The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matt Jacob 202.408.5565

CREW Calls Supreme Court Decision a Boon for Corporate America


Today, in Citizens United v. FEC, the Supreme Court
overruled its earlier decisions to hold that while the government may
regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure
requirements, it may not ban corporate speech altogether. The Court
found that independent expenditures - or the ability to create, finance
and air ads advocating the election or defeat of candidates - do not
lead to or create the appearance of corruption, and that banning such
expenditures is a violation of corporations' First Amendment right to
free speech.

CREW executive director Melanie Sloan stated, "The Supreme Court has
placed the rights of corporations ahead of the rights of American
voters by willfully ignoring the outsize role of money in politics and
the fact that corporations have vast sums available to spend." Sloan
continued, "Money buys elections and the biggest corporations with the
most money will own our politicians. We are moving to an age where we
won't have the senator from Arkansas or the congressman from North
Carolina, but the senator from Wal-Mart and the congressman from Bank
of America."

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated, "The
appearance of influence or access, furthermore, will not cause the
electorate to lose faith in our democracy. . . . Ingratiation and
access, in any event, are not corruption." Notably, a January 10th-14th
NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found the public's congressional approval
rating is a mere 21%. Sloan stated, "Despite the Court's remarkably
obtuse statement to the contrary, the public perception that special
interests have greater access to and influence over our elected leaders
clearly does diminish Americans' faith in our political institutions."

Click here to read the Supreme Court's decision.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.