Today, Citizens United v. FEC turns one year old. That’s cause for celebration.
As readers of this blog know, in Citizens United the Supreme Court vindicated free-speech rights by holding that the First Amendment prevents the government from banning corporations from spending their money to express their views about candidates for office. The Court’s decision was an emphatic reminder that, under the First Amendment, the government may not censor political speech, no matter who is doing the speaking: “When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought. This is unlawful.”
There will be time enough to document, rebut—and yes, laugh at—the continuing hysterical attacks on Citizens United by campaign finance “reformers.” But for now, I hope you’ll join Congress Shall Make No Law in celebrating Citizen United’s first birthday by changing your Facebook status to “Happy Birthday, Citizens United v. FEC.” And when you’re at happy hour this evening, please raise a glass to that decision’s robust defense of free speech.
Image source: Zellaby