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Running head: FREEDOM OF MONEY 1

Freedom of Money
Daniel Morgan
Professor Diane Barrs
Senior Seminar in Legal Studies
Due: Marh 1!
" #$11
Table of Contents
%a&le of 'ontents(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((#
Freedom of Money((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((*
Origins of 'or,orate Personhood((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((-
'or,orate Ethial 'onerns(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((.
'iti/ens 0nited 1( Federal Eletion 'ommission((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((12
Ramifiations of 'iti/ens 0nited 1( F(E('( Deision(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((#*
%his ,a,er 3ill o1er the s,eifi results of the Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission Su,reme 'ourt deisions( Soures 3ill inlude the %illman )t of 1.$4" h(
*#$" !* Stat( 52*" as 3ell as ase la3 on ,oint inluding FEC v. National Right to Work
Comm." *-. 0(S( 1.4" #$. 61.5#7 6NR8'7" Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce"
*.* 0( S( 2-# 61..$7" FEC v. Wisconsin Right to ife ! "nc.! --1 0( S( **. 6#$$47
68R%L7 " McConnell v. FEC " -*$ 0( S( .! 6#$$!7 " FEC v. #eaumont " -!. 0( S( 1*2
6#$$!7 " FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for ife ! "nc." *4. 0( S( #!5 61.527 6M'FL7 "
NR8' " *-. 0( S( 1.4 " and California Medical Assn. v. FEC " *-! 0( S( 15# 61.517(
Large ,ortions of Su,reme 'ourt 9ustie 9ohn Paul Ste1en:s dissent 3ill &e referened
and re,eated( %he issue onerned is the assertion that or,orations are entitled to the
same free s,eeh rights as iti/ens and that those free s,eeh rights inlude the use of
unlimited amounts of money" s,eifially in the funding of ,olitial am,aigns(
Freedom of Money
%he Su,reme 'ourt of the 0nited States 6heneforth S'O%0S7 ruled on 9anuary
" #$1$ a landmar; deision in the ase of Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission. %he ase resulted from a dis,ute regarding the non<,rofit or,oration
'iti/ens 0nited desiring to air a film ritial of =illary 'linton" entitled >=illary: %he
Mo1ie? in a,,arent 1iolation of the M'ain<Feingold )t 6or the Bi,artisan am,aign
Reform )t of #$$#7( On a,,eal from the 0nited States Distrit 'ourt for the Distrit of
'olum&ia ruling to u,hold the ,ro1isions of the M'ain<Feingold at" S'O0%S re1ersed
the deision in a -<* ruling( %he ourt stru; do3n a ,ortion of the M'ain<Feingold )t
3hih ,rohi&ited or,orations from &roadasting >eletioneering ommuniations?
6Li,ta; #$1$7( %here are numerous onerns 3ith this ruling@ the ruling is not as<a,,lied
and instead in1ents a faial hallenge dro,,ed &y the ,etitioner" the ruling &latantly
ignores stare decisis" the ruling goes outside the so,e of the ase 3hen it ould ha1e
&een ruled on narro3er grounds" and the ruling is not &a;ed u, &y arguments &ut instead
the 9usties: disli;e of ,reedent set &y Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce(
Beyond the legal arguments against the Citizens United v. F.E.C. ruling" there are also
ethial issues that reah to the ore of 3hat defines a demoray( One annot ignore the
signifiant hange to ,o3er of or,orations in a a,italisti soiety 3hen they ha1e
unlimited influene in a ,olitial s,here( %here are ,rimary onerns that are reated
3hen treating or,orations as ,ersons in terms of free s,eeh" not the least of 3hih
inludes the fat that or,orations may &e o3ned and o,erated &y foreign interests( +t is
also lear that or,orations ha1e different agendas and lia&ility om,ared to atual
iti/ens< a or,oration doesn:t are if ,risoners are gi1en ha&eus or,us as a or,oration
an:t &e ,ut in Aail( Free speech and the spending of money are not equivalent in a
fair and ethical political format and corporations do not retain the same interests
and therefore the same rights as private citizens of the United States of America.
Origins of Corporate Personhood
%he origin of or,orations is of an interesting nature( 'or,orations 3ere
originally set u, 3ith narro3 legal mandates that hartered lear sti,ulations on 3hat the
or,oration ould and ould not do( %hey 3ere also set u, 3ith a mandate to ser1er the
,u&li good( %he &eginnings of hange in regards to or,orate identity 3ould start 3ith a
deision in 151. of $artmouth College v. Wood%ard 14 0(S( -15 6151.7( Before this
ase" or,orations 3ere gi1en their rights solely through mandate of the states and if a
state found a or,oration to &e ating in any manner other than that 3hih 3as &oth
intended and in the &est interest of the ,u&li" the state ould re1o;e the or,orate harter(
$artmouth College v. Wood%ard esta&lished that >this or,orate harter is a ontrat" the
o&ligation of 3hih annot &e im,aired 3ithout 1iolating the 'onstitution of the 0nited
States"? ,er 'hief 9ustie 9ohn Marshall:s ruling( %his 3as the fundamental ruling 3hih
esta&lished the &eginnings of 3hat is ;no3n as >or,orate ,ersonhood"? or the notion that
a or,oration is eBui1alent to a ,erson in terms of rights under the onstitution( %he neCt
maAor deision to affet or,orate ,ersonhood 3ould ome from a most unli;ely of
soures: a sla1e" named Dred Sott(
>%hey had for more than a entury &efore &een regarded as &eings of an inferior
order" and altogether unfit to assoiate 3ith the 3hite rae" either in soial or ,olitial
relations" and so far unfit" that they had no rights 3hih the 3hite man 3as &ound to
res,et(? %he 3ords of 'hief 9ustie Roger B( %aney from his $red &cott v. &andford
o,inion ehoed a sentiment 3hih 3as resol1ed to remo1e a&olition of sla1ery from the
,olitial area entirely@ instead" it ,layed a ;ey role in starting the 'i1il 8ar( 8hile there
3ere numerous issues in1ol1ed in the 'i1il 8ar" too many for the so,e of this ,a,er" it
annot &e dou&ted that i1il rights 3as a ornerstone for 3hih 2#$"$$$ soldiers as 3ell
as ountless i1ilians died 6=uddleston #$$#7( +t 3as as a diret result of the 'i1il 8ar"
that the Fourteenth )mendment 3as ,assed( Soon or,orate la3yers found a ne3 3ay to
eC,and the ,o3er of or,orations: &y ha1ing the Fourteenth )mendment" 3hih 3as
o&1iously meant to free sla1es and a,,ly li&erty to iti/ens" to also a,,ly to or,orations(
Bet3een 15.$ and 1.1$ a total of !$4 ases 3ere &rought onerning Fourteenth
)mendment rights( Of those ases" only 1. ases 3ere &rought &y )frian )merians@
#55 of them 3ere &rought &y or,orations( Someho3 the legislati1e intent of the 1*

)mendment seemed to &e om,letely ignored(
+n 1522" S'O0%S heard the ase of &anta Clara Count' v. &outhern (acific
Railroad" 115 0(S( !.* 615227( +n this the ase the ourt esta&lished" &efore oral
arguments" that it 3ould not &e addressing or,orate ,rotetion under the Fourteenth
)mendment( )ording to the offiial ourt Sylla&us in the 0nited States Re,orts"
Banroft Da1is" a ourt re,orter" summari/ed the deision in a headnote:
>%he ourt does not 3ish to hear arguments on the Buestion
3hether the ,ro1ision in the Fourteenth )mendment to the
'onstitution" 3hih for&ids a State to deny any ,erson 3ithin its
Aurisdition the eBual ,rotetion of the la3s" a,,lies to these
%he ourts atual ruling did not address 3hether or,orations ould &e onsidered
as ,ersons sine the deision 3as &ased on a narro3er ruling and made the finding
8ith the ruling of Northern Nat ife "ns. Co v. Riggs! #$! 0(S( #*! 61.$27
3hih ruled that 3hile or,orate ,ersonhood may eCist" it did not mean that the
Fourteenth )mendment ,rohi&ited the &ar of state la3s that limited or,orate
rights( %he ruling did not state that or,orations 3ere not ,roteted under the
Fourteenth )mendment" &ut sim,ly that the Fourteenth )mendment 3as not of a
nature to ,rohi&it state regulation( Soon after" the %illman )t of 1.$4 3ould lead
ongress &an or,orate donations(
+n 1.!5" Su,reme 'ourt 9ustie =ugo Bla; 3ould dissent from the ruling
of Connecticut )eneral ife "nsurance Com*an' v. +ohnson" !$! 0(S( 44 61.!57(
=is onlusion 3as that:
>+f the ,eo,le of this nation 3ish to de,ri1e the states of their
so1ereign rights to determine 3hat is a fair and Aust taC u,on
or,orations doing a ,urely loal &usiness 3ithin their o3n state
&oundaries" there is a 3ay ,ro1ided &y the 'onstitution to
aom,lish this ,ur,ose( %hat 3ay does not lie along the ourse
of Audiial amendment to that fundamental harter( )n
amendment ha1ing that ,ur,ose ould &e su&mitted &y 'ongress
as ,ro1ided &y the 'onstitution( + do not &elie1e that the
Fourteenth )mendment had that ,ur,ose" nor that the ,eo,le
&elie1ed it had that ,ur,ose" nor that it should &e onstrued as
ha1ing that ,ur,ose(?
9ustie Bla; soon found onurrene 3ith 9ustie Douglas 3ho 3rote a similar
dissent in Wheeling &teel Cor*oration v. )lander" !!4 0(S( -2# 61.*.7 Aust ele1en
years later( %heir 1oies 3ould &e ehoed &y ongress again se1eral deades later
in the Federal Eletion 'am,aign )t of 1.41 6FE')" Pu&( L( .#<##-" 2- Stat( !"
# 0(S('( D *!17 3hih &egan signifiant am,aign finane reform( #uckle' v.
,aleo" *#* 0(S( 1 61.427 u,held federal am,aign ontri&ution limits 3hile also
esta&lishing that s,ending money to influene eletions is ,roteted s,eeh
o1ered &y the First )mendment( %3o years later S'O%0S 3ent one ste, further
in First National #ank of #oston v. #ellotti 61.457 3here they esta&lished
or,orate rights to s,end money on &allot initiati1es and referendums(
%his all lead u, to a ,reedent setting deision in Austin v. Michigan
Chamber of Commerce 61..$7( Mihigan ,assed a 'am,aign Finane )t 3hih
lead to the ,rohi&ition of or,orate treasury funds from &eing used to su,,ort or
o,,ose andidates in Mihigan eletions( )ustin o&Aeted to the )t on First and
Fourteenth )mendment grounds( %he ourt held that the restritions on or,orate
finaning" and therefore or,orate >s,eeh?" 3ere Austified &ased on the fat that
>EFor,orate 3ealth an unfairly influene eletions(? Austin 3as a ,reedent
setting ase in that it reogni/ed states: interest in fighting orru,tion in ,olitis(
>%he orrosi1e and distorting effets of immense aggregations of 3ealth that are
aumulated 3ith the hel, of the or,orate form and that ha1e little or no
orrelation to the ,u&li:s su,,ort for the or,oration:s ,olitial ideas"? 3as a
form of ,olitial orru,tion ,er 9ustie Marshall:s o,inion(
%he Austin deision 3as later &a;ed &y the olleti1e national
endorsement in the form of the Bi,artisan 'am,aign Reform )t of #$$#" also
;no3n as the M'ain<Feingold )t( %he M'ain<Feingold )t instituted a &an
on or,orate finaning of issue ad1oay ads that made mention of any andidates
lose to an eletion( %he M'ain<Feingold at 3as soon u,held in the McConnell
v. Federal Election Commission 6#$$!7(
Corporate Ethical Concerns
+n their initial founding" 'or,orations had 1ery narro3 legal mandates( Founded
&y State Legislature harters" they had restritions on 3hat they 3ould do" for ho3 long
they ould do it" and the ,ersonal lia&ility of those running the or,orations(
'or,orations 3ere initiali/ed as a means to ,rodue ,u&li good ,roAets of signifiant
sale" li;e laying rail3ay lines aross the ountry( No3here in the 'onstitution 3ere
or,orations mentioned( +n fat" the 'onstitution of the 0nited States truly only
addresses t3o entities: >3e the ,eo,le?" and the go1ernment( %he 'onstitution gi1es
rights to >the ,eo,le"? and restrits the rights of the go1ernment(
9ustie Ste1ens ,oints out in his dissent se1eral ;ey ,oints" addressing the
&eginnings of or,orations and their res,onsi&ilities(
>%o the eCtent that the Framers: 1ie3s are diserni&le and
rele1ant to the dis,osition of this ase" they 3ould a,,ear to ut
strongly against the maAority:s ,osition(
>%his is not only &eause the Framers and their ontem,oraries
onei1ed of s,eeh more narro3ly than 3e no3 thin; of it" see
Bor;" Neutral Prini,les and Some First )mendment Pro&lems"
*4 +nd( L( 9( 1" ## 61.417" &ut also &eause they held 1ery
different 1ie3s a&out the nature of the First )mendment right and
the role of or,orations in soiety( %hose fe3 or,orations that
eCisted at the founding 3ere authori/ed &y grant of a s,eial
legislati1e harter( -! 'or,orate s,onsors 3ould ,etition the
legislature" and the legislature" if amena&le" 3ould issue a harter
that s,eified the or,oration:s ,o3ers and ,ur,oses and
>authoritati1ely fiCed the so,e and ontent of or,orate
organi/ation"? inluding >the internal struture of the
or,oration(? 9( =urst" %he Legitimay of the Business
'or,oration in the La3 of the 0nited States 145$G1.4$" ,,( 1-G
12 61.4$7 6re,rint #$$*7( 'or,orations 3ere reated" su,er1ised"
and one,tuali/ed as Buasi<,u&li entities" >designed to ser1e a
soial funtion for the state(? =andlin H =andlin" Origin of the
)merian Business 'or,oration" - 9( Eon( =ist( 1" ## 61.*-7( +t
3as >assumed that 6they7 3ere legally ,ri1ileged organi/ations
that had to &e losely srutini/ed &y the legislature &eause their
,ur,oses had to &e made onsistent 3ith ,u&li 3elfare(? R(
Sea1oy" Origins of the )merian Business 'or,oration" 145*G
15--" ,( - 61.5#7(?
+n the early years of this Nation" or,orations o,erated under strit srutiny( )ording to
Ste1ens the 3ord >soulless? onstantly rea,,eared in de&ates o1er or,orations( %homas
9efferson feared that or,orations 3ould >su&1ert the Re,u&li(? Ste1ens ,oints out that
>%he Framers thus too; it as a gi1en that or,orations ould &e
om,rehensi1ely regulated in the ser1ie of the ,u&li 3elfare(
0nli;e our olleagues" they had little trou&le distinguishing
or,orations from human &eings" and 3hen they
onstitutionali/ed the right to free s,eeh in the First )mendment
" it 3as the free s,eeh of indi1idual )merians that they had in
+n Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission First )mendment rights 3ere
a,,lied to 'or,orations( %his entrenhment into the idea of 'or,orate Personhood 3as
the foundation of the maAority o,inion( But it immediate omes to Buestion: is a
or,oration a ,ersonI
) ,erson is a human &eing or a &eing similarly ,ossessing >those attri&utes 3hih
are the su&Aet of our most humane onerns 3ith oursel1es? 6Fran;furt 1.417( No3
3hen 3e analy/e the onerns of a or,oration" do they mimi those of atual iti/ensI
)ording to -he Cor*oration 6Ba;an #$$!7" a doumentary o1ering or,orations in
)meria" >%hese are s,eial ;inds of ,ersons 3hih are designed &y la3 to &e onerned
only for their sto;holders and not so muh for the sta;eholders" li;e the ommunity or
the 3or;foreJ? %he doumentary ontinues 3ith a Buote from Baron %hurlo3" in
3hih he states that >%hey ha1e no soul to sa1e" no &ody to inarerate(?
%his &rings u, a 1ery real onern" and that is 3hat ha,,ens 3hen a ,erson
1iolates the la3 om,ared to 3hen a or,oration does so( +f a ,erson ;ills someone"
they:re harged 3ith manslaughter or murder de,ending on their intent or negligene(
8hen a or,oration is res,onsi&le for the ,oisoning" inAury" or deaths of numerous
,eo,les" it:s sued( +f a ,erson lies under oath" they:re ,ut into Aail under harges of
,erAury( 8hen or,orations lie" they:re fined(
So 3hat 3ould ,ush a or,oration to ;ill or lieI %he same reason or,orations do
anything: ,rofit( 8hen it omes to 1iolating the la3" &e it i1il or riminal" a or,oration
analy/es the ost effeti1eness of the deision( %here:s an a,t line from the mo1ie Fight
Club that omes to mind:
>+:m a reall oordinator( My Ao& is to a,,ly the formulaJ %a;e
the num&er of 1ehiles in the field" 6)7" and multi,ly it &y the
,ro&a&le rate of failure" 6B7" then multi,ly the result &y the
a1erage out<of<ourt settlement" 6'7( ) times B times ' eBuals
KJ +f K is less than the ost of a reall" 3e don:t do one(?
8hat this means is sim,le: 3hen it omes to determining the 1alue of a ,roAet" lia&ilities
li;e human li1es" suffering" inAury and illness are all Aust ,art of a ost analysis( +n
addition to this ost analysis is the or,orate ,oliy of eCternali/ation( )n eCternality is
anytime a or,oration an negate a ost( %his is generally done &y finding 3ays to ma;e
others o1er this ost" for eCam,le ,olluting a stream rather than leaning u, after itself
ma;es the en1ironment" and thus the ,u&li" ,ay the ost@ on1ining a go1ernment to go
to 3ar 3ith a ountry in order to ,rotet your oil interest in that ountry" eCternali/es the
ost of ,roteting your interests(
-he Cor*oration goes so far as to analy/e the ,ersonality of a or,oration( +t
finds that or,orations:
=a1e a allous unonern for the feelings of others
=a1e an ina,aity to maintain enduring relationshi,s
FreBuently harm human health and animals
=a1e a re;less disregard for the safety of others
)re deeitful and re,eatedly lie and on others for ,rofit
)re ina,a&le of eC,eriening guilt
)re harmful to the en1ironment
Fail to onform to soial norms 3ith res,et to la3ful &eha1iors
0naounta&le to anyone &ut itself
-he Cor*oration onludes a diagnosis of ,syho,athy( Dr( %heodre Millon defines
,syho,ath 3ith the more assoiation of soio,ath" 3hih it desri&es harateristis suh
as an ina&ility to eC,eriene guilt or remorse for harm they ause others( =e goes on to
inlude ho3 soio,aths ,ush their &urdens and &lames onto others" a1oiding any
a;no3ledgement of 3rongdoing no matter 3hat the ost( ) ,syho,athy has a
3illingness to say anything to anyone 3ithout onern for auray or truth" only 3ith
their self interests in mind(
9oel Ba;an inludes in his doumentary a desri,tion of the or,oration as >the
death of &irth? in 3hih it analy/es the num&er of s,eies that ha1e &eome eCtint due to
or,orate ,ollution( )ording to the artile ions and -igers and #ears .)oing E/tinct0
1 2h M'34 &*ecies E/tinction4 Causes! &tatistics and -rends &y Profess of Biology and
En1iromental Siene 9ose,h L( Sheldon" sine the year 12$$ a total of 5! mammals
s,eies 6#(1M7 and 11! &ird s,eies 61(!M7 are ;no3n to ha1e &eome eCtint(
Damage to the en1ironment and animals aren:t the only results of or,orate
soio,athi tendenies( Ba;an:s doumentary also inludes the line >in de1astation there
is o,,ortunity(? %his is in referene to or,orations finding &enefits to the de1astation of
human &eings on a loal or glo&al sale( 8hen the 0(S( in1aded +raB the first time in
1..1" oil ,ries 3ent from N1!Ogallon to o1er N*$Ogallon( 8hen there 3ere tal;s of the
0(S( in1ading +raB again@ a ,reem,ti1e atta; against a nation &ased on false ,remises" it
3as of no sur,rise that oil traders found this ne3s to &e fantastially ,rofita&le( )fter
Se,tem&er 11
" one of the most ,otent tragedies to stri;e the ontinental 0(S( in its
history" international traders 3ere eCited to find the ,rie of gold had dou&led(
+s there any definition &y 3hih or,orations atually share interests 3ith
humansI +n fat" it goes one ste, further: sine or,orations an &e o3ned and o,erated
&y eCternal ountries" inluding 'hina 3ho ;ee,s lose ties 3ith its or,orations in a
near<fasist li;e state" are also allo3ed under the Citizens United v. F.E.C. deision to
donate unlimited amounts to our ,olitial sene( So not only are or,orations om,letely
la;ing in the same interests as normal humans" many or,orations ha1e interests that
diretly o,,ose those of the 0(S( as a so1ereign nation and ould ,ose diret threats to
national seurity( 9ustie Ste1ens addresses onerns o1er this 1ery issue in his
dissenting o,inion(
>+n the onteCt of eletion to ,u&li offie" the distintion
&et3een or,orate and human s,ea;ers is signifiant( )lthough
they ma;e enormous ontri&utions to our soiety" or,orations
are not atually mem&ers of it( %hey annot 1ote or run for
offie( Beause they may &e managed and ontrolled &y
nonresidents" their interests may onflit in fundamental res,ets
3ith the interests of eligi&le 1oters(?
Does this truly resem&le the >,eo,le? that the First and Fourteenth )mendments 3ere
3ritten to ,rotetI +s this truly the legislati1e intent that resulted from the Re1olutionary
and 'i1il 8arsI
Citizens United ! Federal Election Commission
%here are many onerns 3ith the ruling in Citizens United v. F.E.C." as ,rior
setions ha1e detailed onerns 3ith or,orate ethis and the mutation of inreasing
or,orate ,o3er o1er the deades@ ho3e1er" the most &laring onerns 3ith the ruling are
those of a legal &asis( %his setion 3ill Buote eCtensi1ely from 9ustie Ste1ens:
dissenting o,inion(
>%he &asi ,remise underlying the 'ourt:s ruling is its iteration"
and onstant reiteration" of the ,ro,osition that the First
)mendment &ars regulatory distintions &ased on a s,ea;er:s
identity" inluding its >identity? as a or,orationJ %he oneit
that or,orations must &e treated identially to natural ,ersons in
the ,olitial s,here is not only inaurate &ut also inadeBuate to
Austify the 'ourt:s dis,osition of this ase(?
+n these sentenes Ste1ens lays out the fundamental fla3 of the ruling( %he fous of this
setion 3ill &e to address the seond ,ortion of the Buote" in 3hih Ste1ens lays out his
reasoning for the inadeBuay of the findings to &e Austified &y the ruling( E1en oneiting
the notion that or,orations are eBui1alent to ,eo,le legally and should &e afforded all the
rights 63hile o&1iously a1oiding the same lia&ilities7" there are still huge ,roedural
issues onerning the ruling(
%he first onern is the maAority:s reAetion of stare decisis( &tare decisis is a
legal ,rini,le &y 3hih Audges are o&liged to res,et the ,reedents esta&lished"
originating from the Latin maCim &tare decisis et non 5uieta movere meaning >to stand
&y deisions and not distur& the undistur&ed? 6)deleye 1...7( 8hile stare decisis does
not &ind Audges of their right to inter,ret la3" it does esta&lish 6uris*rudence constante
3hih is the ,rini,al that Audges should rule in a ,redita&le manner( 8hen a,,lied to
S'O%0S rulings" gi1en that it is the highest ourt in the 0(S(" hori/ontal stare decisis is
3hat is a,,lied( %he idea reBuires Audges to res,et" if not follo3" earlier Audges
deisions unless gi1en a signifiant Austifiation( %he Ninth 'iruit 'ourt of ),,eals
states in United &tates "nternal Revenue &ervice v. 2sborne 61..27:
>Stare deisis is the ,oliy of the ourt to stand &y ,reedent@ the
term is &ut an a&&re1iation of stare deisis et Buieta non mo1ere
P Qto stand &y and adhere to deisions and not distur& 3hat is
settled(Q 'onsider the 3ord Qdeisis(Q %he 3ord means" literally
and legally" the deision( Nor is the dotrine stare ditis@ it is not
Qto stand &y or ;ee, to 3hat 3as said(Q Nor is the dotrine stare
rationi&us deidendi P Qto ;ee, to the rationes deidendi of ,ast
ases(Q Rather" under the dotrine of stare deisis a ase is
im,ortant only for 3hat it deides P for the Q3hat"Q not for the
Q3hy"Q and not for the Qho3(Q +nsofar as ,reedent is onerned"
stare deisis is im,ortant only for the deision" for the detailed
legal onseBuene follo3ing a detailed set of fats(?
Ste1ens desri&es stare decisis &y ,ointing out that 3hile not &eing an a&solutist" >if the
,rini,le is to do any meaningful 3or; in su,,orting the rule of la3" it must at least
demand a signifiant Austifiation" &eyond the ,referenes of fi1e 9usties" for o1erturning
settled dotrine(? =e then Buotes the running from (lanned (arenthood of &outheastern
(a. v. Case' 61..#7 in 3hih it 3as held that a >deision to o1errule should rest on some
s,eial reason o1er and a&o1e the &elief that a ,rior ase 3as 3rongly deided(?
=o3e1er" in the ase of Citizens United v. F.E.C." stare decisis is ignored sim,ly &eause
the ruling maAority did not li;e the deision in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of
%he ruling maAority laims that >)ustin is undermined &y the eC,eriene sine its
announement"? 3hih annot &e &ut a &oldfae lie( %here 3as no de1elo,ed reord in
Citizens United v. F.E.C. and there 3as no em,irial e1idene to &a; the laim( %he
only ,lae in 3hih this laim 3as e1en made 3as &y the ruling maAority itself" 3ho
su,,orts it i*se di/it. Ste1ens ontinues his admonition of the disregard for stare decisis
in a later ,aragra,h(
>Jthe other stare deisis fators also ut against the 'ourt(
'onsiderations of antiBuity are signifiant for similar reasons(
M'onnell is only siC years old" &ut )ustin has &een on the
&oo;s for t3o deades" and many of the statutes alled into
Buestion &y today:s o,inion ha1e &een on the &oo;s for a half<
entury or more( %he 'ourt ,oints to no inter1ening hange in
irumstanes that 3arrants re1isiting )ustin ( 'ertainly nothing
rele1ant has hanged sine 3e deided 8R%L t3o %erms ago(
)nd the 'ourt gi1es no reason to thin; that )ustin and
M'onnell are un3or;a&le(?
8orse yet" and to &e desri&ed further later" is that no one argued against Austin. None of
the ,arties" and in fat no ,arty to ,etition the ourt" has argued against the ruling in
Austin( %he ourt too; it u,on itself to re1ie3 and stri;e do3n a ,rior ruling 3ithout any
e1idene ,resented(
+n a deision desri&ed as a threat to >undermine the integrity of eleted
institutions aross the Nation? &y Ste1ens" he ,oints out Aust ho3 far the ruling &rea;s
from ,ast ,reedent( From 'ongress ,assing the %illman )t in 1.$4 6h( *#$" !* Stat(
52*7" to o1er a entury of historial ,reedents" the ruling ignores legislati1e intent" the
legislature and its o3n ,rior rulings( Ste1ens goes so far as to list the ases of &ro;en
>8e ha1e unanimously onluded that this >reflets a ,ermissi&le
assessment of the dangers ,osed &y those entities to the eletoral
,roess"? FE' 1( National Right to 8or; 'omm(" *-. 0(S( 1.4"
#$. 61.5#76NR8'7" and ha1e ae,ted the >legislati1e Audgment
that the s,eial harateristis of the or,orate struture reBuire
,artiularly areful regulations"? id( " at #$.<#1$( %he ourt
today reAets a entury of history 3hen it treats the distintion
&et3een or,orate and indi1idual am,aign s,ending as an
in1idious no1elty &orn of Austin v. Michigan Chamber of
Commerce" *.* 0( S( 2-# 61..$7 ( Relying largely on indi1idual
dissenting o,inions" the maAority &la/es through our ,reedents"
o1erruling or disa1o3ing a &ody of ase la3 inluding FEC v.
Wisconsin Right to ife ! "nc." --1 0( S( **. 6#$$47 68R%L7 "
McConnell v. FEC " -*$ 0( S( .! 6#$$!7 " FEC v. #eaumont " -!.
0( S( 1*2 6#$$!7 " FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for ife ! "nc."
*4. 0( S( #!5 61.527 6M'FL7 " NR8' " *-. 0( S( 1.4 " and
California Medical Assn. v. FEC " *-! 0( S( 15# 61.517 (?
Ste1ens too ,oints out that that Austin 3as ne1er addressed &y the ,laintiff" stating that
>the Buestion 3as not ,ro,erly &rought &efore us(? %he Aurisditional statement made no
laim against" nor e1en ited" Austin. Ste1ens ma;es a ,oint in ta;ing deli&erate shots at
the maAority" stating that >Our olleagues: suggestion that >3e are as;ed to reonsider
)ustin and" in effet" M'onnell"? J 3ould &e more aurate if re,hrased to state that
>3e ha1e as;ed oursel1es? to reonsider those ases(?
'iti/ens 0nited raised a faial hallenge to the onstitutionality of D#$!( ),,(
#!aG#*a of the Bi,artisan 'am,aign Reform )t in the Distrit 'ourt( =o3e1er" 3hen
filing for summary Audgment" 'iti/ens 0nited >eC,ressly a&andoned its faial hallenge(?
%he Distrit 'ourt then ruled on alternati1e grounds( +n ,etitioning the Su,reme 'ourt"
'iti/ens 0nited raised only >an as<a,,lied hallenge to the onstitutionality of J B'R)
D#$!(? E1en 3hen 'iti/ens 0nited did argue against D#$!" it did not do so on the notion
that all or,orations and unions 3ere a,,lia&le" &ut instead that >the statute ould not &e
a,,lied to it &eause it 3as >funded o1er3helmingly &y indi1iduals(?
Ste1ens then goes on to ontinue to address a situation in 3hih the 'ourt 3ould
e1en re1ie3 Buestions not as;ed of it(
>R+t is only in eCe,tional ases oming here from the federal
ourts that Buestions not ,ressed or ,assed u,on &elo3 are
re1ie3ed": ? Youa;im 1( Miller " *#- 0( S( #!1" #!* 61.427 6,er
uriam7 6Buoting Duignan 1( 0nited States " #4* 0( S( 1.-" #$$
61.#47 7" and it is >only in the most eCe,tional ases? that 3e
3ill onsider issues outside the Buestions ,resented" Stone 1(
Po3ell " *#5 0( S( *2-" *51" n( 1- 61.427 ( %he a,,ellant in this
ase did not so muh as assert an eCe,tional irumstane" and
one searhes the maAority o,inion in 1ain for the mention of any(
%hat is unsur,rising" for none eCists(?
Ste1ens omes to a onlusion regarding 3hy the so,e of the ase 3as hanged(
>Essentially" fi1e 9usties 3ere unha,,y 3ith the limited nature of the ase &efore us" so
they hanged the ase to gi1e themsel1es an o,,ortunity to hange the la3(?
Ste1ens ontinues to address the issue of the as<a,,lied and faial hallenges(
%he 'ourt held re,eatedly and em,hatially reently that >6f7aial hallenges are
disfa1ored? 68ashington State Srange 1( 8ashington State Re,u&lian Party" #$$57(
Ste1ens ,oints out that >6%7he Rnormal rule: is that R,artial" rather than faial" in1alidation
is the reBuired ourse": suh that a Rstatue may J &e delared in1alid to the eCtent that it
reahes too far" &ut other3ise left intat(:? +n the 'ourt:s ruling that D#$! 3as faially
unonstitutional the maAority on1erted the ,laintiff:s as<a,,lied hallenge into a faial
hallenge" diretly defying its o3n ,rini,le( %his unAustified deferene to a faial
>run6s7 ontrary to the fundamental ,rini,le of Audiial restraint
that ourts should neither antii,ate a Buestion of onstitutional
la3 in ad1ane of the neessity of deiding it nor formulate a rule
of onstitutional la3 &roader than is reBuired &y the ,reise fats
to 3hih it is to &e a,,lied? 68ashington State Srange 1(
8ashington State Re,u&lian Party" #$$57(
)ording to Ste1ens" >6s7anting that ,rini,le threaten6s7 to short iruit the demorati
,roess &y ,re1enting la3s em&odying the 3ill of the ,eo,le from &eing im,lemented in
a manner onsistent 3ith the 'onstitution(? %his ,oliy of ignoring Audiial restraint and
stare decisis reates serious issues for the legislature" as it o1errules settled dotrine on
3hih the legislature has relied for esta&lishing ne3 la3s" suh as the B'R)( Ste1ens
,oints out ho3 >'ongress rafted B'R) in res,onse to a 1irtual mountain of researh on
the orru,tion that ,re1ious legislation had failed to a1ert(? 'ongress o&1iously sa3 the
unrestrained finaning of ,olitial am,aigns from or,orations and unions to &e
fundamentally orru,t and ,resent a lear and ,resent threat to our demoray( +n 9ohn
Stuart Mill:s 2n ibert'" in 3hih he 1ehemently defends the rights of free s,eeh" he
does Austify one limitation on free eC,ression" referred to as the =arm ,rini,le( +t states
that >the only ,ur,ose for 3hih ,o3er an &e rightfully eCerised o1er any mem&er of a
i1ili/ed ommunity" against his 3ill" is to ,re1ent harm to others? 61.457( 'an there &e
anything more harmful than s,eeh that diretly ,laes the soio,athi desires of
or,orations" &oth domesti and foreign" a&o1e those of real human 0(S( iti/ensI
'ongress agreed 3ith this notion of the danger of or,orations" &ut the maAority ignores
,u&li onern" the legislature and ,rior Austies as >%he 'ourt no3 negates 'ongress:
efforts 3ithout a shred of e1idene on ho3 D#$! or its state<la3 ounter,arts ha1e &een
affeting any entity other than 'iti/ens 0nited? 6Citizens United v. F.E.C.0.
+n order to adeBuately atta; the &road grounds on 3hih the maAority stru;
do3n a entury of ,reedent and la3 in this ruling" it 3ould &e a legitimate onern to
,ro1ide that narro3er grounds 3ere a ,ossi&le solution( %his onern is also addressed in
Ste1ens: dissent( =e &egins &y ,ointing out" one again" the maAority:s fault:
>6%7he maAority has transgressed yet another >ardinal? ,rini,le
of the Audiial ,roess: >6+7f it is not neessary to deide more" it
is neessary not to deide more"? PDL La&s(" +n( 1( Drug
Enforement )dmin( " !2# F( !d 452" 4.. 6')D' #$$*7
6Ro&erts" 9(" onurring in ,art and onurring in Audgment7(?
Ste1ens ,oints out three narro3er grounds the maAority:s deision ould ha1e found(
%he first narro3er ground is that of ruling on statutory grounds" s,eifially that
>a feature<length film distri&uted through 1ideo<on<demand does not Bualify as an
>eletioneering ommuniation? under D#$! of B'R)(? 8hen 'ongress de1elo,ed the
B'R)" 1ideo<on<demand 3as not onsidered a fator and the B'R) s,eifially
addressed >&roadast" a&le or satellite? ommuniations( E1en onsidering the
legislati1e intent" the B'R) 3as meant to address short ad1ertisements" and 3as not
drafted under the notion of feature length doumentaries( %his reasoning alone is enough
to esta&lish that D#$! of B'R) did not a,,ly to 7illar'(
%he seond narro3er ground onsisted of the 'ourt eC,anding the M'FL
eCem,tion to o1er non,rofits that ae,t minimal amounts of money from other for<
,rofit grou,s( 'iti/ens 0nited made it lear that they 3ere suh a grou, and in its o3n
&rief states that it >is funded ,redominantly &y donations from indi1iduals 3ho su,,ort
6its7 ideologial message? 6Brief for ),,ellant -7( Pre1ious ourts ha1e ruled that
minimal &usiness su,,ort does not disBualify an organi/ation from M'FL( S'O%0S
ould ha1e follo3ed this ,reedene and allo3ed 'iti/ens 0nited to ,lay 7illar' under
this eCem,tion(
%he third and most o&1ious narro3er ground is the as<a,,lied onstitutional
hallenge for 3hih 'iti/ens 0nited filed to &egin 3ith( Ste1ens states that >'iti/ens
0nited loo;s so muh li;e the M'FL organi/ations 3e ha1e eCem,ted from regulation"
3hile a feature<length 1ideo<on<demand film loo;s so unli;e the ty,es of eletoral
ad1oay 'ongress has found deser1ing of regulation" this hallenge is a su&stantial one(?
%his as<a,,lied re1ie3 ould ha1e easily allo3ed 'iti/ens 0nited to air 7illar' as 3ell"
3hile maintaining a narro3 so,e ruling( Ste1ens ,oints out that >%he only thing
,re1enting the maAority from affirming the Distrit 'ourt" or ado,ting a narro3er ground
that 3ould retain )ustin" is its disdain for )ustin(?
Ste1ens ,oints out in ,erha,s his most damning statement a ondemnation of the
maAority itself(
>+n the end" the 'ourt:s reAetion of )ustin and M'onnell omes
do3n to nothing more than its disagreement 3ith their results(
Tirtually e1ery one of its arguments 3as made and reAeted in
those ases" and the maAority o,inion is essentially an
amalgamation of resusitated dissents( %he only rele1ant thing
that has hanged sine )ustin and M'onnell is the om,osition
of this 'ourt( %oday:s ruling thus stri;es at the 1itals of stare
deisis " >the means &y 3hih 3e ensure that the la3 3ill not
merely hange erratially" &ut 3ill de1elo, in a ,rini,led and
intelligi&le fashion? that >,ermits soiety to ,resume that &edro;
,rini,les are founded in the la3 rather than in the ,roli1ities of
indi1iduals(? TasBue/ 1( =illery " *4* 0( S( #-*" #2- 61.527 (?
"amifications of Citizens United ! F!E!C! #ecision
%he ramifiations of the Citizens United deision are not easily ,redita&le and
the so,e of the issue 3ill not &e easy to follo3( 8ithout any su,er1ision of the funds
&eing ,oured into ,olitial am,aigns" 3e 3ill soon find that the only tell<tale signs of the
Citizens United are the results at hand( %he one redeeming ho,e in the fae of the
negligent maAority is the onsiousness of the )merian ,eo,le( %oo freBuently li;e a
Roman mo&" the )merian ,eo,le are often ,ersuaded &y 3hat is ,o,ular or 3hih
o,inion is rafted in the most ,leasing of manor" 3ithout &asis on fat( =o3e1er" the
,otential for intelletual re1olt is an a&solute defense to ,ro,aganda( =o,e lies in the
,eo,le and their a&ility to see through ,urhased andidates and stand &ehind reform( )n
ideal" &ut ,erha,s too o1erly o,timisti re,roah ould onsist of a 'onstitutional
)mendment that 3ould not &e su&Aet to Audiial re1ie3( +n the mean time" it is u, to the
,u&li at large to esta&lish a 3ill that 3ill not go Buietly into the night" and fight for the
freedom of ,eo,le" real ,eo,le" 3ho ma;e u, the iti/enshi, of our great nation(
+t an &e onluded 3ithout any dou&t that a state run &y or,orations is no longer
ser1ing the fundamental &est interests of the iti/ens( ) state in 3hih or,orations ha1e
unlimited ,o3er in a ,olitial sene reates a go1ernment disassoiated 3ith the iti/en:s
interest and instead in1ested in the ontinuation and further rise of the or,orate ,o3er(
%he results of suh a negati1e ethial turn for the ountry may &e disastrous" ranging
from the sim,le orru,tion of ,olitiians and su&Augation of the a1erage iti/en" to the
3orst ase senario of fasism run amo;( %he dreadful notion that one day an o,,ressed
iti/enshi, finds the need to re1olt against a or,orate<ontrolled military and ,olie
fore is an all too ,ossi&le future( %he deision in Citizens United v. F.E.C. not only
ignores the la3" a entury of ,reedent and the moral im,liations of suh a deision" &ut
it also reates a senario in 3hih i1il unrest or outright re1olt is a ,lausi&le long term
side effet( =o3 in good onsiene any Austie ould su,,ort suh a ruling that ignores
stare decisis! ignores Audiial restraint" ignores the ,lausi&le narro3er grounds of the
ruling" ignores the so,e of the ase" ignores the Buestions &rought &efore it" and
defiantly ,ushes the o,inion of Austies o1er the 3ill of the iti/enshi, is unimagina&le(
)deleye" Sa&riel et al( World $ictionar' of Foreign E/*ressions4 a Resource for Readers
and Writers" ,( !41( 61...7
)ustin 1( Mihigan 'ham&er of 'ommere" *.* 0( S( 2-# 61..$7
Ba;an" 9oel( -he Cor*oration( 6#$$!7
Bi,artisan 'am,aign Reform )t of #$$# 6B'R)" M'ain<Feingold )t7 Pu&( L( 1$4<
1--" 122 Stat( 51(
Bu;ley 1( Taleo" *#* 0(S( 1 61.247
'alifornia Medial )ssn( 1( Federal Eletion 'ommission" *-! 0( S( 15# 61.517
'onnetiut Seneral Life +nsurane 'om,any 1( 9ohnson" !$! 0(S( 44 61.!57
'iti/ens 0nited 1( Federal Eletion 'ommission" $5<#$- 0(S( 6#$1$7
Dartmouth 'ollege 1( 8ood3ard" 14 0(S( -15 6151.7
Federal Eletion 'am,aign )t of 1.41" FE')" Pu&( L( .#<##-" 52 Stat( !" # 0(S('( D
*!1( 61.4#7
Federal Eletion 'ommission 1( Beaumont" -!. 0( S( 1*2 6#$$!7
Federal Eletion 'ommission 1( Massahusetts 'iti/ens for Life" +n(" *4. 0( S( #!5
61.527 6M'FL7
Federal Eletion 'ommission 1( National Right to 8or; 'omm(" *-. 0( S( 1.4" #$.
61.5#7 6NR8'7
Federal Eletion 'ommission 1( 8isonsin Right to Life" +n(" --1 0( S( **. 6#$$47
First National Ban; of Boston 1( Bellotti" *!- 0(S( 42- 61.457
Fran;furt" =arry( >Freedom of the 8ill and the 'one,t of a Person(? -he +ournal of
(hiloso*h' volume 89( 61.417
=uddleston" 9ohn( :illing ground4 *hotogra*hs of the Civil War and the changing
American landsca*e 6#$$#7 9ohn =o,;ins 0ni1ersity Press( +SBN $<5$15<244!<5
Li,ta;" )dam 6#$1$7( >9usties" -<*" ReAet 'or,orate S,ending Limit?( Ne% ;ork -imes(
M'onnell 1( Federal Eletion 'ommission " -*$ 0( S( .! 6#$$!7
Mill" 9ohn Stuart( 2n ibert'( 61.457
Millon" %heodore@ Da1is" Roger( >'ha,ter 11: %he Fi1e<Fator Model of Personality"?
,,(14!<144( (s'cho*ath'4 Antisocial! Criminal and ,iolent #ehavior.
Northern Nat Life +ns( 'o 1( Riggs" #$! 0(S( #*! 61.$27
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa( 1( 'asey" -$- 0(S( 5!!" 52* 61..#7
Santa 'lara 'ounty 1( Southern Paifi Railroad" 115 0(S( !.* 615527
Sheldon" 9ose,h L( ions And -igers and #ears .)oing E/trinct0 1 2h m'34 &*ecies
E/tinction4 Causes! &tatistics! and -rends( Retrie1ed from
artile(htm on Marh #" #$11(
0nited States +nternal Re1enue Ser1( 1( Os&orne 6+n re Os&orne7" 42 F(!d !$2" .2<1 0(S(
%aC 'as( 6''=7 ,aragr( -$"15- 'ir( 1..27(
8ashington State Srange 1( 8ashington State Re,u&lian Party" --# 0(S( **#" *-$
8heeling Steel 'or,oration 1( Slander" !!4 0(S( -2# 61.*.7