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Complete Text of Justice Stevens' Dissent on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

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sfpcjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 09:10 PM
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Complete Text of Justice Stevens' Dissent on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Edited on Fri Apr-09-10 09:11 PM by sfpcjock
This is a link to an existing archive topic by user "adamuu". Thanks to them for posting it at DU.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x7536905">Complete Text of Justice Stevens' Dissent on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.html

Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Ginsburg , Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor join, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

The real issue in this case concerns how, not if, the appellant may finance its electioneering. Citizens United is a wealthy nonprofit corporation that runs a political action committee (PAC) with millions of dollars in assets. Under the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), it could have used those assets to televise and promote Hillary: The Movie wherever and whenever it wanted to. It also could have spent unrestricted sums to broadcast Hillary at any time other than the 30 days before the last primary election. Neither Citizens Uniteds nor any other corporations speech has been banned, ante , at 1. All that the parties dispute is whether Citizens United had a right to use the funds in its general treasury to pay for broadcasts during the 30-day period. The notion that the First Amendment dictates an affirmative answer to that question is, in my judgment, profoundly misguided. Even more misguided is the notion that the Court must rewrite the law relating to campaign expenditures by for-profit corporations and unions to decide this case.

The basic premise underlying the Courts ruling is its iteration, and constant reiteration, of the proposition that the First Amendment bars regulatory distinctions based on a speakers identity, including its identity as a corporation. While that glittering generality has rhetorical appeal, it is not a correct statement of the law. Nor does it tell us when a corporation may engage in electioneering that some of its shareholders oppose. It does not even resolve the specific question whether Citizens United may be required to finance some of its messages with the money in its PAC. The conceit that corporations must be treated identically to natural persons in the political sphere is not only inaccurate but also inadequate to justify the Courts disposition of this case.

(my emphasis)



--> continued at DU link above and Cornell link...


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Stargleamer Donating Member (636 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
1. Also worth looking at is his dissent in Bush vs. Gore
also, his preliminary dissent against bringing the case to the USSC in the first place.
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sfpcjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-09-10 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Nice, yes!
Thx
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