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Citizens United v. FEC

Jan 25, 2010 Citizens United v. FEC

The Internet is abuzz about Citizens United v. FEC. For the First Amendment defense side of my law practice — and as a concerned person — Citizens United is a critical opinion for me to read and digest, all 183 pages of the case, which covers Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion, two concurring opinions (by Justices Scalia and Thomas), and Justice Stevens’s opinion (joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor) that partially concurs and objects.

As an advocate for erring on the side of providing too much free expression protection than too little, I expect I will be on the side of the Supreme Court’s majority that is in opposition to Justice Stevens’s opinion. Even if the opinion will favor Republican candidates and more "mainstream"-sounding candidates, the First Amendment means little if it is not given full protection. As to those who wish to give less First Amendment protetion to corporations than to individuals, I see no such limitations in the language of the First Amendment. Moreover, when corporate First Amendment rights are watered down, damage to individuals’ First Amendment rights will be simultaneous and consecutive to such damage to corporations’ free expression rights.

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