Citizens United decision needs to be repealed
February 27, 2012 · Updated 8:40 AM
The U.S. Supreme Court now has a chance to fix the enormous mistake it made in the Citizens United decision two years ago. A Montana case challenging that decision has just been appealed back to the court (American Tradition Partnership v. Bullock).
The Citizens United case said that corporations, as “people,” have a “free speech” right to spend unlimited sums of money to influence our elections. Corporations, however, are not “people” recognized by the U.S. Constitution, and the “right to free speech” should never have been extended to them.
Since money clearly determines the outcome in the vast majority of our elections, corporations, with their almost limitless supply of money, can always outspend “real” people and thereby literally and unfairly “buy” elections.
Unless the damage wrought by Citizens United is undone, democracy, as we have known it, is finished. Polls show that 80 percent of Americans want the Citizens United decision overturned. Hence, if the Supreme Court really wants to do the right thing, it can reflect the will of the people and use this opportunity to correct the political mess it has created.
Marshall F. Goldberg