In a major victory for Hoosier and American business, the United States Supreme Court handed down a much anticipated ruling today in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. This ruling removes the ban placed on corporate dollars spent on independent expenditures and will give the job creators and innovators of this country the freedom to talk about issues, candidates and elections.
“The Supreme Court’s ruling frees American business from the yoke of second class citizenship. It returns the right of American business to talk about workplace issues and hold candidates accountable,” said Gregory Casey, President and CEO of the Business and Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC), the nation’s oldest business political action committee. The Court’s action is “certain to increase the discussion on economic issues in the 2010 elections, which is a very good outcome.”
The Court’s 5-4 ruling also involved two much older cases, Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce and McConnell v. Federal Election Commission. In Citizens United v. FEC, a small non-profit organization, Citizens United wanted to release a documentary that was critical of Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential election on cable TV that would have been available through video-on-demand. Several lower court decisions ruled against the organization from airing the documentary.
Contributions made by corporations will be disclosed and essentially treated the same as an individual contribution currently is by the FEC. Transparency and freedom of speech are both important and both won in this ruling.
By the way, the loud moan you are hearing is coming from labor union leaders who fear business leaders talking directly with voters about an agenda centered on job creation, economic development and education reform.
Please feel free to add to the conversation and post your comments or questions.