Thursday, January 21, 2010

Supreme Court Holds That Corporations Have First Amendment Right to Spend Money on Election Ads

This morning, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. By a vote of five to four, the Court held that corporations have a First Amendment right to use money from their general treasuries to support or oppose candidates for public office. In so holding, the Court overruled two of its own major precedents. The Citizens United decision is expected to open the floodgates of corporate spending on election campaigns.

The full text of the Court's opinion can be found here. It is immensely long (183 pages!), but the Court's syllabus provides a good overview.

Here is the New York Times story on the case. A great roundup of today's coverage of the decision can be found on SCOTUSblog.

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