All Citizens United in today’s political law links

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CU. Tomorrow will be two years. Instead of my usual collection of links, here are some views and stories marking the anniversary. Have a great weekend.

Remember then? “Overruling two important precedents about the First Amendment rights of corporations, a bitterly divided Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.”

Brad Smith opines here. “The end of democracy as we know it? Well, if that means the end of our 40 year experiment with government playing speech referee, the end of record fundraising advantages and re-election rates for incumbents that coincided with the rise of the ‘reform community’ and its regulatory regime; the end of the FEC harassing citizens for their political activity; and the end of a regulation as a weapon to silence one’s political opponents, we could all support that. Unfortunately, I don’t think that is what they mean.”

Samples on a new poll. “While majorities support the First Amendment as an abstract symbol, polling has shown for decades that majorities oppose concrete applications of many provisions of the Bill of Rights. It is good, therefore, that a constitutional republic is not just rule of a majority.”

Mandate transparency? Lisa Gilbert writes here. “If you’re not a campaign finance wonk, then you may not have noted that a significant anniversary will arrive on this weekend on January 21st. Citizens United vs. FEC.” “U.S. Reps. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. and John Sarbanes joined state lawmakers in Annapolis on Thursday to push for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission ruling.”

The Post. “Read fairly, Citizens United merely says that banning certain kinds of corporate expenditures infringes the constitutional interests of human beings. The court may have gotten the answer wrong, but it asked the right question.”

HuffPost. “Citizens United, the misbegotten Supreme Court case granting corporations the right to spend unlimited money to influence elections, has entered its terrible twos.”

A fix? “The way out would be to build a public and legal case for a broader and more accurate concept of corruption, starting from Lessig’s framework, while continuing to expand workable and constitutionally secure reforms such as public financing. Anything else, such as a campaign for a not-yet-written amendment to the Constitution, is just distracting mischief.”

Rapid City protest. “Occupy Rapid City says it will stage a protest at the federal courthouse on Friday afternoon marking the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.”

Permit denied. “Protesters hoping to hold a rally on Friday against a Supreme Court decision that removed a ban on corporate political spending got no help from a federal judge on Thursday.”

Echoes of CU. “The 9th Circuit on Thursday upheld an injunction against Washington’s $800 limit on contributions to recall campaigns.”

Occupying the courts. “Demonstrators are planning to ‘occupy’ courthouses in cities across the country on Friday, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in a show of protest against the two-year anniversary of the controversial Citizens United ruling.”

After CU? “Citizens United’s easing of restrictions on corporate and individual spending, especially by organizations not under the control of candidates, has led to the proliferation of ‘Super PACs.’”

CU against Romney. “Citzens United head David Bossie laced into Mitt Romney for his campaign’s offensive against Newt Gingrich. Bossie, a friend of Gingrich, said it looks like Romney is sinking.”

NM protest. “A march in the Duke City on Friday is part of a national Day of Action that stretches from Bangor, Maine to San Diego, Calif. It marks the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ‘Citizens United’ decision and what it has come to represent.” They even put the name of the case in scare quotes.

What hath CU wrought? “Curiouser and curiouser go the candidates through the super PAC looking glass.”

Revisiting CU. A podcast is here.

Undo CU? “A new midstate group seeking to overturn a controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision is starting to make the rounds of area public meetings.”

We the Corporations.” “Saturday marks the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s horrendous decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission that has allowed corporations to pour unlimited money into elections.”

Corporate personhood editorial. “Central KY Move to Amend declares, ‘Corporations are NOT people, my friend.’”


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