The Citizens United V. FEC Case

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Topic The purpose of this paper is provide the reader with information on the Citizens United v. FEC case in order to further educate said person on how this decision has impacted human resource departments throughout the business world. The outcome of the case has been touted as an instant landmark for businesses in the U.S. as it delved into important topics ranging from a person’s First Amendment right to free speech to whether corporate interests are crowding out legitimate individual influences. This is a relevant topic in today’s society as ethical v. economic decisions are now being viewed as corresponding responsibilities for corporations to maintain. The parties and laws involved The following is an analysis of the Citizens United…show more content…
FEC, Citizens United argued two primary points as follows; Section 203 of the BCRA is in violation of the First Amendment in regards to their film Hilary: The Movie and the associated advertisements and Sections 201 and 203 of the BCRA are also unconstitutional as applicable to their situation. The film was produced with the intent of raising public awareness of issues that Citizens United perceived as what the “Clinton’s want America to forget.” This entailed highlighting “the Clinton scandals of past and present” (Quijano, 2009). Following the Courts ruling, corporations were essentially given cart blanc freedom to spend money directly on candidate advocacy or “electioneering communications.” As per the FEC’s argument, the issue with this is that there is a high probability of corruption as “large independent expenditures generate more influence than direct campaign contributions.” This is especially evident in parties, which don’t accept corporate contributions, for instance the green party. The disproportionate sums of money from corporate donations greatly overwhelm what the average individual can provide. This, in turn, shifts focus and marginalizes the speech of other groups, which distorts public debates. Barack Obama summed this up by saying that the decision, “gives the special interests and their lobbyists even more power in Washington—while undermining the influence of average Americans who make small contributions to…show more content…
FEC in which, it was argued that “limits on contributions to groups making independent expenditures are unconstitutional.” However as stated by Justices O’Connor and Stevens, “Money, like water, will always find an outlet.” This can be seen in the aftermath of the ruling when super PACs (political action committees) became more prevalent. PACs were initially created by labor unions with the intended purpose of minimizing the impact of the Smith-Conally Act on unions’ political agendas. However, the role of PAC’s has morphed over time. Modern super PACs act as shadow political parties that can accept unlimited donations to use for advertising, primarily focusing on the negative. According to the New York Times, The Washington Post reported that 680 corporations had given nearly $68 million to “super PACs” in the 2016 election cycle. “This was 12 percent of the $549 million raised by such groups. This figure does not include the untold amounts of “dark money” contributions to other groups that are not disclosed by the donor or the recipient” (Weintraub, 2016). Given these conflicts, a new solution needs to be found to limit the power of foreign interests and big money within the country’s political electoral system. However, at this time there is no “perfect” solution. A quote comes to mind for the context of this case, “These regulatory structures are like great hydraulics
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