Op-ed featured in the Washington Post on the one-year anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC, by David N. Bossie, president of CU, and Theodore B. Olson, lead counsel for CU in its lawsuit against the FEC:
One year ago today, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It upheld the First Amendment rights of individuals acting through corporations and labor unions to participate in our political process, and it struck down an oppressive thicket of statutes restricting – and even criminalizing – their political speech.
The case arose in 2007, when Citizens United, a grass-roots membership organization, sought to broadcast a film critical of Hillary Clinton, then a candidate for president. The Federal Election Commission deemed the film too critical to be shown in the weeks before an election; if Citizens United had broadcast it, its officers would have been subject to prosecution and potential imprisonment for up to five years. The Supreme Court struck down this prohibition of corporate and labor union election-time speech about candidates as a violation of the First Amendment. To the court’s majority, it was “stranger than fiction for our Government to make . . . political speech a crime.”
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Stranger still were the unwarranted attacks against the Supreme Court that followed. Most visibly, the president used his State of the Union address to…
Read more of the op-ed in the Washington Post…