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An Analysis of the Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission Ruling in the Context of Equal Right
Journalism & Communication
Pages 4 (1004 words)
Name September 27, 2010 Who Deserves Free Speech? An Analysis of the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission Ruling in the context of equal rights The unspoken question that underlies debates about the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Citizens United v.
By way of brief background, the case takes root in 2008 when a non-profit corporation, Citizens United, released a documentary entitled “Hillary” that was made to target the former Senator who was at the time vying for the nomination of the Democrats. The Supreme Court ruled that electioneering communications fell under the protective ambit of the First Amendment. It therefore overruled the case of Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which banned the use of treasury money by corporations to campaign for or against particular candidates, and the case of McConnell v. Federal Election Commission, which upheld the restrictions on electioneering communications imposed on corporate expenditures. Many had called it an affirmation of the First Amendment as guaranteed by the Constitution, but many more felt that the Court was privileging corporate interests and was hijacking the integrity of the elections. There has also been an unfortunate tendency to label those who support Citizens United as conservatives and those who oppose it as more progressive. In this paper, I argue that the decision was in fact an affirmation of free speech and was in fact a celebration of civil liberties. I also argue that the opposite outcome would in the long run have more deleterious effects on the First Amendment. ...
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