January 25, 2010

Supreme Court Decision Removes Campaign Spending Limits for Unions and Corporations

In a landmark decision on January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission removed limits on union and corporate spending in federal election campaigns. Citizens United, a nonprofit corporation, challenged the constitutionality of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules that limited corporate speech in elections. In a 5-4 majority opinion, the Court agreed that provisions of the FEC rules which limit election spending by unions and corporations run afoul of the First Amendment. Accordingly, the Court's decision now permits corporations and unions to channel their financial resources to political candidates who support their respective positions. President Obama, who strongly opposed the Court's decision, has instructed his administration to work with congressional leaders to develop a "forceful response" to the Court's action.

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