Supreme Court Considers Overturning Protections for Democracy

For Immediate Release

Supreme Court Considers Overturning Protections for Democracy

Citizens United Case More Important than Bush v. Gore to American Democracy

WASHINGTON - Today, the
Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Citizens United v. the
Federal Election Commission (FEC), a case of enormous importance
for one of the basic pillars of modern American democracy – the
prohibition on unlimited corporate and union spending in candidate
elections.  The League of Women Voters of the United States and the

Constitutional Accountability Center submitted a “friend

of the court” brief in this case to help put the case in
historical context and to call attention to the pernicious and
corrupting effects on American democracy if the Court were to overturn
existing federal and state limits on corporate expenditures in candidate


“The Supreme Court’s decision in
Citizens United v. FEC  has the potential to be more
important than Bush v. Gore to American democracy,”
according to national League President Mary G. Wilson. “This
case will decide whether corporate wealth will be allowed to dominate
our elections in years to come,” she said. 

“Voters are supposed to be at the center of our
political process,” Wilson said. “Over time, we have
constructed a solid foundation for modern American democracy through
constitutional amendments, the Voting Rights Act, the principle of
'one-person, one vote,' and protections against campaign finance
corruption. By knocking out important prohibitions on corporate
influence in the election process, the Supreme Court could threaten that

foundation and radically alter our democracy,” she
said. “This case could allow corporations to use their wealth

to overwhelm our elections,” she said. 

“For more than two centuries, American democracy
has been moving in the direction of broader enfranchisement and more
meaningful political participation of individual citizens,” Wilson

said. “Legal arguments seeking political rights for
corporations similar to those of individual voters run contrary to
constitutional text and history and could reverse our centuries-long
march of progress toward a more expansive, inclusive, citizen-based
democracy,” Wilson said.

“This case and the resulting decision are not
merely another set of run-of-the-mill technical, campaign finance
regulations,” she said. “Basic principles that protect
our democracy are at stake,” Wilson concluded.

Reporters covering this case and wishing to speak with
Ms. Wilson should contact Kelly Ceballos at or


The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, has fought since 1920 to improve our systems of government and impact public policies through citizen education and advocacy. The League's enduring vitality and resonance comes from its unique decentralized structure. The League is a grassroots organization, working at the national, state and local levels.

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