01/13/2011 09:41 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Fallacies of the Citizens United Decision


Justice Kennedy, majority decision in Citizens United, January 21, 2010:

With the advent of the Internet, prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens wit the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters. Shareholders can determine whether their corporation's political speech advances the corporation's interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are "'in the pocket' of so-called moneyed interests." 540 U. S., at 259 (opinion of SCALIA, J.); see MCFL, supra, at 261. The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages.

Citizens United v. FEC, (page 55)


Tom Donohue, CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, State of American Business address, January 11, 2011:

It is important to the Chamber not to change its practices [of not disclosing donors] because when it is known who made a contribution, it gives others the opportunity to demagogue them, attack them, or encourage them not to do it, Donohue said.

(BNA Money and Politics Report, January 13, 2011)