Subscribe Subscribe   Find us on Twitter Follow POL on Twitter  



Senate hearing features more overheated rhetoric on Citizens United

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) chaired a Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing Tuesday, "Corporate America vs. The Voter: Examining the Supreme Court's Decision to Allow Unlimited Corporate Spending in Elections." His over-the-top opening statement on the Citizens United ruling would have been funny were the Senator not so intent on regulating the First Amendment:

If this ruling is left unchallenged, if Congress fails to act, our country will be faced with big, moneyed interests spending, or threatening to spend, millions on ads against those who dare to stand up to them. The threat alone is enough to chill debate and distort the political process in ways that hurt the voice and influence of the average citizen.

Stopping those big bonuses by bailed out firms? Forget about it. Pushing back against polluters to protect the health of our children? No more. Regulating dangerous chemicals in drugs and children's toys? Much less of a chance.

This opinion can allow foreign interests to influence our elections, special interest spending to go unchecked and undisclosed, and corporate America to rule the day.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT), the only Republican Senator attend the hearing, gave an opening statement that eschewed hyperbole for expression of principle: "This decision means one thing and one thing only - that there will be more free speech in our political campaigns. That is a good thing. It should not be feared. It should be cheered and celebrated."

The hearing webpage has video of the hearing and links to the prepared testimony. We've also posted the links in the extended entry section below.

Also, a House Judiciary subcommittee held a hearing on Citizens United this morning, and the prepared statements are posted here.

The Honorable Russell D. Feingold (Testimony)
United States Senate

The Honorable John F. Kerry (Testimony)
United States Senate

Witness Panel:

Mr. Steve Bullock (Statement)
Attorney General
Department of Justice
State of Montana
Helena, MT

 Ms. Allison Hayward (Statement)
George Mason University - School of Law
Arlington, VA

 Mr. Edward B. Foley (Statement)
The Robert M. Duncan/Jones Day Designated Professor in Law
Moritz College of Law
The Ohio State University
Columbus, OH

Mr. Steve Hoersting (Statement)
Center for Competitive Politics
Alexandria, VA 

Mr. Fred Wertheimer (Statement)
Democracy 21
Washington, DC

Ms. Heather Gerken (Statement)
J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law
Yale Law School
New Haven, CT

Related Entries:



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.