• Landmark Development: The US Supreme Court Strikes Down Limits on Corporate and Union Independent Expenditures
  • February 1, 2010 | Authors: Sonia (Turcotte) Fois; James P. Joseph; Nicholas L. Townsend
  • Law Firm: Arnold & Porter LLP - Washington Office
  • In a far-reaching decision, on January 21, 2010, the US Supreme Court overturned decades-old precedent in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and ruled that the First Amendment protects corporate speech as vigorously as it protects individual speech. The practical result is that corporations and labor unions may now make unlimited “independent expenditures” and “electioneering communications” regarding federal candidates. This means that corporations may either expressly advocate an election or defeat of clearly identified candidates, or simply mention candidates in the course of discussing political issues or policy, even within the last days before an election. This constitutional protection applies to both for-profit and nonprofit corporations, such as incorporated 501(c) organizations, although tax law restrictions remain on nonprofit groups. www.arnoldporter.com