many close to the case.
Those standing against the decision feel the Supreme Court dissolved any jurisdiction the court systems in the country had at preventing corporations to decide the outcome of political elections by using money and influence.
This is especially problematic in the opinion of End Citizens United and many other detractors of the decision who point out that many corporations doing business in the United States are multi-national entities and can use this gateway to advance causes of foreign interests.
Learn More: endcitizensunited.org/news/