AP Government & Politics December 8, 2013
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:
First amendment rights or the government's cold shoulder to corporations?
With the bitter wounds of British tyranny still stinging, the Founding Fathers thought up the first amendment. Democracy flourishes only when freedoms to express views, both political and those of other concerns, are guaranteed. What happens, however, when your own government seizes and destroys these rights, in its attempt to censor the public's pursuit of political knowledge. The Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) court case brings forth this question and many more, as Citizens United, a nonprofit organization, was challenged in their attempt to broadcast "Hillary: the movie," by the FEC. The verdict, which was ruled in favor of Citizens United, deemed the film an act of the organization'a first amendment right to free speech. Correct in their ruling, the Supreme Court upheld the abolition of restrictions on independent expenditures and rightfully preserved the first amendment rights of Citizens United.
Frequently challenged, is the government's treatment of corporations and organizations as individuals. Imagine suing a corporation, however, if this was not the case. One would have to file against each and every shareholder individually. Comprised of assembled individuals exercising their first amendment right to assemble, corporations mustn't be denied the rights synonymous with true American liberty. Disregarding the idea that corporations are people allows the government to seize full control at any time, and eliminates their entitlement to due process. Corporations consist of employees who descend from different socioeconomic backgrounds, different nations, and individuals who may even work in different office locations. Yet, what they do have in common is that they are still people and their speech must not...
Cited: Web Articles:
Glasser, Ira. "Understanding the Citizens United Ruling." Fuel for Thought. February 3, 2010. Huffington Post. December 5, 2013.
Liptak, Adam. "Justices 5-4, Reject Corporate Spending Limit." Huff Post Live. January 21, 2010. The New York Times. December 5, 2013.
Murphy, Laura W. ""Fixing" Citizens United Will Break the Constitution." Huff Post Live. June 28, 2012. Huffington Post. December 5, 2013.
"BIPARTISAN CAMPAIGN REFORM ACT OF 2002: AN OVERVIEW." Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. December, 2003. Web. December 7, 2013.
Amicus Curiae Briefs:
Brief for American Civil Liberties Union as Amicus Curiae. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 08-205 (2010).
Smith, Bradley (Professor). "What You Probably Haven 't Heard About Citizens United." Online Video. November 5, 2012. Web. December 7, 2013.
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