Why Citizens United Helps the Grassroots (and Scares Incumbents)

The catcalls from the political and media establishments about the Citizens United decision are actually music to our ears.The Supreme Court ruled that corporations, including nonprofits, and unions could spend money expressly advocating the election or defeat of candidates. As a result, the grassroots are about to become very familiar with the term "independent expenditure."In overruling the 1990 Supreme Court decision in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce banning independent expenditures by nonprofits financed in whole or in part with corporate money, Justice Anthony Kennedy writes how that decision "permit[ted] the Government to ban the political speech of millions of associations of citizens." He continues:The purpose and effect of this [ban] is to prevent corporations, including small and nonprofit corporations, from presenting both facts and opinions to the public," and "the result is that smaller or nonprofit corporations cannot raise a voice...(Read Full Article)

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