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Defusing Citizens United hysteria

Todd Henderson takes on critics of the free-speech decision:

...does the fact that the conduct permitted by Citizens United was legal in 26 states prior to Citizens United, suggest that politicians are hopelessly corrupt in over half our states? What about the fact that prior to the case, companies, unions, and advocacy groups and other agglomerations of individual interests that chose the corporate form could do exactly what Citizens United allows them to do if the speech was funneled through "separate segregated funds," commonly known as Political Action Committees?...

Let me reframe the Court's holding: the government may not ban political documentaries in the 60 days before an election. This is the end of democracy? ... The Solicitor General admitted during oral argument that the logical extreme of the law would allow the government to ban book publishers, who happen to have chosen to organize their economic affairs as corporations, from publishing political books before elections. Yes, you read that right.

[U. Chicago Law School Faculty Blog via John Samples, Cato at Liberty]



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.